Active in American politics, Mosbacher previously served as a co-chair of the Republican National Committee’s Finance Committee, and she was the first woman to serve as the general chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Mosbacher has been noted in the media for her private fundraising events since the 1990s, and after supporting John McCains bid for senate in 1998, she served as national co-chairman of McCain's 2000 presidential campaign and also anchored fundraising efforts for campaigns such as Bush Cheney '04. Involved with a number of non-profit organizations, in 1995 she founded the New York Center for Children, which aims to assist abused children and their families. A fellow at the Foreign Policy Association, she is a board-member for Business Executives for National Security (BENS) and the Atlantic Council, among other organizations.
A native of Highland, Indiana, Georgette Mosbacher (née Paulsin) was born to Dorothy (Bell) and George Paulsin. Her father died in an automobile accident when she was young, leaving the seven-year-old Georgette and her three younger siblings under the care of their mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. When her mother returned to work, Mosbacher took on childcare duties for her brother George and two sisters, Melody and Lyn.
Mosbacher attended high school in Highland, Indiana, graduating in 1965. She went on to earn a B.S. in education from Indiana University in 1970. As an undergraduate student she worked three jobs in order to fund her education. After graduating from Indiana University, Mosbacher moved to Chicago to take a job at an advertising firm.
Mosbacher purchased the high-end cosmetics firm La Prairie in 1987, outbidding companies such as Revlon, Avon, and Estee Lauder. Despite the fact that La Prairie had been struggling with sales, she had raised the funds for the purchase by pitching to investors and venture capitalists. As primary owner of the Switzerland-based company, she also served as CEO and president for four years. Among other changes, she sold La Prairie in 1991 to Beiersdorf, a large personal care products provider based in Germany.
After selling La Prairie, in the 1990s she founded her own consulting company, Georgette Mosbacher Enterprises. Described as an "international entrepreneurial and consulting business in New York City," she served as chairman and CEO. Mosbacher published her first book, the semi-autobiographical and women’s motivational guide Feminine Force: Release the Power Within to Create the Life You Deserve, in 1993. Released through Simon & Schuster, it had a foreword by Kathie Lee Gifford. Her second book, It Takes Money Honey: A Get-Smart Guide to Total Financial Freedom, was also partly focused on finances, and was released through HarperCollins in 1998.
After serving as a consultant to the company since 1999, in 2000 Mosbacher was appointed chief executive officer of Borghese, a prominent cosmetics manufacturer based in New York City. She also took on the role of president, and by 2006 had been appointed chairwoman. The Borghese brand had first started in the 14th century in Italy, using minerals and ingredients from Tuscany. Upon becoming CEO, she closed half of the line's outlets to retain exclusivity, and reduced the number of items to focus on core products. During her early years at Borghese, she helped the company expand its global operations and establish a wide distribution network in China.
A longtime Republican, Mosbacher served as a co-chair of the Republican National Committee’s Finance Committee, and she has furthermore been involved with the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the New Republican Majority Fund. She was New York State’s Republican National Committeewomen for more than a decade, and was also the first woman to serve as the general chairman of the Republican Governors Association, a role she continued to hold as of 2001. Mosbacher was a presidential appointee to the US Advisory Board for Trade Policy and Negotiations, a gubernatorial appointee as a New York Commissioner of Racing, and a mayoral appointee for trustee of the New York Hudson River Park Trust. She has also been involved with the National Women's Economic Alliance. On November 19, 2015, it was announced the President Obama had nominated her as a member of the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.
Mosbacher has been noted in the media for her private fundraising events since the 1990s, and after supporting John McCains bid for senate in 1998, she served as national co-chairman of McCain's 2000 presidential campaign. Mosbacher also anchored fundraising efforts for Bush Cheney '04, John McCain 2008, George W. Bush for President, John Ashcroft 2000, John McCain 2008, and McCain-Palin Victory 2008. Other American politicians she has fundraised for include Fred Thompson, Dick Lugar, Rudy Giuliani, Roy Blunt, Mitt Romney, and David Dreier.
In relation to both business and politics, Mosbacher has lent her opinions and personal anecdotes to several radio and television programs, including CNN’s Pinnacle, The Today Show, Larry King Live, Fox Business, C-SPAN, and This Weekend with Lou Dobbs. She has also been interviewed by publications such as Small Business Advocate and the Wall Street Journal, and a number of her op-eds have been published in publications such as the Washington Times and Financial Times, covering topics such as health care for war veterans. While she generally takes a Republican standpoint in relation to political issues, she has at times expressed frustration with Republican candidates and politicians, for example over incidents such as Congress stalling the vote on aid for Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
For several decades, Mosbacher has been involved with a number of non-profit organizations. In 1995 she founded the Children’s Advocacy Center of Manhattan (CAC), currently known as the New York Center for Children, which aims to assist abused children and their families. She is a trustee of several charitable and civic organizations, including the Hudson River Park Trust and the New York Racing Association. Mosbacher has also received appointments from the M.D. Anderson Hospital Cancer Center and is on the board of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Through her own charitable foundation, Mosbacher provides two annual scholarships for women in the MBA program at Indiana University, her alma mater.
She was elected to the board of directors of the information commerce company Intelius in October 2009, and is also on the boards of the Atlantic Council, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, and has served on the advisory boards of Brasilinvest, RUSI International, and the Dilenschneider Group. A fellow at the Foreign Policy Association, she is a board-member for the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Mosbacher has been on the board of advisors for Diligence London, Harvard Center For Public Leadership, Gow & Partners LLC, Grupo Brasilinvest S.A., and Village Cares. She is a chairman of the Green Beret Foundation and a board-member for Business Executives for National Security (BENS) and the Atlantic Council, among other organizations.
Georgette Mosbacher has received several awards throughout her career, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year Award from the American Women’s Economic Development Corporation, the Distinguished Humanitarian Award from Brandeis University, and the Outstanding Business Leader Award from the Northwood Institute. In 2002, the National Republican Congressional Committee's (NRCC) Business Advisory Council awarded Mosbacher with their National Leadership Award, in part citing her activism relating to small business issues. In March 2015, Mosbacher was given the Founder’s Award from Hedge Funds Care "in recognition of her efforts spearheading the Manhattan Children’s Advocacy Center." She holds a Doctor of Business Administration Honorary Causa from Bryant College and an honorary doctorate from the International Fine Arts College.
Based in Manhattan, New York, in the 1970s Mosbacher was married to Robert Muir, and after their divorce in 1977, for a time she was married to George Barrie, the CEO of Faberge and Brut Productions. On March 1, 1985, she married former United States Secretary of Commerce Robert Mosbacher, moving to Houston. After 13 years of marriage, Georgette Mosbacher and her husband divorced in 1998.