Valerie Mars serves as Senior Vice President & Head of Corporate Development for Mars, Incorporated, a $32 billion diversified food business, operating in over 120 countries and one of the largest privately held companies in the world. In this position, she focuses on acquisitions, joint ventures and divestitures for the company. She served on the Mars, Incorporated Audit Committee, currently serves on its Remuneration Committee and is a member of the Board of Royal Canin. Additionally, Mars is a member of the Rabobank North American Advisory Board and is on the Board of Hello Stage. Mars is also a founding partner of KKM, a consulting partnership dedicated to advising family businesses that are planning the transition from the owner-manager to the next generation. Mars served on the Board of Celebrity Inc. a NASDAQ listed company from 1994 to September 2000.
Previously, Mars was the Director of Corporate Development for Masterfoods Europe. Her European work experience began in 1996 when she became General Manager of Masterfoods Czech and Slovak Republics.
Mars joined M&M/Mars on a part time basis in 1992 and began working on special projects. She worked on due diligence for acquisitions, was part of the company’s Innovation Team and VO2Max Team.
Prior to joining Mars, Incorporated, Mars was a controller with Whitman Heffernan Rhein, a boutique investment company. She began her career with Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company as a training program participant and rose to Assistant Secretary, supporting U.S.-based clients and then companies with global operations like General Motors and Dow Chemical.
Mars was involved in a number of community and educational organizations and currently serves on the Board of Conservation International. She is a Director Emeritus of The Open Space Institute. Previously she served on the Hotchkiss School Alumni Nominating Committee and the Prague American Chamber of Commerce Board.
Mars holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and a MBA from the Columbia Business School. She is married and has two sons.
Mars was appointed to the Board of Directors of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. on 12 October 2014.