MRO Magazine

Three Nissan executives named to the “100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry” list from Automotive News

November 9, 2015 | By Business Wire News


Today,Automotive News named Nissan executives Rebecca Barker Vest, Diane Allen and Sonia Rief to the publication’s 2015 “100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry” list. All three women will be honored at the publication’s gala celebration tonight at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.

“With an ever-increasing number of female leaders, particularly in STEM careers, women are redefining the automotive industry,” said José Muñoz, executive vice president, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., and chairman, Nissan North America. “We are honored and humbled to have inspiring, thought-provoking women like Diane, Sonia and Rebecca within the Nissan family. These women are outstanding examples for the next generation of female corporate leaders to look up to.”

Since 2000, every five years Automotive News compiles its list of 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry, recognizing top female executives at automakers, suppliers and dealerships.

Rebecca Barker Vest is vice president, Purchasing, for Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA). In this position, she oversees all purchasing activities for Nissan’s operations throughout the North American region. Her responsibilities include supplier quality assurance, purchasing project management and supplier relations. Additionally, she also serves as the North American regional purchasing head for the Renault-Nissan Purchasing Organization (RNPO). Barker Vest joined Nissan in 2009 as the director of powertrain purchasing, where she led purchasing efforts for all powertrain projects in North America (U.S. and Mexico).

Marking her fourth time on this prestigious list, Diane Allen currently serves as senior design manager at Nissan Design America (NDA) located in San Diego, California, where she is responsible for managing design programs on behalf of the Nissan brand, ranging from advance exploratory work to production-vehicle design. Most recently, Allen managed the design development of the entire second-generation TITAN full-size truck lineup, including the TITAN XD powered by Cummins, from design concept and sketch development, to production sheet metal, as well as designing and prototyping all parts, wheels and accessories. Allen has received a number of design awards including the Gold Award for Industrial Design Excellence, the Silver Industrial Design Excellence Award and the Apex Product of Excellence for Angeles Base Line Furniture. Allen also holds a number of patents for her work, such as the innovative Utili-track™ bed channel system available on Nissan’s truck lineup.

Sonia Rief is currently the director of Vehicle Program Management and regional chief vehicle engineer for the Nissan Rogue at the Nissan Technical Center North America (NTCNA) in Farmington Hills, Michigan. As director of program management, she oversees the planning and evaluation of development activities from product concept to launch for all models manufactured in the U.S. Additionally, as the regional chief vehicle engineer, Rief is responsible for delivering model year vehicle changes on the Nissan Rogue to meet program requirements for quality, cost and timing.

For more information on Automotive News’ “100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry,” please visit

About Nissan North America

In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized annually by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR®

Partner of the Year since 2010. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at and, or visit the U.S. media sites and

About Nissan Motor Co.

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 247,500 employees globally, Nissan sold 5.32 million vehicles and generated revenue of 11.38 trillion yen (USD 103.6 billion) in fiscal year 2014. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands. Nissan leads the world in zero-emission mobility, dominated by sales of the LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle. It is the best-selling EV in history.

For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at

Nissan North America
Josh Clifton, 615-725-1767


Stories continue below

Print this page