Culture & Community

MBA - Culture and Community - Diversity at Darden

Diversity at Darden

A Diverse MBA Community


The Darden School of Business is a thriving community of MBA students, faculty and alumni from a diverse array of racial, ethnic, religious, cultural, socio-economic and sexual orientations. Because of the highly participatory nature of the MBA program — both inside and outside of the classroom — Darden actively recruits and fosters a diverse MBA community.

Vibrant. Inclusive. Highly Engaged.

The Darden School improves the world by developing and inspiring responsible leaders and by advancing knowledge. We commit to develop the School’s ability to leverage our diversity — the multitude of differences among all of our stakeholders — to achieve excellence in business education in today’s complex global marketplace. We do so in the service of our mission, adhering to an unwavering commitment to fairness and equity. 

Work to leverage difference at Darden flows through three funnels of activity: entry, experience and exit.

  • Entry

    Darden invites globally diverse students, alumni, faculty and staff to the School through rigorous and fair processes that ensure the community is comprised of a variety of voices. 

    The School’s goal is to enhance the diversity of students, faculty and staff who come to Darden by:

    1. Continuing to collaborate with diversity partners for all of degree programs
    2. Looking for new pipelines for hiring diverse faculty and staff
  • Experience

    The School develops practices and cultivates a culture that reflects and incorporates the worldviews of diverse community members. In this inclusive culture, the community learns important — and sometimes uncomfortable — truths from one another, which results in more educated global leaders and citizens.

    Darden’s goal is to be a more inclusive, vibrant, and high performing environment by:

    1. Establishing an “Inclusive Darden” training and development program for faculty and staff
    2. Leveraging local and world events to engage the community in constructive conversation
  • Exit

    Darden leverages networks of alumni, faculty and staff who, though no longer operating solely within the walls of Darden, remain partners of and resources for the School.

    The School’s goal is to heighten connectivity to external stakeholders, especially those who have previously been a part of Darden, by: 

    1. Planning with alumni engagement staff and alumni chapter leadership to ensure School offerings and events appeal to a broad audience.
    2. Working with School leadership boards and committees to achieve representation that ensures all stakeholder voices are heard.

    Darden's diversity and inclusion efforts are led by Senior Associate Dean and Chief Diversity Officer Martin Davidson. To ensure we stay on task, we will continue to monitor and respond strategically to admissions and hiring data; feedback from students, staff, faculty and alumni; retention and turnover data; faculty development; and alumni engagement and giving. 

    Darden will be the best business school in the world at attracting, incorporating and leveraging diverse perspectives in ways that continuously improve the performance and enrich the experience of everyone within the Darden enterprise.

Members of the Office of Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Martin Davidson

Martin N. Davidson

Johnson and Higgins Professor of Business Administration Senior Associate Dean and Global Chief Diversity Officer


Christie Julien

Assistant Dean for Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Aru Bhat

Arundhati "Aru" Bhat (she/her/hers)

Darden Student Association, VP Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Class of 2022

Hometown: I’ve grown up between India, Hong Kong, and the US (Stamford, CT)

Undergraduate Institution: Penn State

Undergraduate Major: Industrial Engineering

Pre-MBA Industry/Functional Area: I was a product manager building out technology platforms for the investment management industry

Areas of Career Interest: Consulting

Why Darden? For my MBA program, I was looking for a program that was located outside of a large metropolitan city, which valued community and would push me out of my comfort zone. Darden hits all three, but meeting members of the Darden community throughout my application process made it my top choice.

Natalia Alvarez Diaz

Natalia Alvarez Diaz (she/her/hers)

Graduate Women in Business, President
Class of 2022

Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico 

Undergraduate Institution: Mount Holyoke College

Undergraduate Major: Politics and History

Pre-MBA Industry/Functional Area: Education Technology/Marketing 

Areas of Career Interest: Tech, General Management 

Darden Clubs and Leadership: President, Graduate Women in Business (GWIB), member of Darden Outdoors Club, Net Impact, Business Ethics at Darden, Global Wine and Cuisine Club

Why Darden? Coming from a “non-traditional background,” I wanted a rigorous academic program that would prepare me to be an effective and socially-conscious business leader. I also wanted to two spend two years at a school with a strong sense of community and with world-class faculty who are passionate about teaching. 

Creating Space at Darden to Share Your Authentic Self

UVA Darden School of Business MBA students, alumni and staff share how the Darden community has emphasized creating a space for crucial conversations and continued work on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Diversity at Darden Blog