About Darden - Washington, DC - Leadership Unscripted Speaker Series

UVA Darden DC Metro

About Darden - Washington, DC - Leadership Unscripted

Leadership Unscripted Speaker Series

To achieve its mission of improving the world by inspiring responsible leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences, the Darden School regularly convenes important discussions with global thought leaders to inform and inspire current and future leaders.

Hosted at UVA Darden DC Metro, the Leadership Unscripted speaker series features top leaders who are creating meaningful impact in their fields and in the world. By engaging these leaders in candid conversations on a variety of thought-provoking topics, the series seeks to:

  • Highlight Important Issues: In its second year, the series will bring a multicultural lens to leadership, specifically exploring what it means to live and work in the United States when coming from other countries and cultures. While speaker industry expertise and session content vary, the series rests on the truth that diversity of background and thought is crucial in effective organizational management and the creation of positive impact on business and society. 
  • Inform: Speakers engage in candid conversations about the opportunities and challenges of bringing first generation leadership, global perspectives and cultural diversity to organizations, as well as general leadership insights and industry expertise. 

  • Inspire: Speakers offer advice to aspiring leaders and help them tap into their own purpose and path as future leaders.

This series is open to students, alumni, staff and faculty of the UVA Darden School of Business, University of Virginia, and select members of the business community.

For more information or to sign up for emails on upcoming events:

 Email the Leadership Unscripted team

 

  • 2021-2022 Sessions

    In its third year from 2021-2022, Leadership Unscripted featured conversations about leadership during evolving current events. While speaker industry expertise and session content vary, the 2021-2022 theme highlighted the need for leadership moving forward in these uncertain and ever changing times. 

    Nordquist and MurphyDJ NORDQUIST   
    Former executive director for the United States, World Bank Group; Former chief of staff at the White House Council of Economic Advisers   

    DJ Nordquist, former executive director for the United States at the World Bank Group and former chief of staff at the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and Darden Professor Dan Murphy brought their unique backgrounds and perspectives to an unscripted conversation on the role of public and private sectors. Nordquist and Murphy discussed the capabilities and limitations of the private and public sectors in areas such as infrastructure, foreign affairs, influence on policy and more.   
     

    Read the article. 

    Watch:

    The Role of Private vs. Public Sectors

    Listen:

    The Role of Private vs. Public Sectors


    Beate and VidyaBEATE ANDREES

    Special Representative to the United Nations and Director of the International Labor Organization Office for the U.N.  

    UVA Darden Professor Vidya Mani hosted special representative to the U.N. and director of the ILO for the U.N., Beate Andrees, in a conversation about the role the organization plays in a world where every day feels like an emergency. They also discussed the future of work during a pandemic, with discussion on how to create a more resilient and equitable society. One question being asked: Should efforts to strengthen global societies start with ensuring a “fair” wage for all?

    Read the article.

    Watch: 

    Tackling Inequality Through Fair Wages--At Home and Abroad

     


    Finnegan and Suarez MICHAEL FINNEGAN  
    President, Atlantic Media 

    With societal trust in media at historic lows and social media still in its relative infancy, significant questions exist about how mainstream and emerging forms of media will evolve in the future. Michael Finnegan, president of Atlantic Media (MBA'07) and UVA Professor and director of the Rare Book School Michael Suarez discussed recent changes in modern media and examine how content innovation from the past may hold the key for understanding the future. 

    Read the article.

    Watch:

    The Past and Future of the Media

    Listen:

    The Past and Future of the Media

     


    Baroness Stroud BARONESS PHILIPPA STROUD  
    Member of the House of Lords, CEO of Legatum Institute, Chair of Social Metrics Commission  

    Baroness Philippa Stroud, CEO of Legatum Institute and a Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom, and UVA Professor Lucy Bassett discussed how to confront social challenges through different organizational systems, and the levers that lead to effective social change. Stroud and Bassett explored how it takes collective work of multiple systems--including government, think tanks, nonprofits, and businesses--to create meaningful, long-term change. 

    Read the article. 

    Watch:

    Addressing Today's Complex Social Challenges

    Listen:

    Addressing Today's Complex Social Challenges

  • 2020-2021 Sessions

    In its second year from 2020-2021, Leadership Unscripted brought a multicultural lens to leadership, exploring what it means to live and work in the United States when coming from other countries and cultures. While speaker industry expertise and session content vary, the 2020-2021 theme highlighted the fact that diversity of background and thought is crucial in effective organizational management and making a positive impact on business and society. 

    MARIA SCARANGELLA Vice President and STEVE SMITH Vice President, GEICOMARIA SCARANGELLA
    Vice President, Talent Acquisition and Onboarding, GEICO

    STEVE SMITH
    Vice President, Information Technology, GEICO

    UVA Darden Professor Elena Loutskina hosted GEICO executives Maria Scarangella and Steve Smith in a dialogue to explore the process of readjusting to remote work, the path out of it, the role of technology, and a strategic vision for the new normal: work-life balance, a gradual return to the workplace, and technological innovation.

    Read the article.

    Watch:

    A Dialogue with GEICO Execs Maria Scarangella and Steve Smith

    Listen:

    GEICO Execs Examine the Modern Workplace Amid COVID

     


     

    Fernando MercéFERNANDO MERCÉ
    Chief Executive Officer, Melissa & Doug
    Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé Waters North America

    Water is what connects Fernando Mercé and UVA Darden Professor Peter Debaere. When Mercé served as CEO of Nestlé Waters North America, he and Debaere, Darden’s water scholar, started a conversation about America’s water infrastructure crisis, the quality of drinking water, the price of water and the role of private business. Fernando Mercé has since become CEO of toy manufacturer Melissa & Doug, but the conversation continued in this Leadership Unscripted session entitled Let’s Talk About Water.

    Read the article.

    Watch:

    Let's Talk About Water

    Listen:

    Let's Talk About Water

     


     

    Rana el KalioubyRANA EL KALIOUBY
    Co-Founder and CEO, Affectiva

    Artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science are becoming an intrinsic part of our personal and professional lives, helping many lead healthier, happier and more productive lives. For AI to fully fulfill its promise, however, it must help all humans, regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion or economic background. Diversity in the field is more crucial than ever, and must be prioritized. While we have made some strides, there is still a lot of work to be done — we need to ensure that the teams creating, deploying and improving these AI systems are diverse from the very beginning. UVA Darden Professor Yael Grushka-Cockayne and Co-Founder and CEO of Affectiva Rana el Kaliouby dug deep into the question of why diversity and inclusion are so critical to the tech industry specifically, and to society in general in this session entitled Why Diversity in Tech Matters and Why Diversity Matters in Tech.

    Read the article.

    Watch:

    A Conversation on AI, Diversity and Humanizing Technology

     


     

    Patrick Conway DR. PATRICK CONWAY
    CEO of Care Solutions, Optum 

    UVA Darden Professor Vivian Riefberg and Dr. Patrick Conway explored the topic, Caring for the Health System, Caring for Yourself. With all the challenges facing the health care system, what are some of the key innovations and approaches to be scaled, and how do we ensure the system truly meets the needs of individuals and families? Recognizing that professional and personal lives are intrinsically linked, Riefberg and Conway delved into their leadership experiences in the health care industry and shared personal setbacks, as well as the factors that aided in their perseverance and success. 

    Read the article.

    Watch:

    Caring for the Health System, Caring for Yourself

    Listen:

    Caring for the Health System, Caring for Yourself

     


    Dr. Jerome Adams DR. JEROME ADAMS
    20th United States Surgeon General 

    Dr. Jerome Adams, the 20th Surgeon General of the United States, engaged in a conversation with UVA Darden Professor Greg Fairchild, on the topic, Health Means Business, and Other Lessons From the Pandemic. Adams and Fairchild discussed the mutual linkage between community health and economic prosperity in contemporary America, and the risks we face in failing to engage the business sector. They also shared anecdotes and reflections that help explain their deep commitments to encouraging action. 


    Read the article.

    Watch:

    Health Means Business, and Other Lessons From the Pandemic 

    Listen:

    Health Means Business, and Other Lessons From the Pandemic

     

  • 2019-2020 Sessions

    In its inaugural year from 2019–2020, the series focused on themes related to women, gender and how creating more inclusive organizations can improve business and society. Speakers engaged in candid conversations about the challenges and strengths of women’s leadership, provided general leadership insights and industry expertise, and offered advice to aspiring leaders to help them tap into their own purpose and path as future leaders.

    Jean Case

    JEAN CASE
    CEO, Case Foundation
    Chairman, National Geographic Society

    Case Foundation CEO, National Geographic Society Chairman and internet pioneer Jean Case joined UVA Darden Professor Mary Margaret Frank to share some of her own transformational life experiences and advice to women leaders while discussing the importance of being bold and taking calculated risks.

    Read the article.

    Watch:

    Why Being Different Is an Asset  

    How to Be Fearless and Evaluate Risk

    Listen:

    Jean Case Podcast

     


     

    Carolyn Miles

    CAROLYN MILES
    CEO, Save the Children

    Carolyn Miles, CEO of the global non-profit Save the Children, joined UVA Batten School Professor Kirsten Gelsdorf to discuss the importance of investing in girls, the role of women in the developing world, and the ability of women and girls to create more equal and democratic societies.

    Read the article.

    Listen:

    Carolyn Miles Podcast

     

     


     

    Melissa Thomas-Hunt and Erika James

    MELISSA THOMAS-HUNT
    Head of Global Diversity and Belonging, Airbnb

    ERIKA JAMES
    Dean, Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

    In honor of Black History and Women’s History Month, UVA Darden Professor Laura Morgan Roberts hosted Airbnb Head of Global Diversity and Belonging Melissa Thomas-Hunt and Wharton School Dean Erika James to discuss What’s Holding Business Back from Achieving Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace? Learning From Intersections of Race and Gender. The three global experts explored why achieving a truly diverse and inclusive workplace still seems so elusive in many organizations — and what businesses and society can do to move the dial.

    Read the article.

    Watch:

    The Dominant Challenge to Achieving True Diversity

    The Value of Difficult Conversations on ‘Dimensions of Difference’

    Exploring the Intersections of Race, Gender and Class

     


     

    Mary Robinson & Halla Tómasdóttir

    THE HONORABLE MARY ROBINSON
    Former President of Ireland

    HALLA TÓMASDÓTTIR
    CEO, The B Team
    Former Candidate for President of Iceland

    The COVID-19 pandemic is an extraordinary test of leadership, and women in global leadership positions are rising to meet the challenge. This special online Leadership Unscripted session featured former President of Ireland Mary Robinson and Halla Tómasdóttir — a former candidate for President of Iceland, CEO and entrepreneur — for a dynamic discussion on Leadership in Times of Crisis: Lessons From Women World Leaders.

    Read the article.

    Watch:

    The Difference Between Confidence and Courage

    The Unique Traits of Female Leadership

    Full Event – Leadership in Times of Crisis: Lessons From Women World Leaders

    Listen:

    The Honorable Mary Robinson and Halla Tómasdóttir Podcast

     


     

    Vivian W. Pinn, M.D.VIVIAN W. PINN, MD

    The inaugural full-time director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Vivian Pinn, joined Leadership Unscripted for a discussion on Health Equity During a Pandemic. Pinn is a trailblazer in the field of pathology and a recognized champion of women's health on both local and global levels. Hosted by UVA Darden Professor Lalin Anik, this dialogue explored challenges and opportunities for leadership in health equity during COVID-19.

    Read the article.

    Watch:

    Full Event – Health Equity During a Pandemic