fbpx Carolee Friedlander | Harvard Kennedy School
Headshot of Carolee Friedlander
Founder and CEO, Access Circles
Member, Women's Leadership Board, Women and Public Policy Program

Access Circles was founded in June of 2007 by Carolee Friedlander, the former CEO and founder of Carolee Designs, one of the world’s leading accessories brands.  After the sale of her business in 2001, Carolee focused her passion and energy on women’s health and life planning with a vision to create AccessCircles, a global by-invitation network for women providing connectivity, knowledge, and access to thought leaders, resources, and experiences that transform our lives. Her goal is to create an organization that will create change for all women through their shared wisdom and influence.

As founder and CEO of Carolee Designs, Carolee led her organization through all business life cycles, from early stages to a highly respected, recognized brand. In 2001, Carolee negotiated the sale of Carolee Designs to Retail Brand Alliance, a privately held retail company with sales of $1.5 billion.  She remained with the company until 2005.

Throughout her career, Carolee has embraced mentoring and leadership roles in many diverse business organizations and is active in numerous civic, philanthropic, and educational organizations. Some of those have included: Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA); The Society for Women’s Health Research, Women’s World Bank, and The Museum of Arts and Design. She is a past Chair of the Committee of 200, the organization of preeminent businesswomen, and also served as the Chair of its Foundation Board. 

Carolee currently serves as a director on the board of DSW, Inc., a leading shoe retailer; The Women’s Leadership Board at The John F. Kennedy School of Government and as a founding board member of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation where she has served since 1986. Carolee has been recognized with numerous awards and recognitions for her professional and philanthropic achievements. 

Membership Type: Individual Member