Mary Ann Hynes paves the way

The first-ever woman GC of a Fortune 500 company discusses her career and the importance of mentoring.

One day, while Mary Ann Hynes was still in high school, she eavesdropped on a conversation between her mother and her brother. Her brother was in college majoring in physics at the time. He had gotten all As on his report card, except for one B, in thermodynamics. “If you only applied yourself more, put in the extra effort, you would have gotten all As,” she remembers her mother saying with conviction, making thermodynamics sounds as easy as social studies. At this point, Hynes popped in, “Mom, could you explain it to me? What exactly is thermodynamics?” Her mother stared back at her, a hint of confusion in her eyes, then sternly said, “Mary Ann, get out of here. This doesn’t concern you.” Hynes chuckled and did as she was told.

Despite the fact that Hynes’ parents weren’t highly educated professionals, they made education a priority for their two children as they were growing up. And the lesson was not lost on Hynes.

Q: Tell me about your current work as GC of Corn Products.

A: I am the executive in charge of both legal and regulatory. We are the most global mid-cap company in the U.S. This presents both challenges and opportunities as we grow.


Cathleen Flahardy

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