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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.
Lawson Anderson '15
Jeremy Biggs '15
Karl Blunden EMBA'15
David Cho '15
Genevieve Kinney '15
Claudio La Rosa '15
Mary Linnane EMBA '15
Dave Nash EMBA'15 Kanyisa Ncemane '15
Xenia Razinski '15
Jonathan Robins '15
Surabhi Shastri '15
Kiley Smith EMBA'14
Sean Taub EMBA '14
Board Members’ Biographies
Lawson Anderson is a first year MBA candidate and a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated in 2009 with a B.A. 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.
A native of Fairfax, VA, Jeremy J. Biggs graduated from the United States Naval Academy (USNA) in 2006 with a B.S. 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 works as a high yield research analyst at Goldman Sachs, where he advises clients on investments in technology, automotive supplier, and business services companies. 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 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 spensd 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.
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.
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.
Claudio La Rosa '15
Born in the bucolic countryside of Tuscany, Italy, Claudio developed an interest for the financial sector during his Master 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Ian Rahilly '15 — MBA Co-Chair
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.
Jonathan Robins is a first 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.
Born into a family of doctors, Surabhi's dinnertime conversations usually included thinking of solutions to the problems of fractured healthcare systems worldwide. Her love for problem solving and physics led her to pursue Computer Engineering. Surabhi consistently applied classroom skills to real world problems and founded a company at the intersection of technology and healthcare, while in college. After graduation, she worked for Deloitte Consulting in Mumbai and was the Social Impact Lead for unique CSR initiatives of the firm. Her interest in Public Health led to joining the Smokefree Mumbai Campaign, an initiative to increase compliance to the Smokefree Laws in public places in Mumbai. This work allowed Surabhi to engage with policymakers, religious leaders, labor union heads, doctors and the media. She loved the diversity of the job and the ability to change mindsets and improve lifestyles.
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.
Divya Surana '15 — MBA Co-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.
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.
Watch the trailer for our interactive debate entitled “Financial Innovation: A Risky Business?”
The Small Worlds of Corporate Governance
Identifies "structural breaks" — privatization, for example, or globalization — and assesses why powerful actors across countries behave similarly or differently in terms of network properties and corporate governance.