Ashley Williams Named CEO and CLO of UVA Darden Executive Education and Lifelong Learning

21 February 2019

The University of Virginia Darden School Foundation announced today that Ashley Williams has been selected as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Learning Officer of UVA Darden Executive Education, Lifelong Learning and Non-Degree Programs. Williams is currently Global CLO of McKinsey Academy, the arm of McKinsey & Co. that provides digital and in-person leadership development for its clients. Williams will assume her new role at Darden April 1.

An expert in transforming leaders through learning and development, Williams currently leads McKinsey Academy’s innovations in learning program design and delivery to meet global organizations’ pressing needs to develop their talent. She counsels clients on learning and development transformations, and leads the Academy team building out a suite of capability-building offerings that are powered by technology.

“Ashley Williams brings exceptional ability for unleashing the development of leaders as they work toward their full potential, with measurable impact for their organizations,” said Darden Dean Scott Beardsley. “She brings innovation, technology savvy and global experience to Darden Executive Education and Lifelong Learning at a momentous time, as the School enters the Washington, D.C., capital region with new facilities, strengthens its lifelong learning collaborations across the University of Virginia, and innovates the path forward in unprecedented times for modern, responsible global leaders and their organizations.”

Williams will lead Darden Executive Education — named No. 1 in the world for faculty, facilities and course design — as it builds on almost 65 years of success making an impact for people and organizations. She will work with Darden’s renowned faculty to deliver custom solutions for organizations and advanced management programs for managers and executives at all levels. Darden Executive Education signature programs include The Executive Program, the Management Development Program and the Darden/Curry Partnership for Leadership in Education. She will accelerate Darden’s leading-edge, technology-delivered programs on Coursera and other digital platforms that develop and inspire millions of leaders around the world as they pursue lifelong learning and new skills.

Before joining McKinsey in 1998, Williams worked in mergers and acquisitions at Solomon Brothers in New York City. At McKinsey, she has held progressive leadership roles. Prior to her current role, she was Global Deputy CLO and COO of McKinsey Learning and Development, responsible for global strategy and operations. She has designed leading-edge learning programs delivered around the world for over 25,000 employees, helped shape the classroom of the future and built an innovation ecosystem based on the science of learning.

Williams holds an MBA with a concentration in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where she received awards for academic excellence and was president of the Say Yes to Education student club. She has a B.S. in Commerce, with a concentration in finance with distinction, from the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce.

“I am honored by the opportunity to return to UVA at this exciting time. The world’s current and future expectations of work and leadership are changing, requiring leaders to renew themselves continuously through lifelong learning, which must be delivered in new, innovative and collaborative ways,” said Williams. “I am inspired by Darden’s values and tradition of excellence, and look forward to working with the Darden faculty and team and the UVA community to deliver transformational learning that is accessible, technology-enabled and leans into Darden’s mission to inspire responsible leaders.”

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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