Jean Case, Carolyn Miles Headline New UVA Darden DC Area Speaker Series With Unscripted Approach to Candid Conversations

19 September 2019

By Dave Hendrick

Chair of the Board of National Geographic Jean Case and Save the Children CEO Carolyn Miles (MBA ’88) Headline the Inaugural Leadership Unscripted Speaker Series

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business will feature prominent speakers at its UVA Darden DC Metro facility beginning this fall, offering the opportunity to hear from top leaders across a variety of sectors.

The new Leadership Unscripted speaker series will allow Darden students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends to engage with leaders in an intimate and candid environment, with a fireside chat format followed by a Q&A session.

The speaker series aims to highlight a wide range of thought-provoking topics related to leadership. In this inaugural year, the series will focus on themes related to women and gender, including the challenges and strengths of women’s leadership and how creating more inclusive organizations and communities can improve business and society. Speakers will also share industry expertise and personal insights from their own leadership journeys.

The series will kick off on 10 October with Jean Case, chair of the board at National Geographic and CEO of the Case Foundation. Darden Professor Mary Margaret Frank, academic director of Darden’s Institute for Business in Society, will lead a discussion about Case’s book Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthrough and Purpose and the role making big bets, being bold and learning from failure play in bringing transformational changes to life.

“As a longtime Virginian, I’m delighted to kick off the Leadership Unscripted speaker series and connect with the University of Virginia and Darden communities,” said Case. “I look forward to an engaging discussion about principles and tools leaders and students can deploy to push past their fears to make the impact they want to achieve in the world.”

The session will be held from 7–9 a.m. and will also be simulcast at the Darden School in Charlottesville, Virginia.


On 6 November, the speaker series will continue with Carolyn Miles (MBA ‘88), CEO of the global nonprofit Save the Children. Miles will discuss the role of women in the developing world and the ability of women and girls to change the trajectory of a country’s development toward an equal and more democratic society.

“Women and girls across the developing world are driving change in fundamental and profound ways, despite significant hurdles,” said Miles. “Having visited over 90 countries around the world, I look forward to sharing stories of the heroic work we can all learn from.”

Miles recently announced plans to step down from her position in January 2020 in a long-planned succession.


“Drawing top leaders from business, government and nonprofits, this series will address leadership in ways we often do not see in many speakers series,” said Professor Greg Fairchild, associate dean for Washington, D.C., Area Initiatives for the Darden School and director of Northern Virginia Operations for the University of Virginia. “This year, the series will explore all that encompasses women’s leadership — including what successful leadership looks like and the challenges that many leaders face on their rise to the top. Some speakers will explore women’s leadership and gender in a broader context, such as how women are critical to making organizations, economies and society thrive.”

Additional Leadership Unscripted events will be announced in the fall, with the series continuing through late spring of 2020.

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

The UVA Darden DC Metro facility occupies the top two floors of a high-rise in the Rosslyn area of Arlington, Virginia, offering sweeping views of the nation’s capital. In addition to hosting speakers and events, the facility serves as the home of the Darden School’s Executive MBA, the UVA Master of Science in Business Analytics program and Darden Executive Education’s Washington, D.C., area programs.

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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