Elizabeth A. Powell

Elizabeth A. Powell

Julie Logan Sands Associate Professor of Business Administration
Kluge Endowed Chair, School of Nursing


FOB 297

Academic Area

Areas of Expertise

Leadership Presence, Leading Mindfully, Internal and External, Communication, Corporate Communication, Women in Leadership

Education: B.A., MA, University of Virginia; Ph.D., Northwestern University

As an award-winning teacher and associate professor, Lili Powell leads MBA, EMBA and Executive Education classes in leadership, management and corporate communication at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business. In 2017, in recognition for her work in leadership presence and mindful leadership, Powell was awarded a joint appointment as the Kluge Endowed Chair at the University of Virginia's School of Nursing.    

Professor Powell has designed and taught courses ranging from the required First Year MBA course in Communication, the elective "Communicating through Leadership Presence," and the executive short course " Leading Mindfully."  Before joining the Darden faculty in 1994, Powell taught courses in public speaking, rhetoric, interpersonal communication and leadership at Northwestern University.

Powell has written numerous business case studies and technical notes. She has presented at the Academy of Management, the Conference on Corporate Communication, the Association for Business Communication, the Management Communication Association, the National Communication Association, and the Reputation Institute's Conference on Reputation, Image, Identity and Competitiveness. Recently, she accepted an invitation to join the Arthur W. Page Society, whose mission includes advancing the highest professional standards in enterprise leadership and advancing the way corporate communications is understood, practiced, and taught. She has co-authored Women in Business: The Changing Face of Leadership (Greenwood, 2007). More recently, she has written for Mindful magazine.

In 2006, Powell completed her first yoga teacher training, which informs her understanding of leading mindfully, meaning the intentional practice of training attention, cultivating goodwill and exercising a positive influence in the world. Through her joint appointment at the UVA School of Nursing, she collaborates with the Compassionate Care Initiative, which promotes healthy work environments and resilience for health care professionals to improve practitioner self-care, patient outcomes, organizational results and system-wide change. Powell also serves on the Council for the University of Virginia's Contemplative Sciences Center. She has enjoyed serving in many interdisciplinary capacities at the University, including leadership roles in the Faculty Senate. She donates her time by teaching weekly yoga classes for beginners at a community center dedicated to bringing yoga to all income levels in Charlottesville.

As a consultant, facilitator, instructor and coach, Professor Powell has assisted in industries ranging from banking to biotech. She has worked with numerous national and international businesses, organizations, and universities, including: American Medical Association; Annenberg Foundation; Council for Public Relations Firms; Hilton Worldwide; IAE Business School (Argentina); IBMEC Sao Paul (Brazil); KPMG; Lagos (Nigeria) Public Schools; National Industries for the Blind; Providian Corporation; Stockholm School of Economics (Sweden); United Technologies; University of Virginia; US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and the World Bank.

Professor Powell's diplomas from the University of Virginia include undergraduate degrees in psychology and communication studies, and a master's degree in rhetoric and communication studies. She earned the Ph.D. in communication studies, with a focus on leadership, rhetoric, reputation and performance, from Northwestern University.


Selected Publications

Powell, Elizabeth A."How's Business?" in "Selections from the ABC 2011 Annual Convention, Montreal, Canada." D. Joel Whalen, section editor.  Business Communication Quarterly, Vol. 75, no. 3 (September 2012): 318-340.

Elizabeth A. Powell and Sarah Stover. "Disney's America Theme Park: The Third Battle of Bull Run," in Corporate Communication,  by Paul Argenti, McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 5th revised edition, March 2009.

Gerry Yemen and Elizabeth A. Powell. "The Female Health Company" (A & B cases), inThe Global Corporation: Sustainable, Effective and Ethical Practices, Laura P. Hartman and Patricia Werhane (Editors), Routledge, June 2009. 


Selected Books

Werhane, Patricia Hogue, Margaret Posig, Lisa Gundry, Laurel Ofstein, and  Elizabeth A. Powell, with a foreword by Margaret Heffernan.  Women in Business: The Changing Face of Leadership. Praeger, 2007.


Case Studies

Advancing knowledge through research that shapes business, Darden professors are recognized thought leaders in their fields. They are not only master case method teachers, they also author many of the cases used in Darden classrooms and around the world.

Elizabeth A. Powell's cases are available in the Darden Business Publishing website.