Leadership Program Designed for Gulf Managers


Darden School of Business Executive Education has partnered with the Saudi Arabia Institute of Banking (IOB) and the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) to design a five-week executive development program for outstanding managers from the Gulf region.

The Leadership Development Program (LDP) consists of three parts in three locations: a week-long module called “Foundation” in January 2010 at BIBF in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain; a one-week workshop on “Core Leadership” in February 2010 at the Institute of Banking in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and a three-week module “Aspire & Inspire” in March 2010 at the Darden School in Charlottesville.

The program is designed to help develop the next generation of leadership for the region. As the Gulf economies grow, their financial institutions are also expanding and playing increasingly significant roles in both their home and global markets. This in turn creates demand for ever greater leadership capabilities across the banks. 

The Darden faculty team, led by Professors Sherwood Frey and Bob Conroy, has created a high-impact program based on action-oriented learning experiences and participant-centered classroom discussions. The design draws on Darden’s experience over 50 years with The Executive Program, which is ranked among the best programs for senior executives.

“In designing the leadership program,” said David Newkirk, CEO of Darden Executive Education, “my colleagues started with the understanding that leading a successful financial institution is both a science and an art, and equally important, that each individual must discover and develop the leadership capabilities distinctly suited to them and to their organizational setting.”

Through case study analysis, participants will explore actual business problems and solutions that will lead them to develop new ways of thinking about their own challenges. Learning team and class discussions will offer an opportunity to practice influencing others, understanding differing viewpoints and thinking strategically.

As part of the Darden experience, participants will also explore financial institutions and historical centers of Washington, D.C.

“The design of the program in terms of its pedagogical approach, content and method of delivery, has been very well planned and thought out,” said Jamaan Al Wagdany, IOB director general. “I have no doubt that such a high-level program will add true value to the participating institutions and to their leaders and will definitely contribute to the growth and prosperity of the financial services market as a whole.”

“BIBF and Darden have for the last 10 years run the highly successful Gulf Executive Development Program for senior Gulf managers,” said Garry Muriwai, BIBF director. “The new program is about leadership, not management. We all believe there must be a focus at the top end of the market for already recognized and talented executives whose thinking needs to be stretched. This is the core of the LDP.”

Founded in 1955, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business is a professional school that improves society by developing principled leaders for the world of practical affairs.

For questions or information, contact communication@darden.virginia.edu.

top of page