Amazon’s Carlson inspires VCU graduates

In a career filled with highlights, Teresa Carlson has added one more.

Carlson, vice president of Amazon Web Services’ worldwide public sector, was a commencement speaker this past weekend at Virginia Commonwealth University where she serves on the board of visitors.

“Be fearless in your choices,” said Carlson in addressing the 4,900 graduates in attendance in a ceremony at the Richmond Coliseum.


“Find a hole and fill it. If you see something that needs to be done, this is an opportunity,” Carlson added. “Do your best at every job you have. It will pay off. Think big and be bold,”

Carlson has done that throughout her career, leading to the rapid growth of AWS over the past three years.

In the U.S. public sector alone, AWS has more than 300 government agencies and 1,500 educational institutions are now using the company’s services thanks to a customer-centered approach that is helping organizations that want to become more innovative, agile and efficient as technology advances.

As part of the ceremony, Carlson was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, VCU’s highest form of recognition.

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