The Wall Street Journal’s “50 Women To Watch” list includes several executives with strong North Carolina connections.

Topping the list is Melinda Gates, wife of Microsoft’s Bill Gates and co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Melinda earned her undergraduate and Masters degrees at Duke University. She also is a former Duke trustee.

Also on the list is Amy Woods Brinkley, global risk executive at Bank of America in Charlotte. Brinkley joined Bank of America as a management trainee in 1978 when it was known as North Carolina National Bank.

Ann Livermore, a native of Greensboro, also was cited by The Journal. She is executive vice president and head of the technology solutions group for Hewlett-Packard. Livermore, a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, lost out to Carly Fiorina for the CEO job at HP in 1999, but she is still with HP. Fiorina was later ousted.

Lenovo Group’s Mary Ma made the list as well. Ma is senior vice president and chief financial officer for Lenovo. Lenovo, which acquired IBM’s personal computing division and is the world’s third largest PC manufacturer, is building a new global headquarters in Morrisville, N.C.

To see the complete list, go to:

For a profile of Melinda Gates, see: