Darden Center for Global Initiatives

Global Advisory Council

The Dean’s Global Advisory Council is composed of Darden alumni who are senior executives with significant international experience representing globally strategic regions around the world. The mission of the Global Advisory Council is to help Darden deliver on the following goals: to build a critical mass of leaders, executives and managers within established, growing and emerging economies; to strengthen Darden’s influence on business and society worldwide; and to grow the recognition of the Darden brand in key regions of the world.

Short bios of all of the members of the Global Advisory Council are included below:

Global Advisory Council

   GAC V.N. Dalmia

VN  Dalmia (MBA '84)

Vidyanidhi "VN" Dalmia is Chairman of Dalmia Continental Pvt. Ltd. (DCPL) in New Delhi, India.  DCPL, VN’s flagship company, owns Leonardo Olive Oil and Hudson Canola Oil, both market leaders in their categories, and pioneered the use of olive oil for Indian cuisine.  DCPL forms part of the Dalmia Group of companies founded by VN’s father, the industrialist Ramkrishna Dalmia, in the early 1930s as the Dalmia-Jain Group. VN is also Chairman of Sunshine Tourism Services Private Limited (STSPL).  Previously, he was Commercial Director of Dalmia Biscuits Pvt. Ltd., and Executive Director of Dalmia Dadri Cement Limited.

VN is a Knight Commander of Italy, having been awarded the ‘Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity’ in recognition of his contribution to the development of friendly relations. He is president of the Indian Olive Association and executive vice president of the Babu Jagjivan Ram National Foundation, an autonomous organization of the government of India dedicated to the upliftment of backward castes or “untouchables” of India. VN was president of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (NIC).  He has a degree in economics from the University of Delhi’s Shri Ram College of Commerce.  VN has a daughter, Himani, and a son, Pranav.

GAC Louis Elson  

Louis Elson (MBA '90)

Louis Elson is Managing Partner of Palamon Capital Partners, a private equity firm he co-founded in 1999.  He has been active in European private equity for almost two decades, previously as a London-based partner of Warburg Pincus.  Louis attended Phillips Academy Andover and Eton College, and he received a BA with Honors from Harvard University.  He serves as a Charter Trustee of Phillips Academy Andover, and was previously a member of the Harvard University Task Force on Academic Resources. 

In London, he is Chairman of Impetus Trust, Great Britain’s pioneering venture philanthropy organisation. He serves on the Development Board of The Prince’s Trust, the Development Board of the British Film Institute and is a Trustee of The Voices Foundation and The Education Endowment Foundation. He is also a member of the Mid-Market Committee and the Research Advisory Board of the British Venture Capital Association and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

GAC Sylvia Ethel   

Silvia Ethel (MBA '99)

Silvia Ethel is a top management consultant, having worked for companies such as Bain & Co and Value Partners Management Consulting.

As an executive, Ms. Ethel worked as Director of Business Development and Sales & Marketing of Telefonica Group’s e-business solutions unit.  She also served as the Assistant Dean of Executive Education at Insper – Institute of Education and Research, one of Brazil’s leading schools of economics and business administration.

Ms. Ethel is the President of Darden’s Alumni Chapter in Brazil.  She obtained her MBA at The Darden School of Business in 1999, and completed her undergraduate work at EAESP-FGV in São Paulo, Brazil.


Gabriela Gold (MBA '95) 

GAC Grayson

Leslie E. Grayson

Leslie E. Grayson co-chairs Darden's Global Advisory Council and is the Isidore Horween Emeritus Research Professor of International Management. He joined Darden in 1971 and retired in 2003. In 2002, the University established the Leslie E. Grayson Professorship. From 1971 to 1993 he was in charge of most of the global portfolios at Darden. 

Long term overseas assignments  – all on leave from Darden – include: Indonesian Institute of Management Development, Jakarta; International Institute of Applied System Analysis, Vienna; Fulbright Senior Research Award, Tokyo; Templeton College, Oxford University, Oxford; INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France. Prior to joining Darden, he was Harvard’s Kennedy School Advisor to the Government of Ghana for two years, Accra, and was also at Cambridge for two years of research/teaching. From 1955 to 1967, he was with Caltex, (Chevron’s overseas affiliate), New York, Planning Department, (1964-67, Chief Economist).

GAC Peabody Hutton   

Peabody Hutton (MBA/JD '75)

Peabody is the General Counsel of Ajia Partners and oversees all Ajia Partners legal affairs, including the structuring and documentation of funds and their transactions, legal due diligence, compliance, and documentation of the firm’s internal legal matters, as well as its relationships with shareholders and joint-venture partners. He has over 33 years of Asian regional cross-border funds, private equity, capital markets and corporate law experience.  Peabody was previously the Principal of Hutton & Co., a Hong Kong-based law firm specializing in advising fund management groups, and prior to that a Partner of the international law firm of Bryan Cave.  From 1979 through 1994, he practiced at Coudert Brothers in its New York and Hong Kong offices, primarily in the areas of international banking and investment funds.  Peabody received his JD, MBA, MA and BA with Honors from the University of Virginia.  He is admitted as an attorney in New York and as a solicitor in Hong Kong. 
GAC Gene Kim

Gene Kim (MBA '96)

Gene Kim has been the CFO and Senior VP at Nexolon in Seoul, Korea since 2008. From 2004-07, he was the CFO and COO of the Diamond Ogilvy Group in Seoul, and from 2001-04 was the CFO and VP of Strategic Planning for Hansoft, Inc., also in Seoul. Other positions include Manager (1998-2001) and Consultant (1998-2001) at the Boston Consulting Group in Sydney, Australia (1998-2001) and Buyer, Materiel Division, of the Boeing Company (1988-1994).

A Darden alumnus (1996), Mr. Kim received his BA in Business Administration from the University of Washington (1988), and attended an executive program at the Stanford Business School in 2000. 

GAC Takahisa Koitabashi

Taka Koitabashi (MBA '93)

Takahisa Koitabashi is the Director of the Buyout Investment Group at iSigma Capital Corporation, managing the diligence of 10+ companies and leading an eight –man buyout team with an emphasis on deal sourcing activities. Since starting at iSigma he has made three buyout investments and has launched a 12 million yen (US$ 120MM) mid-cap focused buyout fund. From 2001-2006, Mr. Koitabashi was a Director for General Electric, Corporate Financial Services, specializing in business development of corporate restructuring related deals. He also established client relationships with all four major Japanese money center banks, as well as various mid-size banks and governmental agencies, leading to closing deals with 90% of these clients. Mr. Koitabashi was the General Manager for the Cross-Border Business Group of RECOF International from 1995-2001, and prior to that was the Deputy Manager of the Corporate Finance Department of Yamaichi Securities Co., Ltd. from 1987-1995.

GAC Richard Loh

Richard Loh (MBA '96)

Mr. Richard Loh is the Founder and CEO of The Ploh Group Pte. Ltd. (2002-present) – a Singapore based luxury goods business and brand specializing in premium down pillows and bedding for the global luxury hospitality and retail sectors. (www.ploh.com). A niche player in the luxury bedding field, Ploh has become the bedding brand of choice for many top luxury hospitality operators including Mandarin Oriental, St. Regis, Taj Luxury, Amanresorts and more.

As a former Principal with A.T. Kearney’s Southeast Asia regional office in Singapore (1995-2002), Mr. Loh also brings over 20 years of business and consulting experience, both in Southeast Asia and the United States. Mr. Loh’s  focus within A.T. Kearney’s Financial Institutions Group centered on Business Process Reengineering, Post Merger Integration, and Back Office Centralization. In addition, he led, and worked on, a variety of projects spanning Corporate Restructuring, Strategic Sourcing, and Organizational Redesign.

GAC Jerry Peng2

Jerry Peng (MBA '03)

Mr. Jerry Peng is the chief executive officer of Four Seas Capital Management. The firm provides corporate advisory services to Chinese entrepreneurs and manages private equity investment into clean technology, TMT and high-end manufacturing.

Mr. Peng served previously as managing director with Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC, based in Hong Kong, with a focus on the origination of financing and derivatives business in the Investment Banking Division (IBD) in China. Before joining IBD, he managed Corporate Sales for the Securities Division in China. Prior to this, Mr. Peng was executive director and head of China Onshore Sales for the Fixed Income Division of Morgan Stanley. He also served as the chief representative of the Beijing Representative Office of Morgan Stanley Bank International. Earlier in his career, Mr. Peng was a senior vice president and director at Standard Chartered, as well as head of franchise corporate banking in China.

Mr. Peng is the co-president of the China Alumni Association of the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia and serves as vice chairman of the dean's Global Advisory Council. He is also president of the University of Virginia's alumni club in Beijing, China. He earned a BE in Finance from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics and an MBA from Darden in 2003.

GAC Anton Periquet

Anton Periquet (MBA '90)

Anton Periquet (MBA '90) is the chairman of Pacific Main Holdings and the Campden Hill Group, private investment holding companies.  He sits as a director on the boards of various publicly listed and privately held companies, including Ayala Corporation, the Bank of the Philippine Islands, DMCI Holdings, the Philippine Seven Corporation, and the Straits Wine Company, Inc.  He also serves on the Board of Advisers of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation and is a trustee of Lyceum of the Philippines University.

Previously, he worked in Hong Kong, Singapore and London, where he was Managing Director at Deutsche Morgan Grenfell & Co.  In Manila, he co-founded Deutsche Regis Partners, where he was Chairman and Managing Director for Equities Research from 1999 to 2010.  He has received awards locally and abroad for his work as a securities analyst and country strategist.

Anton holds an AB Economics degree from the Ateneo de Manila University, an MSc in Economics from Oxford University and an MBA from the University of Virginia.

GAC Kari Pitkin

Kari Pitkin (MBA '97)

Kari Pitkin is a Managing Director (EMEA Real Estate, Gaming and Lodging) with Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  She has spent the last eleven years in Europe, and prior to London she resided in Sydney and New York, always focused on Real Estate Investment Banking.  Her most recent transactions include the €550m convertible for FDR, CBRE’s acquisition of ING REIM, sale of Oaktree’s 24% stake in Deutsche Wohnen, £1.4bn sale of Potsdamer Platz on behalf of Daimler, Deutsche Wohnen’s €250m rights issue and Beni Stabili’s €300m convertible and treasury share sale. Ms. Pitkin covers the mainland European markets as well as Russia, Turkey and South Africa. 

Throughout her career Ms. Pitkin has been involved in over $40 billion of real estate transactions on a global basis, including the US, Australia, Singapore and Europe.  Ms. Pitkin is a graduate of the University of Virginia and received an MBA, with honours, from the Darden Graduate School of Management. 

GAC Scott Price

Scott Price (MBA/MA '90)

Scott Price assumed his role as president and CEO for Walmart Asia on October 15, 2009. He has responsibility for the company’s current operations in Asia, including China, Japan and India, as well as business development in Asia. Walmart has a significant presence in Asia with more than 100,000 associates and 654 units.

Scott most recently served as chief executive officer of DHL Express Europe. Prior to that, he was chief executive officer, DHL Express Asia Pacific. He also was the president of DHL Express Japan, DHL's largest market in the Asia Pacific region. Before joining DHL, Price spent a decade with the Coca-Cola Co. During that period, he assumed various roles which included country leader in Japan, and as director and country manager in China. 

A U.S. native, Scott earned a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from the University of North Carolina. He also holds a Master of Arts in Asian studies from the University of Virginia. 

GAC - Vincent Rague

Vincent Rague (MBA '84)

Mr. Vincent Rague is currently Senior Financial Advisor to the Treasury and Adjunct Professor at Kenyatta University.  He also sits on the Boards of three private equity funds that are focused on the development of the private sector and infrastructure in Africa: Catalyst Principal Partners; the Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund (PAIDF); and GuarantCo (an infrastructure guarantee fund).  Mr. Rague has more than 24 years of experience at the IFC and World Bank spanning investments, project and corporate finance and banking in Africa, Europe and Asia. He was previously the Chief Investment Officer and Global Head of Property Finance at the IFC and served in a variety of senior management positions, including: Senior Manager, Financial Markets and Advisory Services for Southeast Europe and Central Asia based in Turkey; Manager in the SME and Advisory Services Department based in Washington DC; and was IFC’s first Regional Representative to South Africa.

Prior to joining the World Bank, Mr. Rague worked at the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Kenya.  He has also served on the Boards of several companies, including ABN-AMRO in Kazakhstan, UzBek Leasing, in Tashkent, and Kyrgyz Investment and Commercial Bank.  He holds a BA (Hons) from Nairobi University and has attended a number of executive programs, including executive development program from Harvard Business School, Boston, USA; and IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland. 

Fiona Roche GAC

Fiona Roche (MBA '84)

Fiona Roche was appointed Managing Director of Estates Development Company in 1993 and became Managing Director of Adelaide Development Company in 1994. Both companies are involved in property development, property investments and agribusinesses (including a significant vineyard that is considered by some to be in the top ten vineyards in Australia).

Fiona was Associate Director (Structured and Project Financing) with Capel Court Investment Bank from 1985-1991, Manager at Arthur Andersen from 1984-1985, and Associate Partner and Solicitor (Adelaide) with Fisher Jefferies and Co. from 1978-1982.

She has also been active on several boards, including: Landcorp (2004-2008), the Economic Development Board of South Australia (2002-2007), Corporations and Securities Takeovers Panel (1999-2003). As Non Executive Director of Commonwealth Funds Management Limited from 1993-1998, Fiona was responsible for the funds management of the superannuation funds (seven billion dollars) of the Commonwealth Government employees. As a council member of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (similar to the Urban Land Institute in the U.S.), Fiona represented the interests of those working in the residential development industry in Australia, including developers, engineers, and town planners.

GAC Walt Shill

Walt Shill (MBA/MA '86)

Walt Shill is a Senior Executive with Accenture and serves as the Managing Director for Accenture’s North American Management Consulting practice. He has advised clients on strategy, operational and organizational issues across a wide range of industries and has a particular interest in organizational effectiveness, governance, M&A and Sustainability. Walt was a Partner with McKinsey & Company where he led the Post Merger Management Practice and served global clients for 7 years in McKinsey’s Tokyo office.  Prior to joining Accenture in 2004, he was CEO of a venture backed reverse logistics company serving the consumer electronics industry. He is on the Board of Trustees of the Darden School of Business. He is also a Batten Fellow at Darden where he developed an innovative course for entrepreneurship.

Walt serves on the board of a biotech venture and has written numerous articles on strategy, post merger management and organizational effectiveness.  Recent research on the role of a Chief Strategy officer was published in the Harvard Business Review. Walt has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech, earned his M.B.A. from the Darden School where he was a Shermet Scholar, and received an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia. Walt resides in Reston, Virginia. 

GAC Henry Skelsey

Henry Skelsey (MBA '84)

Henry Skelsey is a Co- Founder and a Managing Partner of PRC Venture Partners LLC. , and has spent over 25 years in the private equity industry.  PRC Venture Partners focuses on the technology, communication and media sectors within the People’s Republic of China by partnering with leading Chinese businesses to expand and grow their domestic operations.  From 1988-1998, Henry was Managing Director at AEA Investors, Inc. in New York City;  one of the nation’s oldest private equity firms, whose investors include some of the world’s leading industrial families and CEOs of some of the world’s largest corporations.  From 1984-1988, he was Vice President  and one of the original members in the Private Equity Group at Lehman Brothers in New York City.

He serves on a number of private and public company boards and has held various executive operating positions in public and private portfolio companies.  Henry served as a Trustee and Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee of the Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut and as a Trustee of De LaSalle Academy in New York City.  He has a B.S. in Business Administration from George Mason University.  Henry and his wife, Susan, reside in Rye, New York.

GAC Slingerland  

Erik Slingerland (MBA '84)

Erik has more than 20 years of experience with Egon Zehnder International. During that period he has worked in the firm’s Zurich and Geneva offices and established the Egon Zehnder offices in Budapest, Prague and Bratislava. He has vast consulting experience in the industry, financial & professional services and consumer goods sectors. 

Erik is the global coordinating partner of the NGOs, Charities & Foundations Segment within the Government & Nonprofit Practice. His recent clients have included The GAVI Alliance, GAIN, The Global Fund, International Baccalaureate Organisation, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the World Economic Forum, and the World Organization for the Scout Movement.

Previous experience includes: Head of Divisional Finance & Administration (Ciba-Geigy Group) São Paulo, Brasil; Divisional Controller (Ciba-Geigy) Basle; and Project Consultant (Ciba-Geigy) Maastricht, Netherlands. He received his MBA at Darden and his PhD and Law degree at Zurich University.

GAC George Tahija

George Tahija (MBA '86)

Mr. George S. Tahija is the President Director of PT. Austindo Nusantara Jaya (ANJ) and Chief Executive of the Austindo Group.  ANJ, an Indonesian holding company wholly owned by the Tahija family, has investments in natural resources including food and energy, and in the financial and medical services sectors. In a national and global environment that continually faces new challenges, Mr. Tahija enjoys leading and developing the Group’s culture, values, governance, businesses and social responsibility commitments.

Mr. Tahija is Chairman of the Plenary Committee of the Trisakti University Foundation and a founding member of PSKD Mandiri School, Jakarta. He is a member of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Indonesia Chapter Advisory Board, the Board of Trustees of the Asia Business Council (ABC), Global Executive MBA Advisory Board, the Darden School, University of Virginia, and the Young President’s Organization (YPO) Indonesia Chapter.

Author of A Walk in the Clouds (2005), and photographer for Land of Water ,Vol. I ,From Bali to Komodo (2006), in the past five years Mr. Tahija has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Carstensz Pyramid, Indonesia and Mt. Elbrus, Russia.

Mr. Tahija holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Trisakti University, Indonesia, and an M.B.A from the Darden School, University of Virginia, USA.

GAC Sergio Waisser

Sergio Waisser (MBA '98)

Sergio Waisser a Principal in the Mexico office of McKinsey & Company, Inc.  He is a core member of the Financial Institutions Practice and leads the Latin American insurance practice.  Since he joined the Firm as an Associate Consultant in August 1998, his practice has focused on the insurance and retail banking.  He has served clients in Mexico, New York, San Francisco, Brazil and Central America in projects dealing with strategic planning, organization, sales and distribution as well as operations.

He earned a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) and an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia.  In addition, he is a stockbroker certified by the National Bank and Commodities Commission, Instituto del Mercado de Valores (IMERVAL).

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