Fellowships to The Executive Program at Darden Awarded to Two Virginia Nonprofit Leaders

By Meghan Bradley

Sean Lanier and Ethan Long named as recipients of the Commonwealth Fellowships to The Executive Program

For the second year running, two senior leaders from among Virginia’s diverse nonprofit community have been selected by the University of Virginia Darden School Foundation as recipients of the Commonwealth Fellowships, an exclusive scholarship to The Executive Program (TEP) at the Darden School of Business, one of the nation’s premier advanced management programs for top global business leaders.

Headshot of Sean Lanier

E. Sean Lanier, founder and executive director of Alexandria-based Resolve Solutions Incorporated (RSI).

Sean Lanier, founder and executive director of Alexandria-based Resolve Solutions Incorporated (RSI), and Ethan Long, Ph.D., president and CEO at the VIA Centers for Neurodevelopment in Charlottesville, will be among the 2024-2025 TEP cohort whose session begins this October.

“We are proud to announce the selection of these two outstanding nonprofit leaders as recipients of the Commonwealth Fellowships,” said Ashley Williams, CEO and CLO, Executive Education & Lifelong Learning at Darden. “As senior leaders at two highly respected organizations, they have demonstrated not only a commitment to serving the community but also an entrepreneurial spirit that lies at the foundation of their success. We look forward to welcoming them this fall to The Executive Program where they will join a diverse group of global corporate and commercial leaders committed to honing their leadership capabilities and developing an agile strategy to thrive in an ever-changing business environment.”

Applications for the Commonwealth Fellowships, now in their second year, were received from throughout the Commonwealth.  Last year’s recipients, Ravi Respeto, president and CEO of United Way of Charlottesville, and Athena Gould, deputy director at Virginia Humanities, graduated from TEP earlier this spring.

A retired Major and 24-year veteran of the U.S. Army, where he specialized in support operations, transportation, and logistics, Lanier founded RSI in 2018. Based in Alexandria, Va., the 501(c)3 organization provides educational and financial support and early college preparation to under-represented and underserved students nationwide while providing some early global exposure through language immersion. RSI has assisted well over 500 students in earning over $40 million towards their undergraduate degrees and becoming officers in all six of our nation’s branches of service (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force & the Coast Guard). A graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, Lanier followed in his father’s footsteps – a Vietnam War aviator – graduating from flight school to become a helicopter pilot and completing three overseas tours and six deployments, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. He speaks five languages.

“Darden’s Executive Program offers a unique opportunity to be immersed with people who embrace innovation and disruption, and I’m excited about this opportunity to learn not only from Darden’s professors but also to get down in the trenches as it were with a cohort of smart and successful students,” Lanier said. “This is a chance to learn and grow within a supportive, highly educated environment, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Headshot of Ethan Long

Ethan Long, Ph.D., president and CEO at the VIA Centers for Neurodevelopment in Charlottesville.

Trained as a child clinical psychologist and currently licensed as a behavior analyst, Long has served as the president and CEO of the VIA Centers for Neurodevelopment (formerly the Virginia Institute of Autism) since 2010, overseeing exponential growth over the past 14 years. He was previously the executive director for The Bay School in Santa Cruz and Vice President of the May Institute’s West Coast Region in California. He also served as an AUCD project director working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Long holds a Ph.D. in child clinical psychology from West Virginia University and completed a pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

“I believe that my participation in The Executive Program will enhance my development as a strategic leader, especially as the VIA Centers for Neurodevelopment continues our growth trajectory – with respect to our geographic footprint, our operating revenue and staff, and our array of client-based services,” Long said. “To that end, I am excited to learn from the TEP faculty and my fellow classmates’ novel ways to approach business growth, innovation and prioritization, all with the goal of better serving our community.”

Named by FORTUNE magazine as one of “10 executive leadership programs that should be on every business leader’s radar,” The Executive Program, led by Darden faculty, is an immersive experience that focuses on the whole leader. Participants will gain an enterprise perspective, a strategic vision for their organization and improve their mental and physical health with expert guidance.

The six-month program consists of two in-person modules – one two-week session in the fall on the Darden Grounds in Charlottesville and a second in the spring on the School’s Grounds in both Charlottesville and the Washington, D.C. area, UVA Darden DC Metro. In a virtual intersession, participants receive coaching and support on their business challenge project.

The 2024-2025 TEP cohort will stay at the The Forum Hotel Kimpton at Darden, which features a beautiful arboretum and botanical gardens with outdoor learning and reflection areas, as well as state-of-the-art classrooms and event spaces.

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About Darden Executive Education & Lifelong Learning

UVA Darden Executive Education & Lifelong Learning is a top-ranked, global provider of transformational learning and development. Delivered by the University of Virginia Darden School Foundation and taught by the Darden School of Business’ highly acclaimed faculty, Darden Executive Education prepares growth-minded leaders to thrive in the context of perpetual change. We offer flexible certificate pathways for individuals and groups at all career levels, and award-winning custom solutions for organizations — provided on Grounds in Charlottesville or the Washington, D.C., area., as well as online.

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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