Darden's DC Fellows Program

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Dean's D.C. Fellows Program - Washington, DC - About Darden

Dean's DC Fellows Program

Recognizing the value they bring to the Darden School’s community and classroom, the Dean’s D.C. Fellows program assembles innovative and intellectually accomplished experts who have distinguished themselves in fields outside of academia.

The Dean’s D.C. Fellows program provides an ongoing venue for experts connected to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area to join the Darden community to share industry insights, expertise and personal experience, as well as connect with other top global thought leaders.

Recognizing the value they bring to the Darden School’s community and classroom, the Dean’s D.C. Fellows program assembles innovative and intellectually accomplished experts who have distinguished themselves in fields outside of academia. Fellows are recognized leaders from across a variety of sectors, industries, demographics and backgrounds, with consideration given to building a cross-section of multi-disciplinary experts.

Fellows are invited to join the Darden community for a two-year term, and will convene in a series of quarterly roundtable discussions with other Fellows and Darden faculty. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these roundtables are held online; subsequent sessions will take place at UVA Darden DC Metro in Arlington, Virginia.

We're excited to announce our second cohort of Dean's DC Fellows will kickoff their 2023-2025 term starting April 24, 2023.

Read the article.

2023-2025 Dean’s D.C Fellows

Eric Chewning

Executive VP of Strategy & Development, HII

Eric D. Chewning is Executive Vice President of Strategy & Development for HII, an all-domain defense and technologies partner and America’s largest shipbuilder.

Chewning was named to the position in January 2023. He has over 20 years of experience across government and industry working issues at the intersection of national security, technology, and business.

Prior to joining HII, he co-led McKinsey & Company’s Aerospace & Defense practice in the Americas.

While in government, Chewning was the Chief of Staff to the U.S. Secretary of Defense. In this role he led the Secretary’s executive team, working across the military services, Joint Staff, Combatant Commanders, and senior civilian political appointees. He also provided counsel and advice to the Secretary on all matters concerning the Department.

Prior to serving as the Chief of Staff, Chewning was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy. In this capacity, he was the principal advisor for analyzing the capabilities, policies, and overall health of America’s defense industrial base.

A former U.S. Army military intelligence officer, he is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Prior to his military service, Chewning was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley & Co. where he focused on corporate finance and mergers & acquisitions in the global industrials sector.

Chewning received an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia where he was recognized as a Shermet Scholar. He also earned an MA in international relations and BA with honors from the University of Chicago. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Allison Cryor DiNardo

President, King Street Wireless, Inc.

Allison Cryor DiNardo leads King Street Wireless, L.P., a wireless company providing 4G LTE service to millions of customers with its limited partner, US Cellular. Founded in 2008, King Street Wireless holds 152 FCC licenses for 700 MHz spectrum in 27 states and is one of the nation’s top 10 spectrum license holders.  For over 20 years, Allison has worked in telecommunications developing and managing wireless companies including Black Crow Wireless (1999-2003) and Amica Wireless (2001-2003). In 2004, she founded Carroll Wireless, followed by Barat Wireless in 2006 and King Street Wireless and Aquinas Wireless in 2008. She has since sold Carroll, Barat and Aquinas.

Prior to joining the wireless industry, DiNardo served in the White House from 1989-1993 under President George H.W. Bush as Deputy Associate Director of Presidential Personnel, recruiting, interviewing and recommending candidates to the President for cabinet level and other senior political appointments including the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Transportation and many regulatory agencies including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Following her service in the White House, Allison was a leader in institutional fundraising from 1993-1999 which included one year as Vice President of Development at a Washington, D.C., think tank, raising over $18 million from individuals, corporations and foundations, followed by five years leading the University of Virginia’s $165 million athletics capital campaign as its Managing Director.

DiNardo currently serves on the boards of CTIA—The Wireless Association, the University of Virginia’s Jefferson Scholars, and several local boards. She is a former member of the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors where she served as a member of the Executive Committee and chaired both the Committee on Student Affairs & Athletics and the Committee on Diversity. She has served on the boards of the Alumni Association of the University of Virginia, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, ACT for Alexandria and the Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. Under DiNardo’s leadership as Chair of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, the City of Alexandria successfully recruited the National Science Foundation to relocate to Alexandria, representing the largest transfer of federal workers in Northern Virginia since 2005.  She is the former chair of several Alexandria nonprofits including its local community foundation, ACT for Alexandria.

She has been honored with several awards including the University of Virginia’s Alumni Service Award.  Earlier, she was recognized as Alexandria’s Board Leader of the Year and was honored by the Washington Business Journal as A Woman Who Means Business who “made a difference in her community… and is leaving a mark on Washington business.” DiNardo earned her MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business and her B.A. in English from the University of Virginia.

Tom Dukes

CEO, Veritas Data Research

Tom Dukes is the Chief Executive Officer for Veritas Data Research, a technology start-up that collects, curates and distributes foundational reference datasets for organizations that need to verify mortality status, improve healthcare outcomes, combat fraud and manage risk. Dukes is a retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General, and previously served as Deputy Coordinator for Cyber Issues at the U.S. State Department, as a Senior Prosecutor in the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section at the U.S. Justice Department and as an active-duty U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and the University of Maine at Farmington. 

Thomas Fulcher

Vice Chairman, Mid-Atlantic Region Lead, Director, Savills

Since joining Savills in 1986, Thomas Fulcher Jr. has focused on providing real estate services on behalf of major tenants in the Washington area and throughout the United States.

Fulcher was selected “Broker of the Year” by the Greater Washington Commercial Association of Realtors (formerly GWCAR; now CREBA) and is continuously ranked among the top brokers in the Washington metropolitan area. To date, his peers in CREBA have honored him seven times for creating the “Transaction of the Year.”

Industry Specialties: Legal, nonprofits and associations, professional services, corporations

Education: MBA – University of Virginia; BS – College of William and Mary

Awards, Achievements and Activities: Fulcher serves on the company’s Board of Directors, has been a manager of the firm’s Washington, DC, region since 1998, and is the Chair of the firm’s Legal Tenant Practice Group. He served as President of the Commercial Real Estate Broker Association (CREBA) and is still active in that organization. He is a member of the Federal City Council and the Economic Club of Washington and was a founder and president of the board of the Rock Creek Velo, a Washington-based juniors cycling team.

Fulcher has been cited as an expert resource for many business and trade publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Washington Business Journal and Commercial Property News.

Goli S


Goli Sheikholeslami is the Chief Executive Officer of POLITICO Media Group, which includes POLITICO’s global footprint in North America and Europe.

Sheikholeslami, who was named to the post in February 2022 by parent company Axel Springer, oversees all operations of the POLITICO Media Group. She is responsible for implementing an ambitious growth strategy designed to build upon POLITICO’s position as the global news and information leader on politics, policy, and power.

Previously, Sheikholeslami served as President and CEO of New York Public Radio and has vast experience in public and private media, including senior leadership roles at the Washington Post, Chicago Public Media, Conde Nast, and Time Warner. She also served on the board at NPR from 2016 to 2019 and currently serves on the Board of Patreon, the membership platform for artists and creators.

Sheikholeslami grew up in suburban Washington, D.C., and received her undergraduate degree in international economics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She also earned an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

Emmanuel Smadja

Co-Founder and CEO, MPOWER Financing

Emmanuel “Manu” Smadja is an experienced management consultant turned FinTech entrepreneur. His decision to co-found MPOWER Financing in 2014 was inspired by his own financial struggles as an international student in the US. MPOWER enables high-promise international and DACA students to get an education across top universities in the U.S. and Canada.

In 9 years, the company has grown from a concept to a 200-person company with international offices, over 425 university partners across the U.S. and Canada, $180M+ in growth capital raised, and several industry awards including American Banker’s “Top FinTech to Work For” for the past 6 years consecutively.

Prior to co-founding MPOWER Financing, Smadja spent nearly four years at McKinsey & Company as a consultant and subsequently an engagement manager serving financial services companies, development banks, and central banks across Europe, the U.S., and Africa. Among his accomplishments, he advised a central bank on regulatory changes needed to expand its country’s adoption of mobile money, he helped establish the corporate strategy for a top European bank, and he managed a team of consultants and banking executives to transform the commercial side of a leading African.

Previously, he served as a senior analyst in Marketing Analytics at Vistaprint (e-commerce), a senior strategy analyst at Capital One (consumer finance), and a business analyst at Celanese (commodity chemicals).

Smadja holds an MBA. from INSEAD and earned an M.S. in Systems and Information engineering as well as B.S. in Computer Science & Cognitive Sciences from the University of Virginia.

He is an alumni member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Engineers without Borders, and StartingBloc. Smadja is the co-author of an article published in McKinsey Quarterly (February 2014) on “Sub-Saharan Africa: A major potential revenue opportunity for digital payments.

  • 2022-2023 Dean’s D.C Fellows

    2021-2023 Dean’s D.C Fellows

    Dr. Jerome Adams DR. JEROME ADAMS 
    20th U.S. Surgeon General

    Dr. Jerome Adams is a licensed anesthesiologist, with a master’s degree in public health, who has been at the forefront of America’s most pressing health challenges. A regular communicator via tv, radio, and print, he is an expert not just in the science, but also in communicating the science to the lay public, and making it relevant to various audiences. Adams was the head of the Indiana State Department of Health prior to becoming the 20th U.S. Surgeon General, and served as a member of the president’s Coronavirus Task Force. In the health commissioner role, he led Indiana’s response to Ebola, Zika, and HIV crises, and helped convince the state legislature and governor to legalize syringe service programs in the state. In addition to his recent COVID-19 work, Adams has partnered with and assisted organizations as they navigate the opioid epidemic, maternal health, rising rates of chronic disease, the impacts of rising suicide rates in our nation, and how businesses can become better stewards and stakeholders in promoting community health.

    Managing Director of Strategic Investments, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)

    George Ashton is managing director of strategic investments with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and President of LISC Fund Management, LLC (LFM). Ashton leads LISC and LFM’s mission-driven real estate and private equity funds, community investments accelerator initiatives, and venture investments. He and his team pursue a range of high-impact investments that create jobs, fuel small businesses, revitalize commercial areas, improve housing, expand local incomes and make communities safer and stronger. Since joining LISC, Ashton has already launched dozens of impact funds, direct investments, and a multi-city community investments accelerator with aggregate values of over $900 million. Ashton previously served as co-founder and president of Sol System, a Washington, D.C.-based renewable energy investment firm. There, he worked closely with multinational banks, insurers and energy providers on innovative funds and financial structures, deploying more than $1 billion in tax equity, cash equity and debt over the last decade into renewable energy projects. In addition to his many professional accomplishments, Ashton volunteers his time for a variety of Washington, D.C.-area organizations, including the Washington Jesuit Academy and the HERO Initiative, both focused on youth education; Community Ministries of Rockville, which addresses the housing and financial needs of homeless and formerly incarcerated people; and Grid Alternatives, a nonprofit providing free solar installations to families in need and training workers from underserved areas to install those systems. 

    Raj Bhandari RAHUL BHANDARI 
    CEO, Force Multiplier Capital

    As CEO of Force Multiplier Capital, Rahul Bhandari invests in and advises high quality businesses that can create significant value over the long-run. Previously, Bhandari built a digital transformation, data analytics, and compliance solutions company serving private sector and government clients. He led global digital transformation engagements for clients at Accenture and co-founded Accenture Ventures, a $1 billion corporate ventures fund and global incubator. Bhandari led Thomson Publishing’s transformation from publisher to a sophisticated e-commerce information services competitor leading global M&A practice. At Oracle, Bhandari held multiple roles including product management of emerging technologies, solutions engineering and enterprise sales. Bhandari started his career as a software engineer at Intelsat, where he led a team to develop and manage software for communication satellites.  Bhandari is an expert in helping businesses and leaders navigate and harness the power of adversity to find breakthrough change. He is an award winning author of the highly acclaimed book SLINGSHOT. Bhandari is frequently featured in the media including Forbes, Psychology Today, Fortune, Washington Post, Thrive Global and Leader to Leader magazine. Bhandari is a graduate of The Executive Program (TEP), the Darden School of Business flagship advanced management program for senior executives.

    Nadia CrisanNADIA CRISAN
    Executive Director of the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination (LISD), Princeton University

    Nadia Crisan joined Princeton University in March 2020 as executive director of the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at the School of Public and International Affairs. In this leadership role, she is responsible for all operations and oversight of the organization’s substantive projects as well as administration and personnel issues, communications, research, budget and financial management. Prior to joining Princeton University, Crisan spent 13 years as senior vice president of international government affairs at a major U.S. law firm working in Europe and the United States. Crisan served on several boards of global corporations, industry associations and academic institutions. She is a former diplomat who served in Washington for four years, focusing primarily on transatlantic relations and economic policy matters. She earned her master's degree at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and taught international relations in the U.S., Europe and South America. She is also a foreign policy and politics analyst and frequent media commentator, with a particular emphasis on transatlantic relations and commercial diplomacy.

    Michael FinneganMICHAEL FINNEGAN
    President, Atlantic Media

    Michael Finnegan serves as president of Atlantic Media and coordinates strategy, operations and growth initiatives across the company, which has included the brands The Atlantic, National Journal, Quartz, Government Executive, Ballast Research, and Citylab. Finnegan joined the company in 2011 and previously served as COO, CFO and senior vice president of business development. During his tenure, the company more than doubled in size, launched numerous new brands, and completed five divestitures. Finnegan is the board chair of Digital Content Next, a director on the board of The Magazine Publishers Association, and a member of YPO. Prior to his career in media, Michael spent 10 years as a management consultant with expertise in corporate growth and operations. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in economics and has an MBA from the Darden School of Business.

    Jerry JohnsonJERRY JOHNSON
    Senior Vice President, Strategy, Corporate Development and Investor Relations, EnPro

    Jerry Johnson was appointed as EnPro’s senior vice president, strategy, corporate development and investor relations in September 2020. Prior to joining the Company, he was a founding member and partner of the private equity firm RLJ Equity Partners since 2007. Johnson’s career  includes experience as a White House Fellow, merchant banker with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, and as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Tennessee and an MBS from Harvard Business School.

    Robert KehlerROBERT KEHLER
    Retired General, United States Air Force

    General Bob Kehler retired from the United States Air Force after almost 39 years of distinguished service.  In his last assignment he commanded United States Strategic Command, where he was directly responsible to the Secretary of Defense and president for the plans and operations of all U.S. forces conducting nuclear deterrence, space, and cyberspace operations. Previously, Kehler commanded United States Air Force Space Command and two operational space wings responsible for space launch, missile warning, space surveillance, and space control. Kehler entered the Air Force as a distinguished graduate of the Pennsylvania State University R.O.T.C. program. He has an MPA from the University of Oklahoma, a master’s in National Security and Strategic Studies at the Naval War College, and completed executive development programs at Carnegie-Mellon University, Syracuse University, and Harvard University. Kehler was the S.T. Lee Distinguished Lecturer at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and remains an affiliate of Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation. He continues to offer his expertise as a private consultant, corporate director, and Senior Fellow of the National Defense University.

    Paula Kerger PAULA KERGER 
    President and CEO, PBS 

    Paula A. Kerger is president and CEO of PBS, the nation’s largest non-commercial media organization, with more than 330-member stations throughout the country. Having joined PBS in March 2006, Kerger is the longest-serving president and CEO in PBS history. Among her accomplishments are the pop culture phenomenon Downton Abbey on Masterpiece; Ken Burns’s and Lynn Novick’s critically acclaimed The Vietnam War; the documentary Hamilton’s America, about the Broadway smash hit musical, on Great Performances; Freedom Riders on American Experience; and award-winning children’s programs such as Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Kerger is regularly included in the Hollywood Reporter’s “Women in Entertainment Power 100.” She has been honored with the Woman of Achievement Award from Women in Development, New York; the National Education Association Friend of Education Award; the Giants of Broadcasting Award; the Realscreen Hall of Fame Award; Promax/BDA, B&C; and the Advancing American Democracy Award from the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site. 

    Tam NguyenTAM NGUYEN
    Global Head of Sustainability and President of bechtel.org, Bechtel Corporation

    Tam Nguyen is the global head of sustainability for Bechtel Corporation, an international engineering and construction company, and president of bechtel.org, its social enterprise. He is a member of the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation Advisory Council, vice-chair of the corporate responsibility committee and the Sustainable Development Goals task force of the U.S. Council for International Business, and a board member of Chevron’s Niger Delta Partnership Initiative — a social enterprise he helped create. Prior to joining Bechtel, Nguyen was the global manager for strategic issues, policy and corporate responsibility at Chevron Corporation. Concurrently, he chaired the social responsibility working group of IPIECA, a global oil and gas association in London, and led its transformation into the industry’s authoritative body to implement the new United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Educated in the United States, Europe, and Asia, Nguyen is a graduate of George Washington University, holds a doctorate in business administration and masters’ degrees in international business and international development, and was a visiting fellow at the Japan Bank for International Cooperation in Tokyo and the Asian Institute of Management in Manila. 

    DJ NordquistDJ NORDQUIST
    Former Executive Director for the United States, World Bank Group
    DJ Nordquist is the Executive Vice President of the Economic Innovation Group, a bipartisan organization dedicated to forging a more dynamic, entrepreneurial, and innovative 21st century US economy. She is also a Senior Adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; she also serves on the advisory board of Big Sun Holdings which specializes in smart 3D printing construction, blockchain and IoT infrastructure, and ClearPath, a nonprofit focused on reducing emissions using cutting-edge policy solutions.  She is the former Executive Director representing the United States on the Board of Directors of the World Bank Group. Confirmed unanimously by the US Senate, her work focused on the COVID-19 response, oversight, information and communication technology, energy, debt, human capital, and gender. Prior to the Bank, she served as chief of staff at the Council of Economic Advisers in the White House and was chief of staff for the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution. She also served as assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, senior advisor in the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding, deputy chief of staff at the FDIC, and deputy assistant secretary at the US Department of Education. Nordquist also worked in the private sector in Asia and Europe and worked on Capitol Hill. She is a graduate of Stanford and has a master’s from Northwestern.


    John Rogers JOHN ROGERS  
    Retired Chief Operating Officer, Urban Institute  

    Following his studies at Duke and the University of Pittsburgh, John Rogers spent a number of years working in emerging economies, with a focus on financial sector deregulation, privatization of state-owned enterprises and capital markets development.  After his years abroad, Rogers joined KPMG Consulting as founding director of the firm’s Applied Economics practice.  He then served for close to two decades as COO for the Urban Institute, one of the nation’s largest and most prominent social policy research organizations.  Since retiring from the Urban Institute, Rogers has continued to advise various institutions on leadership and governance issues; he serves on several nonprofit and university boards. 

    Shamina Singh SHAMINA SINGH   
    Founder and President, Center for Inclusive Growth at Mastercard and Executive Vice President, Sustainability at Mastercard 

    Shamina Singh is the founder and president of the Center for Inclusive Growth, the philanthropic hub of Mastercard, where she also serves as executive vice president of Corporate Sustainability. Since 2014, she has led the Center with a remit to leverage Mastercard’s data, technology, capital and expertise for social impact. In her role as EVP for Sustainability, she is responsible for the development and implementation of the environmental, social and governance strategy across the company.  In 2015, Singh was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to a six-year term on the Board of the Corporation for National and Community Service. She has thrice been named to the Financial Times’ Top 100 LGBT+ Executives and was recently ranked #9 on Fast Company’s Queer 50 list. Over a 15-year career in the public sector, Singh has held senior positions in the White House and the U.S. House of Representatives. Singh earned a bachelor of science from Old Dominion University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Texas at Austin. She has also completed executive education programs at Harvard, Yale, and the Indian School of Business.  

    Kerrien SuarezKERRIEN SUAREZ 
    Executive Director, Equity in the Center

    Kerrien Suarez is executive director of Equity in the Center, a field-wide initiative to influence social sector leaders to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to achieve race equity. In 2018, EiC published Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture, which details management and operational levers organizations utilize to center race equity and transform culture. A management consultant with over 20 years of experience, Suarez led engagements to refine programs and scale impact for national nonprofits and philanthropies, as well as coached executives and social entrepreneurs of color whose work focused on eliminating race-based disparities. Suarez is a graduate of Harvard College and London School of Economics.

    Halla Tomasdottir HALLA TÓMASDÓTTIR 
    CEO, The B Team 

    Halla Tómasdóttir is the CEO of The B Team, a group of courageous business and civil society leaders working together to transform business for a better world. Tómasdóttir started her leadership career in corporate America working for Mars and Pepsi Cola. She was on the founding team of Reykjavík University where she established the Executive Education Department, founded and led a successful women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment initiative and was an assistant professor at the business school. She was the first female CEO of the Iceland Chamber of Commerce and later went on to co-found an investment firm with the vision to incorporate feminine values into finance. The company successfully survived the infamous economic meltdown in Iceland. In 2016, Tómasdóttir was an independent candidate for the President of Iceland. She entered a crowded field of candidates and finished as the runner-up with nearly 30 percent of the vote.