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, email the Leadership Unscripted team.
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.
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.
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.
Head of Global Diversity and Belonging, Airbnb
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.
THE HONORABLE MARY ROBINSON
Former President of Ireland
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.
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.
In its second year from 2020-2021, Leadership Unscripted is bringing 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 highlights the fact that diversity of background and thought is crucial in effective organizational management and making a positive impact on business and society.
Vice President, Talent Acquisition and Onboarding, GEICO
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.
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.
RANA 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.
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.
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.