Executive Education

Management Development Program: High-Performance Leadership

The best, most experienced managers never stop learning - and their growth, in turn, spurs organizational growth.

The Management Development Program: High-Performance Leadership (MDP) is an immersive study of management that enables success in today's dynamic business environment. The program readies participants to take on increasing responsibilities, broadens their knowledge and prepares them to act.

This program counts as two weeks of credit out of four necessary to earn the Distinguished Certificate in General Management.

Program Overview

Ambitious professionals and their organizations understand that management in today's environment does not mean doing more of the same. Growth-oriented businesses prepare middle-management executives to become more effective leaders who possess broad, strong business knowledge. Providing a performance-driven perspective, the Management Development Program (MDP) examines key business issues and solutions that are necessary to be successful in an increasingly dynamic business environment. Throughout the program, participants are tasked with applying business concepts from an enterprise, cross-discipline perspective, a critical skill associated with the successful manager. Through this broadened understanding, participants focus on and drive actions that will enhance their organizations and spur superior bottom-line results.

An optional component - The Wellness Program - allows participants to take advantage of a holistic approach to management and better understand the connection between on-the-job performance and personal health.

The fee covers all program materials, program-related meals and housing in a private room at the Inn at Darden for the specified program dates.


"Darden afforded me the opportunity to discover my real person and the issues and solutions in my organizational and professional life."
Yusuf Haruna
Head, External Cooperation
Economic & Financial Crimes Commission
Abuja, Nigeria

"MDP is a perspective-shifting experience that offers an opportunity to expand and grow in your own work style, work environment and personal and professional goals in a very concentrated time. It's like work-life boot camp."
Joy M. Polefrone
Focal Drug Delivery Program Director
Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation
Charlottesville, Virginia

"[MDP is] an amazing two-week journey of learning, challenges, diversity and fun that allows you to transform your thoughts and evolve as a person."
Justin Von Hagel
Director of Engineering
Triumph Composite Systems, Inc.
Spokane, Washington

"[This is an] excellent program that expands business thinking beyond the current state, and provides the opportunity to break away from the day-to-day routine and learn and consider new approaches."
Jim Conschafter
President, Market Leader, North Carolina Market
Media General, Inc.
Richmond, Virginia

Dawn Nunn
Senior Director
Resource Development Services
Save the Children  

Steve Lewis
Senior Development Manager

Salah Alamri Al Farajalla
VP Aviation Security and National Pilot Development
Etihad Airways

Jim Woodward
GVP, Growth & Performance Media General Inc.


In general, participants of MDP:

  • Possess approximately seven to 12 years of management experience
  • Are considered middle-management executives (typical titles listed in Participant Profile below)
  • Are identified as having the potential for senior management

The ideal candidate is:

  • Results-oriented
  • A strong communicator
  • A strategic thinker
  • Open to learning in new, experiential ways

MDP is recommended for managers:

  • Preparing to take on increasing responsibilities
  • Seeking to become more effective leaders
  • Willing to broaden their business perspective

Participant Profile

Sample participant titles:

  • CEO
  • Chief Economist
  • Chief Pilot
  • Director of Business Development
  • Director of Education
  • Financial Business Manager
  • General Manager
  • Investor Relations Officer
  • Manager of Real Estate Strategy/Research
  • National Operations Manager
  • Plant Manager
  • Quality/Tech Manager
  • Senior Director, Disbursement
  • Senior Director, Resource Development
  • Senior Marketing Manager
  • Senior Research Scientist
  • Strategic Business Director
  • Senior Vice President
  • Vice President

Participants come from diverse backgrounds, organizations and regions.




Organizations Recently Attending:

Ahli United Bank
AIG Edison Life Insurance Company
Al Ain City Municipality
Alliance for Downtown New York
BAE Systems
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd.
Better Housing Coalition
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lynchburg
BP Refinery Rotterdam
Business Applications Performance Corporation
Center for Health Improvement
The Center for Volunteer Caregiving
Central Bank of Bahrain
Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana
Cervecería y Maltería Quilmes SAICAyG
Chambers Enterprises
Charlottesville Free Clinic
Chick-fil-A Inc.
Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company
Country Financial
Darden School of Business
Delex Systems Inc.
Deutsche Bank AG
Economic & Financial Crimes Commission
Eskan Bank
Etihad Airways
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation
Fresenius Kabi USA
Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.
GfK Retail and Technology GmbH
Grupo Belloc
Gulf International Bank B.S.C.
Gulf International Bank B.S.C.
Gulf Petrochemical Industries Co.
Gulf Petrochemical Industries Co.
Habitat for Humanity Toronto
Harman/Becker Automotive Systems
Harris Teeter Inc.
Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department

IAG New Zealand Limited
Integrated Healthcare Ltd.
Itochu Corporation
John Middleton Co. - An Altria Company
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Jubilee Family Development Center
K2M Inc.
Kasikornbank PCL
Kingdom of Bahrain Electricity and Water Authority
The Linfox Group
ManTech TSG
Mazda Motor Logistics Europe N.V.
The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.
Media General Inc.
Ministry of Finance Bahrain
Ministry of Municipality & Agriculture Affairs
National Student Clearinghouse
Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation
Norfolk Beverage Co.
Norfolk Southern Corporation
North Carolina Museum of Art
Northrop Grumman Corporation
Novo Nordisk A/S
Olin Chlor Alkali Products
PCCW Global Inc.
Petrobras - Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.
PHH Arval
Porsche Cars North America Inc.
Premier India Bearings Ltd.
Quest Diagnostics Incorporated
R.G. Barry Corporation
Raytheon Company
Rede Energia SA
Saudi Electricity Company
Save the Children
Schneider Electric
SOS Children's Villages-USA
St. Joseph's Villa
Sumitomo Corporation
Swisslog Logistics Inc.
Taylor Freezers Sales Co. Inc.
TD Williamson do Brasil Ltda
TenCate Defense & Tactical
Tesa Scribos GmbH
Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing Inc.
Transport Department, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Triumph Group Inc.
U.S. Army
United Way-Thomas Jefferson Area
Universal Leaf Tobacco Co. Inc.
Unum - Corporate Staff
Unum Group
UPS Capital
Ventana Medical Systems Inc.
Virginia Education Association
Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Westinghouse Electric Sweden
William Byrd Community House



Paul J. Simko - Faculty Co-Leader

Associate Dean of the MBA for Executives Program; Associate Professor of Business Administration
A certified public accountant, Simko has taught MDP since 2005. He formerly worked as a senior analyst for Citicorp and as a tax consultant. He has taught financial accounting (including "Accounting for Managers") for nearly 20 years and has also taught Darden Executive Education courses and consulted for numerous organizations, including NASA, Genworth, Unum, AES Corporation, Advance Autoparts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Faculty Bio Page

 Lou Centini

Lou Centini - Faculty Co-Leader

Managing Director of Executive Education and Lecturer of Business Administration
Centini's nearly 20 years of industry management experience included positions with the Weyerhaeuser Company (as director of human resources), the Berol Corporation and Miller Brewing Company. Since joining Darden's Executive Education faculty in 1990, he has been a management consultant for more than 100 organizations in the areas of leadership development, change management, strategy and team building. 

Faculty Bio Page

Behfar headshot July 2013

Kristin J. Behfar


Associate Professor of Business Administration
An award-winning teacher of organizational behavior, Behfar's research includes study of group processes and performance, conflict management, group decision making, multicultural teams and cross-cultural leadership, and she has consulted organizations on team and leadership effectiveness. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, and she is co-editor of the book Conflict in Teams: New Directions in Theory and Practice.

Faculty Bio Page

Robert Carraway 2010

Robert L. Carraway


Associate Professor of Business Administration
Carraway has taught quantitative analysis to all levels of business students for nearly three decades. He has also taught Darden Executive Education courses across four continents, designing many of the programs himself to cover topics ranging from decision analysis, risk management and operations management to budgeting, information technology, and strategy and leadership. A consultant for numerous companies, he has also served as an associate dean at Darden and as faculty director and community liaison for the Batten Institute.

Faculty Bio Page

 Jeremy Hutchison-Krupat

Jeremy Hutchison-Krupat

Assistant Professor of Business Administration
Hutchison-Krupat's area of focus is innovation strategy and its implementation. His research covers how resource allocation processes affect an organization's ability to innovate, the use of performance metrics in collaborative innovation, and the effect of incentives and tolerance for failure on managerial decision making. He holds an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Faculty Bio Page


Michael Lenox

Samuel L. Slover Research Professor of Business; Associate Dean and Executive Director of the Batten Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Recognized a top strategy professor, Lenox has been widely published and cited - in academic journals as well as mainstream news media - for his expertise in innovation, business strategy and entrepreneurship. Founder and president of the Alliance for Research in Corporate Sustainability based at Darden, Lenox is a thought leader on the interface between business strategy and public policy as it relates to the natural environment.

Faculty Bio Page

Bobby Parmar

Bidhan L. Parmar

Assistant Professor of Business Administration
Parmar's research delves into how managers make decisions and collaborate in changing environments, how best to handle ambiguity in decision-making, the impact of authority on moral decision-making, and stakeholder management. A faculty member with Darden's Strategy, Ethics and Entrepreneurship area and fellow with both the Business Roundtable for Corporate Ethics and Olsson Center for Applied Ethics, Parmar received his Ph.D. in management from the Darden School of Business.

Faculty Bio Page


Elizabeth A. Powell

Assistant Professor of Business Administration
With a background in leadership and communication (including public speaking and rhetoric), Powell's teaching and research focus on management communication, corporate culture, corporate reputation, leadership presence, cross-cultural communication and leading with an enterprise perspective. She is the author of Women in Business: The Changing Face of Leadership and has served as a communications consultant for organizations such as Constellation Energy, the National Industries for the Blind and United Technologies.

Faculty Bio Page


Peter Rodriguez

Senior Associate Dean for Degree Programs and Chief Diversity Officer; Associate Professor of Business Administration
A practicing economist specializing in international business and economic development, Rodriguez has taught at universities around the world and at companies like Visa, AES Corporation, Harris Corporation and Rolls-Royce. An award-winning teacher and avid researcher on current issues in global business, Rodriguez spent several years in the Global Energy Group at JPMorgan Chase, where he worked for multinationals such as Royal Dutch Shell, Pennzoil, Enron and Halliburton, among others.

Faculty Bio Page


Rajkumar Venkatesan

Bank of America Research Associate Professor of Business Administration
Venkatesan is an award-winning researcher in the marketing field. Recognized as a top rising scholar in marketing and as one of the best 40 business professors under 40 worldwide, he has consulted with firms (e.g., IBM) in the technology, retailing and pharmaceutical industries on their marketing analytics initiatives.

Faculty Bio Page



Faculty for Optional Wellness Component:

Jolene Bodily

Jolene H. Bodily

Wellness Program Coordinator, Darden School; Health Risk Reduction Services Coordinator, U.Va. Health System
A registered dietician with a Master of Public Health, Bodily develops and delivers health, fitness and nutrition interventions and programs for public and corporate clients, including school systems and nursing homes. An award-winning author, her "Sleep. Eat. Exercise. Rejuvenate." framework helps executives enhance physical and mental energy, focus and stamina.

Faculty Bio Page


Key Takeaways

  •  Become a more effective, prepared and confident leader and manager with new knowledge, capabilities and self-awareness - ready for new responsibilities
  • Gain fresh perspectives - see your organization as more than the sum of its parts
  • Use this broader vision to drive more effective management, strategic decision making and extraordinary leadership
  • Obtain an international network and global outlook from the diversity of peer learners (see the Audience section above for more information)
  • Corporate strategy concepts and how to apply them
  • Critical contributions of each business function (accounting, finance, technology, marketing, etc.)
  • Thinking and acting more strategically
  • Establishing personal and organizational goals consistent with corporate strategy
  • Managing at the interface of key functions
  • Creating a high-performance culture
  • Creating value and generating superior results
  • The link between operations and strategy and implementing applications to diminish gaps in that link
  • Using key performance indicators to guide organizational growth and development


MDP covers all aspects of management, including accounting, finance, technology, operations, competition, strategy, marketing, the international economy and organizational change.

Specific session topics include:

  • Thinking Strategically
  • Assessing Industry and Competitive Forces
  • Assessing Corporate Capabilities
  • Executing Strategy
  • Gaining and Sustaining a Competitive Advantage
  • Financial Management and Performance
  • Value Creation at the Firm Level
  • Key Performance Metrics
  • Managing Critical Resources
  • Operational Excellence
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Creating a Market and Customer Orientation
  • Leadership and Change Management
  • Building a High Performance Culture
  • Leading Teams for Success
  • Talent Management
  • Wellness and Management Success


Program activities include:

  • Highly engaging classes taught by top-ranked faculty
    Case studies, simulations and other action-learning activities emphasize key program topics and demonstrate best practices in extraordinary management.
  • Personal Application Workshop
    Prior to the program, participants identify a current business challenge; during the course, they directly apply lessons and leave with an executable plan.
  • 360-Degree Assessment (Optional)
    Prior to the program, participants may complete a 360 assessment and will be provided feedback during the program, along with an individual coaching session conducted by an expert coach. Participants will prepare an individual development plan to be implemented post-program.
  • The Wellness Program (Optional)

Achieve and sustain peak performance as a leader by making lifestyle changes to improve your physical, mental and emotional stamina; features supervised group exercises, class sessions and personal assessments resulting in a Personal Wellness Profile™. 


MDP follows a rigorous schedule with limited time for extracurricular activities.

  • Day one kickoff reception and dinner
  • Daily sessions (classes/activities) and meals at the Darden School
  • Evenings spent in group discussion and/or individual preparation
  • Classes Saturday morning
  • Final day session and lunch

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  • Course Information

    27 April - 8 May 2015

    Image for EE Register Here
    $19,500 covers materials, meals and accommodations at the Inn at Darden.

    Middle-management executives preparing for increased responsibilities, seeking to become more effective leaders and wanting to broaden their business perspectives.

    Gain two weeks of credit toward a Distinguished Certificate in General Management.

    Darden School of Business
    Charlottesville, Virginia

    Additional Information:
    +1-434-924-3000 or contact the program director.