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Student Leadership and Ethics Board

The purpose of the center's Student Leadership and Ethics Board is to foster a culture and safeguard a tradition of principled leadership throughout the Columbia Business School community. The Board fulfills its purpose by developing, implementing and monitoring programs that cultivate leadership, build character, and promote ethical decision making, which, in turn, enable Columbia Business School students to become productive, moral, and caring participants in their companies and communities.

Each year, first- and second-year Columbia MBA and EMBA students are selected based on an interest in these areas, demonstrated leadership skills, and past academic and work experience.

Working with the faculty, staff, alumni, and other students, members of the Leadership and Ethics Board develop, support, organize, and market such center events as high-profile speakers and experiential learning activities. In doing so, Leadership and Ethics Board members have the opportunity to interact closely with distinguished speakers, panelists, and professors and to contribute to the MBA experience. 

Members of the Leadership and Ethics Board also take part in the center's faculty dinners and interact with Bernstein Faculty Leaders.

Board Members for 2014-2015

Nikolai Chowdhury EMBA'15 - EMBA Chair

Nikolai Ishan Chowdhury is a creative and versatile technologist. Currently serving as Solution Architect for the Mobile Competency Center at EPAM Systems, the #1 software services and solutions provider from Central and Eastern Europe, Nikolai crafts innovative products, solutions, and strategies in the mobile realm for customers and manages the intersection of sales, marketing and production. He was born and raised in the New York area and holds a degree in Economics from Fordham College at Lincoln Center and technical certifications from Microsoft and CompTIA. Prior to GENWI, Nikolai has more than twelve years of experience in technology and developed and implemented numerous innovative and groundbreaking interactive experiences at Genwi, a Silicon Valley mobile startup, Women’s Wear Daily, a division of Condé Nast Publications, and Colin Cowie Enterprises, a lifestyle digital media company. His list of clients includes Time Warner Center, Times Music India and Fordham University. Apart from skiing, Nikolai enjoys being a concert classical pianist and collaborating with his family’s music production company in India.


Divya Surana '15- MBA Chair

Divya Surana graduated top of her class, with First Class Honors in Engineering & Business Management from the University of Warwick, UK. During her degree she interned with Blumer (Zurich), Rollem International (Los Angeles) and Goldman Sachs (London) and was conferred the Warwick Advantage Gold Award for her contribution to the university. Upon graduation she joined Procter & Gamble UK, where she held leadership roles and was consistently awarded for her work. Prior to coming to CBS, Divya worked as a Marketing Manager in the Food & Beverage sector in India. Divya is passionate about travelling, reading, fashion and, of course, food.


Lawson Anderson '15

Lawson Anderson is a second year MBA candidate and a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated in 2009 with a BA in Economics and Music from the University of Virginia, where he was actively involved in student leadership and government organizations, including the Raven Society, Omicron Delta Kappa, and several vocal music ensembles. He worked for Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Operations Consulting practice from 2009 until 2013 for cross-industry events in the U.S. and Europe. Lawson currently serves on Alumni and Giving councils for both UVA and the Westminster Schools in Atlanta and is actively involved as a volunteer for the Riverside Park Conservancy.


Divya Bharwani '16

Divya Bharwani is a first-year MBA student at Columbia Business School. Prior to coming to CBS, she worked as a Research Analyst at the India offices of Egon Zehnder, a leading global Executive Search and Leadership Strategy Services firm, where she focused on CXO-level recruiting in the Financial Services and Private Equity sectors. Divya joined Egon Zehnder from MAPE Advisory Group, a boutique Investment Bank, where she worked on Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity fundraising deals in India. Divya graduated from Northwestern University in 2009 with a degree in Economics and International Studies. She has completed internships at Wellesley Partners (Hong Kong), Deutsche Bank (Hong Kong), UBS (Chicago), BNP Paribas (Mumbai) and Standard Chartered Bank (Mumbai). Divya is passionate about traveling, food, and fitness, and is an internationally licensed Zumba Fitness instructor.


Captain Steven James Benedetti ’16

Captain Steven Benedetti is a West Point graduate with over 8 years of active duty service in the United States Army. He has served as both an infantry and intelligence officer and will return to serve after completing his graduate studies. He has deployed to both Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa in command positions and firmly believes that a strong moral compass and values based leadership was essential to navigating these complex environments. During his time at Columbia University, he hopes to broaden his leadership aperture to be a better leader to the amazing men and women serving in uniform.


Jeremy Biggs '15

A native of Fairfax, VA, Jeremy J. Biggs graduated from the United States Naval Academy (USNA) in 2006 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and was accepted into the Nuclear Surface Warfare Officer Community. In July of 2006, he reported to his first ship, USS MCINERNEY (FFG 8) in Jacksonville, FL. While onboard MCINERNEY, Jeremy made two Counter-Narcotic Trafficking deployments to Central America. In July of 2009, Jeremy reported to USS GEORGE H. W. BUSH (CVN-77), the nation’s latest nuclear aircraft carrier, in Norfolk, VA. Onboard BUSH, Jeremy was a nuclear reactor plant supervisor. Prior to Columbia Business School, Jeremy spent his last two years of active duty as an Admissions Officer at his alma mater, USNA. Jeremy’s greatest joy during his time back at USNA was teaching a semester of leadership to a class of twenty freshmen.


Karl Blunden EMBA'15

Karl Blunden works as a credit analyst at Goldman Sachs. He previously worked as a consultant for Applied Predictive Technologies, an early-stage analytical software company. Karl is an active member and former president of the University of Virginia’s Global Business Coalition, an organization that hosts speaker forums for alumni. He recently completed a five-year term as a member of the University of Virginia’s Young Alumni Council, where he led several initiatives as the chair of its Mentorship and International Engagement Committees. On weekends, Karl enjoys volunteering at StreetSquash, a youth enrichment program that combines academic tutoring with squash instruction. Karl is from Johannesburg, South Africa. He studied economics and history at the University of Virginia, with a focus on 20th century Asia and Africa.


David Cho '15

David is a West Point graduate and has served over 8 years of active duty service in the US Army. He served as a combat arms officer leading teams, from small to large (100+), in locations such as Alaska, South Korea, and Iraq. He is also a certified skydiver and scuba diver, but spends most of his time on the ground running a small start-up that he and his wife started. In the midst of school and the business, he tries to make it a point to break a sweat at least once a day and live a healthy and honest lifestyle.


Yuni Yunseong Choi ’16

Yuni is a CFA charterholder and previously worked as a senior equity analyst, researching consumer companies in Asia at the Hong Kong office of Mirae Asset Global Investments. She interacted frequently with senior managements of Asian consumer companies and learnt the importance of corporate governance on financial performance. With a passion of allocating capital into building socially and environmentally sustainable businesses, she began her impact-driven investing career as a pre-MBA intern at Sow Asia Foundation. A native of South Korea, she earned her BA in Business Administration from Yonsei University.


Morrell Daniels '16

Morrell Daniels is a native of New York City. After graduating from Boston University with a BS in Business Administration and a BA in Psychology, he joined the United States Army. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 with the 101st Airborne Division, where he led a platoon of 22 soldiers on numerous counter-insurgency operations. Upon his return to the U.S., Morrell was selected to serve as the 2nd in command of a 175 person headquarters company, where he was responsible for the effective coordination of the company’s day to day operations. Morrell is an avid cook and can often be found seeking out New York’s hidden gastronomical pleasures.


Alexander Jeffrey Jugant ’16

Alexander Jugant grew up overseas, but despite having spent approximately 15 years in Asia, he calls Palo Alto, California home. He earned his BS in Business Management from Brigham Young University in Utah. He also served for 2 years in Malaysia as a Christian missionary teaching ethical principles and providing humanitarian aid to the native people on the island of Borneo. For the last 3 years, he has been working as a Real Estate Developer in the San Francisco Bay Area developing low-income housing for families and seniors.


Genevieve Kinney '15

Genevieve was born and raised in New York City and received a BS in Government from Georgetown University, focusing on political theory and international relations. Following her graduation, Genevieve worked for five years at Citigroup, where she held a variety of positions culminating in Product Management and Marketing for a variety of fixed income and equity hedge fund products in the firm’s alternative investment business. Genevieve believes that in our dynamic global business environment, ethical leadership is an increasingly critical component of the success of corporations and governments. Her primary and undergraduate educations emphasized the education of the whole person, with the belief that a complete education spoke to the ethical, as well as the intellectual development, of the individual. She looks forward to enhancing this dialogue on the Columbia Business School campus through her work at the Bernstein Center.


Matthew Knise '16

Matt Knise is a first year MBA student hailing from McLean, Virginia. He graduated in 2010 from Bowdoin College with a BA in Economics where he was captain of the varsity tennis team and member of the Young Alumni Leadership Program.  After college, he began working at Deloitte Consulting’s Strategy and Operations practice where he advised large governmental organizations on how to establish efficient business practices. In 2011, he moved to Capital One where he led efforts to minimize credit risk and optimize marketing strategies in the company’s partnership credit card portfolios. Outside of school, Matt hopes to remain active in the community and currently sponsors a student at a tuition free charter school in Washington, DC.


Claudio La Rosa '15

Born in the bucolic countryside of Tuscany, Italy, Claudio developed an interest for the financial sector during his masters studies of Management Engineering at the special-statute public university “Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna.” Claudio’s graduation thesis described and analyzed how the evolution of banking regulatory norms would change the role played by banks in our society. Upon graduation, he cultivated his passion for the financial sector, working in both an investment banking and a management-consulting firm. He was recently involved in the fundraising activity of an Italian debt restructuring private equity firm. Claudio strongly believes that fostering a culture of principled leadership, with the promotion of real-life examples of exceptional leaders is an effective way to help build a better business environment and society overall.


Jessica Levine '16

Jessica Levine is a first year MBA candidate from New York. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009 with a BA in Urban Studies. At university, Jessica served on community development boards. Jessica worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as a Leadership Fellow in operations, finance, and strategy. Previously, she was a program coordinator for a global education nonprofit and a consultant for an international communications and strategy consultancy. Jessica is the Chair of JNFuture New York, sits on the board of JNFuture national, and serves on the Whitney Contemporaries Committee.


Mary Linnane EMBA '15

After 6 years working as a producer and reporter for Bloomberg Television in New York and Hong Kong, Mary transitioned to the Marketing side of the Company, where she held various roles and now manages marketing strategy for Philanthropy and Employee Engagement. Mary finds great fulfillment in helping a truly impactful organization tell its brand story ­and effect real change worldwide in health, sustainability, literacy, social welfare and the arts.


Angela Moon '15

Prior to joining CBS as a Knight-Bagehot fellow, Angela Moon was a Correspondent covering Wall Street for Thomson Reuters with specialty in financial markets. She analyzed trends in stocks and options trading, market structure, regulations and exchanges, and regularly contributed for Thomson Reuters’ Insider TV. Angela is also the first Korean national to work at Thomson Reuters Global headquarters in New York. Her autobiography “Minutes from Wall Street” was published in 2011, and she was named one of the most distinguished Koreans at the New York-Korean Festival hosted by Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) the following year. Born in Seoul, Angela spent her childhood in various countries including Nigeria, Thailand, Canada and Austria. She graduated with Honors from the University of Toronto with a BA in English Literature and International Studies. Angela has also worked at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in Vienna, Austria.


Dave Nash EMBA'15

Dave Nash is an entrepreneur with start-up experience across health and wellness, real estate and travel industries. Dave successfully founded a consulting business specializing in sales incentives for the direct selling industry. Recently, within a 12‐month period, the company doubled top-line sales revenues of three small to mid-sized companies.


Kanyisa Ncemane '15

Kanyisa Ncemane was born and raised in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Kanyisa is a qualified actuary, having obtained her qualification through the Actuarial Society of South Africa in 2010. She has spent most of her career at the Old Mutual Life Assurance Company designing and developing life insurance solutions appropriate for the emerging markets (Africa, Asia and Latin America). In August 2011, she joined the CEO’s office at Old Mutual as an Executive Business Assistant. Kanyisa is passionate about community service and has served on the national board of Epilepsy South Africa as well as the Gauteng board of the organization.


Nathan Tower '16

Nathan Tower is a first year MBA candidate and native of Dover, Massachusetts. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in 2009 with a BS in Economics and a BS in Statistics. At CMU, Nathan enjoyed helping his classmates explore their interests in economics and served as a teaching assistant for three classes. Before starting at Columbia Business School, Nathan worked as a consultant at Ernst & Young where he was passionate about advising clients on growth & innovation, market access, strategic direction, operational improvement, and customer experience design. He also enjoyed promoting and championing EY’s culture as a representative to the firm’s Northeast People Advisory Council. In his community, Nathan volunteered with Junior Achievement New York teaching business success skills to high school sophomores and coached seniors in a business plan competition.


Alexander Pearlman ’16

Alexander Pearlman is an MBA candidate at Columbia Business School. After graduating from the University of Rochester with a BA in Political Science, Alex moved to New Orleans as a Teach for America corps member. He served three years at a high school math teacher in a local public school, and during that time worked closely with The New Teacher Project training and certifying first-year secondary math and science teachers. From 2010 to 2014, Alex served many roles as a founding member of ReNEW Schools first as Director of Finance and Operations, then as Director of Human Capital, and finally as Executive Director of Operations..

Ian Rahilly '15

Ian is a CFA charterholder and most recently served as an Associate, Business Analyst in the Global Equities division of RBC Capital Markets in Toronto. He was a member of a small team with significant management interaction, dealing with leadership, ethical and strategic issues on a global basis. Prior to his transfer to Toronto, he worked in Debt Capital Markets for RBC in London, UK focused on Supranational, Sovereign and Agency (SSA) debt origination. He started his career at JPMorgan, following graduation from Trinity College in Hartford, CT in 2007.

Charles Saksik ’16

Charles is a French citizen with a background in financial management consulting and business controlling. Prior to Columbia, he was working as a consultant for KPMG in Paris where he mostly participated in refinancing projects for industrial companies as well as performance improvement projects. He has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Duke University with a concentration on Personality and Social Behavior. His studies and work experience made me passionate about ethics and the impact that leaders can have on a globalizing world, often through split-second decisions.


Dustin Michael Seplow ’16

Dustin's work experience primarily lies within the digital world. Since graduating from NYU in 2009 (after growing up in the Arizona desert) he has managed web development projects – first at the start-up level and most recently on the agency side.  As a Project Manager, he guided diverse teams of graphic designers, used experience experts, and software engineers through the conception, pitch, and execution of large-scale projects for various clients (most notably: SHOWTIME Network, Marc Jacobs, and Vornado). Though his ultimate work product remained within a screen, the majority of his mental efforts were concentrated towards leadership and management.


Niamh Sweeney '15

Niamh Sweeney is a print and broadcast journalist who spent five years working as a radio host and reporter for RTE News, Ireland’s national public service broadcaster, before moving to New York in 2010 to undertake an MA in Business and Economics Journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Most recently, prior to joining the Graduate School of Business, she held the role of Special Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland. She has written for several publications including The Irish Times and Fortune magazine. Niamh is currently International Rep. for Cluster B ’16 and a Knight-Bagehot Fellow at the Graduate School of Journalism.


Xenia Razinski EMBA'15

With ten years of work experience, Xenia is CEO of Invar International Holding, where she oversees and manages the company and its investments in privately-owned energy infrastructure development projects and is directly involved in the company’s project financing, global operations and business strategy. Previously, Xenia worked in commercial real estate development, where she coordinated office space build-out and building systems upgrade projects for Cushman & Wakefield in New York. Xenia holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Boston University School of Management and is currently enrolled in Columbia Business School’s EMBA Global-Americas & Europe program with expected graduation in 2015.


Jonathan Robins '15

Jonathan Robins is a second year student at Columbia Business School, where he is the Founder & President of the Columbia Business School Democrats. Prior to Columbia, he was the Manager, International Public & Government Affairs at Alcoa. Jonathan was responsible for managing the company’s international government relations portfolio in 14 countries and the European Union; he also served as speechwriter for the Chairman & CEO. Previously, Jonathan worked for Albright Stonebridge Group—a leading international strategic advisory firm—where he helped Fortune 500 companies navigate the intersection of business and politics in emerging markets and drafted speeches for the Chairman. Jonathan earned his BA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.


Kiley Smith EMBA'14

Kiley Smith is a Manager in Ernst & Young’s (EY) Fraud Investigations and Dispute Services practice in Philadelphia. She advises companies in the life sciences industry, primarily pharmaceutical and medical device companies, on the development, enhancement, and monitoring of their global ethics and compliance programs. She has also managed projects for EY’s Corporate Responsibility (CR) team, including organizing an after-school math program for underprivileged youth, and leading a pro bono consulting project for a high-impact computer software entrepreneur in Chile as part of EY’s CR Fellows program.


Sean Taub EMBA '14

Sean Taub is Vice President, Finance and Strategy at Element Six, a De Beers Group company and part of Anglo American. Sean leads global finance, operations, and strategic performance initiatives and is a member of the Board of Directors of Element Six U.S. Corporation. Prior to his current role, Sean held senior finance and operations positions in both the non‐profit and telecommunications industry. He began his career during high school where he successfully started and later sold a Japanese Anime e‐commerce company. Sean has a vast amount of global leadership experience having led teams and projects in Japan, Germany, Brazil, Ireland, Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. Sean holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Babson College where he concentrated in Finance and Economics; and is a member of Babson’s Coaching for Leadership & Teamwork Program.


See Past Board Members

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