Kelly Starman, 27

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The realization came to Kelly Starman that she'd made an impact at General Electric Co. when her colleagues referred to her as a "brand diva" instead of a "brand cop."

She's a 27-year-old with the weighty title of leader-global brand . As a member of GE's 15-member corporate advertising group, Ms. Starman works with multiple outside agencies to develop brand guidelines. Then she travels the globe to lead quarterly training sessions in which GE's 220-plus executives called "brand ambassadors" are educated on the brand's importance and taught to think about it in a strategic way.

"Kelly combines the best of right- and left-brain thinking," says Judy Hu, global director-advertising and brand.

She's young, but, says Ms. Hu, "GE is known for being a meritocracy. We don't judge people on their age but on what they deliver." And Ms. Starman is delivering on a global scale.