UVA Darden Welcomes 7 New Faculty Members

17 August 2020

By Dave Hendrick

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business will welcome seven new faculty members ahead of the 2020–21 academic year.

The new faculty members will fortify Darden’s strengths in areas including Quantitative Analysis, Communication, and Global Economies and Markets, among others, and help the School grow abilities in the health care arena.

Darden faculty are often cited as the best in graduate business education, with uncommon devotion to the personal and professional development of students.

New Darden faculty members include:

Joe Andrasko (MBA ’11), who joins the Quantitative Analysis area as a professor of practice. Andrasko, who has taught Decision Analysis and finance courses at Darden, was previously the director of investments for the family office Murray Enterprises LLC and is a partner and co-founder of Fry’s Path Capital, a private investment partnership based in Charlottesville. As a Darden student, Andrasko was a recipient of the Batten Entrepreneurial Scholarship, Frank E. Genovese Fellowship, C. Stewart Sheppard Distinguished Service Award, William Michael Shermet Award and Faculty Award for Academic Excellence.

Max Biggs, who joins the Quantitative Analysis area as an assistant professor. Biggs, who holds a Ph.D. in operations research from MIT, is interested in data-driven optimization and analytics, and exploring how to incorporate machine learning models and insights within operational optimization problems. He taught the First Year “Decision Analysis” course in the 2019–20 academic year while completing his post-doctoral work at IBM.

Rupert Freeman, who joins the Quantitative Analysis area as an assistant professor. Freeman, who most recently completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Microsoft, completed his Ph.D. at Duke University in computer science. His research interests include the intersection of computer science and economics, and his recent work has focused on designing algorithms that consider economic efficiency alongside fairness considerations and resistance to strategic agents.

Toni Irving, who joins Darden as a professor of practice. Irving was most recently executive director of Get IN Chicago, where she launched and led a $45 million social impact fund. She previously served as the deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois and has been a professor in the Department of English at the University of Notre Dame. Irving writes, teaches, consults, and convenes around leadership, nonprofit management and organizational behavior, cross-sector partnerships, social impact, corporate responsibility, and business ethics and her work spans both the Leadership and Organizational Behavior and Strategy, Ethics, and Entrepreneurship areas at Darden. A UVA undergraduate, Irving holds a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from New York University.

Anthony Palomba, who joins the Communication area as an assistant professor. Palomba, who was most recently a professor of communication arts at St. John’s University, has taught classes on data analytics, market research and media management. His research interests examine consumer behavior, branding, and marketing behind video games, television and film. Palomba holds a Ph.D. from the University of Florida.

Vivian Riefberg, who joins Darden as a professor of practice and as the first to hold the David C. Walentas Jefferson Scholars Foundation Professorship. Riefberg, who retired as a senior partner at McKinsey & Co. in the spring, has been teaching on leadership in health care in the Executive MBA program, and recently co-taught with others on leading in uncertainty in the COVID-19 pandemic. Riefberg’s work in the health care arena has focused on the interplay between business and government, and she is a leader on the economic benefits of gender parity in business and society. Riefberg holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Felipe Saffie, who joins the Global Economies and Markets area as an assistant professor. Saffie comes to Darden from the Department of Economics at the University of Maryland, where he taught courses in international finance and computational methods. His research exists at the intersection of international finance, firm dynamics and economic growth, and methodologically he combines empirical work quantitative theory, using micro data to understand the macroeconomy. Saffie holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. 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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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia