- Individual, Business, and Society Curriculum
- Innovation and the Value of Privacy
- Diversity and Inclusion for All
- Growth for Entrepreneurs
- Can My Company Change?
- Business and Politics
- Small Worlds of Governance
- Bolder Policies for Diversity?
- Governance and Compensation
- The Quantitative Revolution
- Inclusive Leadership
- Preventing the Next Crisis
- Universities and Women
- Speaker Series
- Events Calendar
2015–16 Board Members
Alexander Pearlman ’16 - MBA Board Chair
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.
David is a second year MBA candidate who previously worked at Barclays Bank in the Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics team, the Strategic Change Management team and the UK Community Investment team based in London. Most recently, David focused on Barclays global social finance strategy as part of its overarching Citizenship program. He was also selected as a Barclays Health & Wellness Champion, one of 30 global representatives leading events and promoting healthy living across the bank. He graduated from the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business in 2011 with a BS in International Business. As an undergraduate, David studied abroad at Fudan University in Shanghai and HKUST in Hong Kong. David grew up in New Jersey and enjoys tennis, high intensity interval training and traveling in his free time.
Divya Bharwani is a second-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 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.
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.
Matt Knise is a second 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.
Jessica Levine is a second 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.
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'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.
Nathan Tower is a second 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.
2014–15 Board Members
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.
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 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.
Dustin Blank grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where he attended Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School. After graduating from UPenn, he joined NBCU as a Page, taking assignments in different sectors and groups. Following that, he assisted the Chairman of the Entertainment and Digital Networks group, which includes Bravo, Oxygen, Telemundo, Sprout, Green is Universal and Fandango. Dustin then moved to the corporate strategy group where he helped manage digital initiatives and business development across all NBCUniversal’s brands.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Ian Rahilly ’15 - MBA Co-Chair for Fall Semester
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
2013–14 Board Members
Qais is born and raised in the Sultanate of Oman. He graduated first in bilingual schools nationwide and received a full scholarship from the Ministry of Higher Education to complete his undergraduate studies in the US. He graduated with BSE in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor. Upon returning to Oman he worked as a Key Account Manager at Shell Oman Marketing. After a year he moved to the Omani SWF -State General Reserve Fund- where he had several responsibilities including economic and market research, manager selection, business strategy and asset allocation. Qais has passed all three levels of the CFA and is a CAIA chart holder.
Terence graduated summa cum laude from Marist College in 2009 with a degree in business administration. After graduation, he spent three years working with IBM in various finance capacities. Prior to attending CBS he held the position of finance coordinator for the Enterprise Content Management software brand. In this role he managed the P&L of a $1B global software brand and integrated two multi-million dollar acquisitions. Terence believes that through educating youth we can foster a new generation of value-based leaders and has served as a board member for a youth organization promoting diversity.
Elizabeth Elston ’14 - MBA Co-Chair
From 2008 to 2012, Elizabeth worked for the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera), a nonprofit organization in New York City that provides research and technical assistance to government agencies. As a Planning Analyst, she studied the outcomes and operations of New York City’s child welfare system and laid the groundwork for key reforms to improve its fairness and efficiency. At Vera, she also helped plan the operations of a nonprofit organization that provides legal services to people in immigration detention, and co-authored a report detailing the role of the child welfare system in reducing chronic truancy among teenagers. Prior to her time at Vera, Elizabeth interned with a legal services nonprofit organization in Durban, South Africa, where she conducted research in support of a class action lawsuit to ensure adequate school infrastructure for rural students. Elizabeth graduated cum laude from Yale University in 2006 with a BA, and majored in cultural anthropology.
Kalyani Iyer is originally from Singapore. After completing her Master’s degree in Public Policy and Economics, she started her career in the Microfinance industry in China as one of the first foreigners to work with China’s largest MFI. Subsequently, she headed the New Business Initiatives for India’s second largest commercial MFI, where she piloted new financial products and consumer goods, such as solar products and water-purifiers with over four million clients across India. More recently, her work has involved using mobile technology to create financial access in various across countries as part of a Gates Foundation-funded initiative. She has also worked with a range of social entrepreneurs in the clean energy and mobile money space in India and E.Africa to raise investment capital.
Kairus is currently a Manager within Ernst & Young’s Financial Services Advisory practice in New York City where he primarily serves banking and capital markets and asset management clients. While at EY, he has advised senior executives on a variety of projects, ranging from formulating strategic growth objectives to leading enterprise-wide business transformation projects in the U.S. and internationally including organizational design, performance management strategies, regulatory restructuring, finance operating models, and process optimization. He also actively contributes to the development of junior staff and new hires as a mentor. Kairus founded and serves on the board of the Food for Savings Program, a nonprofit promoting social and economic development in India. Born and raised in Mumbai, India, Kairus graduated from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University with a dual degree in Finance and International Business.
Dan Love is second year student at Columbia Business School. Most recently, he was an Analyst at the Robertson Foundation, which was established by Julian Robertson and is responsible for ~$100M in philanthropic investments annually. Previously he worked as an Analyst in the Corporate Strategy and Ventures group at The Advisory Board Company, a mid-sized healthcare research and analytics firm. Prior to this, Mr. Love spent a year in Chile where he conducted research as part of a Fulbright Fellowship and worked at Acción Emprendedora, a microfinance organization. He has also produced and directed six documentaries, on subjects ranging from the Holocaust to the Civil Rights movement. His work has aired nationally on PBS affiliates and earned such distinctions as the CINE Golden Eagle. Mr. Love holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Duke University.
Silvia Padilla has 8 years of work experience and expanding levels of responsibility. She has become proficient and knowledgeable in Latin American markets and has attained a deep understanding of the home appliances world industry, as well as beverage and consumer goods industries. At the same time, she has acquired significant work experience and academic background in marketing, from execution to strategy. Her career began as an intern and later as assistant brand manager of Oral-B. At Heineken, she led the trade marketing strategy implementation for point-of-sales segmentation, increasing POS presence more than 20% in the first year. She was awarded “Best Regional Execution” for implementation of the UEFA Champions League sponsorship promotion, and also designed Heineken Colombia’s Drink Responsibly program. Her five years at Whirlpool also include significant achievements. Recognized as a “Top Talent” (5% of total employees), she worked in all 4 Latin America business regions, for the two major brands KitchenAid and Whirlpool, increasing sales more than $78 MM dollars and developing new markets and segments, with a consistent growth rate above 20% during the last two years, while also completing her Master in Marketing. The next step of her career development is to become manager of one a complete business units or a general management consultant, while also extending her global horizon beyond Latin America.
Natalie Rubin comes to CBS after five years in the nonprofit sector. While at Brown University, she became General Manager of WBRU-FM, a commercial radio station with a listernship of 200,000 and a nonprofit learning workshop. This experience helped cultivate a strong interest in social enterprise and small business strategy which she applied as an Enterprise Development Advisor in Senegal with the Peace Corps. She advised women’s collectives on improving their operations. She then joined a large international development NGO and focused on Afghanistan where she helped to grow the company’s mobile phone based monitoring services.
Sascha Rubin ’14- MBA Co-chair
Sascha Rubin graduated magna cum laude from Boston College in 2007 with a double major in Philosophy and German Studies. After graduation, she spent one year in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar researching the validity of international legal norms, which led to the completion of an MSc in Political Theory at the London School of Economics in 2009. After LSE she moved to Mexico City where she became project manager of a value chain program at the Walmart Foundation to help transform smallholder farmers into formal suppliers of large supermarket chains. Her experience at the Foundation was fundamental to her decision to come to CBS and pursue a career as a consultant for multinational companies entering emerging markets.
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.
Matt graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a major in electrical engineering and a minor in economics. After graduation, he was commissioned as a submarine logistics officer in the United States Navy. During his submarine tour of duty, he led a team of sailors through deployments to the Middle East and underneath the ice caps of the North Pole. In 2010 he attended the Defense Acquisition University where he studied Department of Defense contract valuation and negotiations. In his final military position, he served as the contract negotiator for submarine sonar systems at the Navy’s Washington D.C. procurement headquarters. Matt is a passionate Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor and is actively involved in Columbia’s veteran community.
Donnel Baird studied American history at Duke University, with an emphasis on Populism and the American Civil Rights Movement. He spent three years building a community network to identify at-risk families in Brownsville, Brooklyn, as a community organizer with Common Ground, the nation's largest supportive housing developer. Donnel served as a field director in seven states for Obama For America 2008, starting in the South Carolina primary and ending as one of six senior staffers in the Pennsylvania general election campaign. He most recently helped to manage the Home Performance campaign of the Laborers International Union of North America, an initiative that convened Mayors, utilities, banks, community-based organizations, labor unions, and the federal Department of Energy to develop plans to utilize American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to finance residential and commercial energy efficiency retrofits across 20 states. Donnel helped to develop a policy for the District of Columbia that successfully incentivizes energy efficiency firms to hire "hard to employ" District residents for entry-level energy efficiency jobs in exchange for superior workforce training, clean energy financing, and tax incentives.
David D. Chait ’13- MBA Co-Chair
David Donner Chait is a second year at Columbia Business School, and the Co-Founder and CEO of >Travefy, an online group travel tool. David most recently served as the Senior Policy Advisor to the Administrator at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). At the SBA David focused on key policy issues including the small business economic and credit environment and international trade among other topics. Prior to joining the SBA, he worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Company in its New York City office helping Fortune 500 companies, governments, and non-profits to define strategies and improve operations. avid graduated with honors from Columbia College with a B.A. in Economics-Political Science, served four terms as Class President, and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association.
Morris Cox ’13- MBA Co-Chair
Morris Cox studied mathematics and physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Following MIT, he joined the finance division of NERA Economic Consulting in New York City where he worked on securities litigation consulting involving structured credit products, hedge funds, and mutual funds. Morris returned to the Boston area as a co-founder at a clean tech start-up focused on commercializing an automated construction technology. After filing a provisional patent, raising an early stage investment, and building a prototype, Morris returned to finance and consulting in New York at Real Capital Analytics. These diverse experiences led to Columbia Business School where he is focused on using finance as a tool to create value for growing business ventures and to develop emerging technologies.
Alice Eaton is the Program Associate at the Mai Family Foundation where she manages all of the Foundation’s grant making activities in program areas including the arts, education, mental health, public policy, poverty alleviation and social entrepreneurship for the US and South Africa. Prior to joining the Mai Family Foundation in 2009, Alice was a Program Officer at WaterAid Ethiopia in Addis Ababa focusing on monitoring and evaluation of water, sanitation and hygiene education projects. Alice also held positions at WaterAid’s headquarters in London and at WaterAid America in New York., Alice holds an undergraduate degree from Barnard College, a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and serves on the Board of the Young Members Circle of the Museum of the City of New York.
Jane Hwang works in the field of corporate social responsibility and supply chain management. She is Senior Manager of Corporate Programs & Training at Social Accountability International (SAI), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving social and labor standards throughout global supply chains. At SAI, she oversees advisory services for corporate clients as well as training and technical assistance for auditors, suppliers and buyers. Advisory services include the development and delivery of strategic initiatives, multi-stakeholder partnerships, training and tools aimed at improving social performance and supply chain management related to social and labor standards and other corporate/industry codes. She serves on various international working groups and has published several technical handbooks with organizations such as the World Bank IFC. Prior to joining SAI, Ms. Hwang worked in medical and legal research, and volunteered for various human rights and development NGOs.
Jordana Kier comes to CBS from New York City Opera, a world-renowned performing arts organization, where she served as Manager of Artistic Planning. While there, Jordana worked closely with General Manager and Artistic Director George Steel as the company left Lincoln Center in 2011 and throughout its contentious seven-month collective bargaining negotiations with the musicians’ unions. Jordana is interested in thought leadership, corporate social responsibility, building sustainable nonprofit organizations, and the increased presence of women in positions of power. She graduated from Dartmouth College in 2008.
Aaron Koffel is a commercial lawyer based in Sydney, Australia, specializing in international transactions and advising multinational companies on corporate structures. He holds a Masters in International Law and a Bachelors of Arts degree, majoring in Political Science, Sociology, and Social Science. Aaron was previously an Officer in the Australian Defense Force (ADF) with secondment to AKMIL Java, Indonesia, following the independence movement and intervention of ADF forces in East Timor. He has particular interest in CSR issues, qualified to audit companies to SA 8000, standard based on the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child and various International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions.
Laura Markley studied literature and accounting at William & Mary, and went on to receive a Master of Financial Accounting before starting to work as a CPA in New York City. Laura began her career at PricewaterhouseCooper, providing auditing and financial services to international bank clients. She then transitioned to Ziff Brothers Investments, a private wealth management firm. She is currently an EMBA at Columbia Business School and an active blogger. Having traveled to 28 countries and spent significant time volunteering abroad, Laura continues to pursue an interest in community service through New York groups Redeemer Presbyterian and The Bowery Mission.
Mark Minutaglio studied Business, Organizations, and Society with a concentration in Corporate Social Responsibility at Franklin & Marshall College. After his undergraduate studies, Mark joined his family business, a landscape contracting company based in New York. Mark initiated the company’s Green Committee, helping the company earn the Industry’s Sustainability Award. In 2009 Mark served a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA, volunteering with United Way for the Greater New Orleans Area. He worked with United Way to develop the strategic plan to address financial stability for individuals in the greater New Orleans Area. Upon completing AmeriCorps, Mark teamed up with a startup micro-lending organization, also based in New Orleans, called Rebirth Financial. Looking forward, Mark plans to expand Rebirth Financial’s operations in NYC and eventually return to his family business, John Mini Distinctive Landscapes.
Sebastian Rodriguez wasborn and raised in Bogota, Colombia. Upon high school graduation, he decided to leave his hometown to seek an education in the U.S. After attaining his undergraduate degree from the University of Miami in 2005, he wanted to pursue his passion for understanding the inner workings of organizations and how executives’ decisions truly impact enterprise cultures and profitability. For this reason, he decided to join the Public Accounting practice of Deloitte & Touche, where he served for six years. Today, he is a proud member of the Columbia Business School community, and will be joining the 2012 J.P. Morgan summer associate program after having been granted the firm’s Launching Leaders Scholarship.
Sonal Shah, is a Management graduate, with a Finance Major. Apart from being a distinguished rank-holder in the undergraduate programme, Sonal is also a Certified Financial Planner. At the age of 19 years, Sonal founded her first venture, Aleson Holdings, which specialized in premium real estate marketing for companies like MetroCorp. Prior to business school, she worked in her family business as a Chief Operating Officer and has successfully diversified the traditional textile business into angel funding and ecommerce.
Alia Smith spent seven formative years working in a successful urban charter high school in Boston, first as a member of an intensive academic residency program embedded in the school and most recently as the director of that program. A graduate of Spelman College, Alia is passionate about improving the American public school system to ensure that every student receives a quality education. As such, Alia has advised several educational programs around the country, including the Apollo 20 program in Houston and the Great Oaks Charter School, newly founded in Newark. She still maintains strong ties to her students and is looking forward to seeing them become college graduates over the coming years.
After graduating from college and working overseas, Brooks Weilbacher was recruited to work for the FBI, which was experiencing rapid growth after 9/11. During her six years there, the Agency’s budget has grown from $5 billion to more than $9 billion- a growth she directly contributed to with assignments in budget formulation and as the FBI’s Appropriation Liaison with Congress. Today, working for the CFO’s office, her job is to help preserve FBI funding levels by ensuring that resources are well-spent. Since 2010, she took lead as the international finance liaison with foreign agency partners, reporting to the CFO on mutually beneficial projects (cost-savings, efficiencies, etc.). In this role, she implemented a formal partnership and annual conference, bringing together CFOs and Chief Operating Officers from five nations to share best practices. In late 2011, she took on a temporary assignment overseeing the FBI’s 90-person Financial Manager program.
2011–12 Board Members
Sarah Brown is currently a consultant for Neuberger Berman LLC, a private asset Management firm based in New York City. Prior to her role as a consultant, Sarah spent the past five years as Portfolio Associate on one of the firm's top asset management teams. Since 2006, Sarah has been an active member of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs; she was elected a Carnegie New Leader in 2009 and has since worked with the group to promote ethics in international policy. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
Isha Dalal ’12 — MBA Co-Chair
Born and raised in India, Isha graduated from Haverford College in 2007 with an English degree. During her four-year tenure at Haverford, she also studied abroad at Oxford University in England. Pursuant to graduation, Isha worked for three years at CNBC-TV18, India's leading business and economic news channel. She was instrumental in launching <em>The Firm</em>, the country's only television show on corporate law, taxation, accounting, and corporate governance, which she continued to produce until her tenure at the company ended. As producer and as the only reporter on the show, Isha spearheaded and implemented the process of identifying issues of interest, gathering material, interviewing experts, editing the show, and putting the final product on the air every week. During the course of her work, Isha interacted regularly with India's leading lawyers, tax professionals, corporate counsel, and CEOs/CFOs. In addition to her work at CNBC-TV18, she also served on a committee that interviewed teachers for <em>Teach for India</em> when the program first launched in India in 2009.
Alexis DeSieno is currently an Executive MBA student at Columbia Business School, and a vice president at Optima Fund Management in New York. Alexis joined Optima from Deutsche Bank, where she worked in institutional equity sales. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Alexis was an analyst at Morgan Stanley in Debt Capital Markets. Alexis holds a BS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is an active member of the New York Junior League and the Board of the MIT Alumni Club of New York.
Nell Derick Debevoise is the founding director of Tomorrow's Youth Organization (TYO), a nonprofit promoting social and economic development in the Middle East. She has been based at the flagship TYO Center in Nablus (West Bank) since December 2007, prior to TYO's opening (March 2008). Debevoise studied psychology at Harvard College, earned an MPhil in public policy and education at Cambridge University (UK), and a Masters in intercultural education at the Universita' di Roma (Italy). She has lived and worked in Japan, England, France, Italy, and Palestine and speaks French and Italian fluently as well as basic Arabic and Japanese.
Prior to business school, Sheena spent two years at the New York City Mayor's Office of Management and Budget as an analyst for various City agencies, including the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Department of Juvenile Justice. Following her work at OMB, she spent three years in municipal research at Roosevelt & Cross, Inc., a public finance firm. Passionate about women's leadership, Sheena has mentored with the Young Women's Leadership School of East Harlem and the Daughters of the Blue Nile Rites of Passage program, where she also sits on the Council of Elders. Sheena graduated from Barnard College, where she was awarded the Bear Pin for excellence in student leadership and service to the community.
Zulma is an economist with a masters in environmental and resource economics. She worked for Bogota's environmental authority (DAMA) as an advisor on economic issues, where she designed -PREAD-, an information disclosure program to influence industries behavior towards the environment. She directed the national green markets program at the Ministry of Housing and Environment, a program focused on the development of sustainable products and services for national and international markets. While working at the Ministry, Zulma founded the Latin-American Association of Environmental and Resource Economists to encourage communication among professionals of the field in the region, with great success and the support of multilateral institutions. Based on her knowledge of environmental issues and her passion for architecture and urbanism, Zulma founded a company that develops urban regeneration projects in Colombia, where she still works today.
Julie Liu is a member of Commercial Development team at SES, a satelite operator based in Luxembourg. She oversees company’s revenue and asset data integrity. She has a BS in Business Administration and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University. She has a passion for helping emerging regions imporove access to information. In her prior professional role, she has managed business development projects in China and Latin America to implement satellite TV services. Currently, also acting as a pangea advisor, she is workig with Telecom Italia and Society of Jesus to develop wireless network for Zambia to support hospitals and schools.
Prior to Columbia Business School, Jay Morrison was a vice president of business strategy at Merrill Lynch. In this role, he helped develop the firm's strategy to serve clients interested in socially responsible investing and microfinance. He also served on an executive committee to develop environmentally sustainable investing products. Prior to Merrill Lynch, Jay was an analyst at JP Morgan Asset Management supporting a team of International Equity portfolio managers. Jay has served as an advisory board member to InterVarsity — New York City and Minds Matter. Jay holds a BS in Finance and Information Technology from Syracuse University.
Opal Perry is an IT manager with the Wells Fargo and Company Internet Technology Services Group in San Francisco, CA. She is responsible for teams in the United States and India supporting server infrastructure and operating systems as well as software development environments and tooling. Opal earned a BS in computer engineering with a double major in engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University and has a long standing interest in engineering ethics and the role of technology in society. Opal served for six years as an active duty US Air Force office, including a 60-day tour of duty in Saudi Arabia at the end of the first Gulf War. She served as the officer in charge of the ethics board at her officer field training, leading case deliberations and formulating policy recommendations. Opal has spent the last 12 years in various software engineering management roles and is a member of the Berkeley-Columbia EMBA class of 2012.
Neal "Rudy" Rickner is pursuing a dual MBA/MIA with Columbia Business School and the School of International and Public Affairs. He served 12 years on active duty with the US Marine Corps flying F/A-18s and achieving the rank of Major before being transferred to the Marine Corps Reserves. Rudy completed three tours in Iraq between 2003 and 2007, earning the Bronze Star with Valor device, (13) Air Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Valor device, and the Combat Action Ribbon.
A Veterans advocate, Rudy is the founder and president emeritus of the Columbia SIPA Veterans Association (CSVA), a veterans group that helps highlight military and veterans issues on the Columbia campus and in New York City.
Elizabeth Solvos ’12 — MBA Co-Chair
Eliza Sovolos graduated from Yale in 2004 with a degree in theater studies, concentrating on directing. During her time at Yale, Eliza produced and directed seven on-campus productions in conjunction with her academics. Upon graduation, Eliza joined the Private Wealth Management unit of AllianceBernstein, the company once known as Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Inc., as an associate, managing a financial advisor's business. Eliza then transitioned to work with the president and COO of the business unit, where she was responsible for projects that ranged from business strategy to operations and client service management. Looking ahead, Eliza intends to pursue general management and entrepreneurialism.
With a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering, Malek began his career in 1999 as a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley in the Private Client Group in New York City. Malek later joined JPMorgan Chase in 2001, initially as a relationship manager in the International Personal Banking Division. In 2004, he transitioned to his current position as a senior financial advisor on the Europe and Middle East team, an investment driven role where he provides high net-worth clients with wealth management advisory on a set of diverse financial instruments. His fluency in Arabic and French has been a great asset in building and establishing strong relationships with our overseas clients. Malek was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. He and his wife, Lara, have a 3 year-old son named Karim and a newly born baby girl named Leyla.
Before enrolling at Columbia Business School, I spent eight years as a journalist and entrepreneur. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I studied journalism and history, I returned to the Northeast to work as a newspaper reporter and editor, finally settling in New York to work as an editor at Travel + Leisure Golf magazine. Concurrent to those roles, I co-launched and edited an online magazine, where I was exposed to the joys and travails of entrepreneurship. I came to business school to develop further my business skills, gain exposure and find opportunity.
Josh graduated from Northwestern University in 2007 with a BA in Economics, having also studied at the London School of Economics and the University of Adelaide. He worked within Goldman Sachs' Private Wealth Management group in Chicago where he helped manage investment portfolios for high net worth individuals, foundations, and endowments. Josh also worked within Lazard Freres' Investment Banking Division in New York where he supported the firm's financial sponsor clients with mergers and acquisitions, capital structure advice, and equity issuance. Josh recently interned at the microfinance firm Ujjivan in Bangalore where he researched and outlined the firm's new initiative in individual lending.
De Zhao enrolled in Columbia Business School after spending more than seven years in the public sector in Singapore where he contributed to policy formulation in areas as diverse as national security, civil aviation and economic development. He represented Singapore at various international lobbying platforms such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council elections as well as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations. In his most recent role, De Zhao was responsible for growing a nascent clean technology industry so as to transform Singapore's economic growth into one that is more environmentally sustainable. De Zhao holds a Masters degree in engineering as well as a Bachelor of Civil Engineering with First Class Honors from the National University of Singapore.
2010–11 Board Members
Olivia Albrecht ’10 — MBA Co-Chair
Olivia Albrecht studied Philosophy at Princeton University focusing on normative ethics and political philosophy. During her time at Princeton, she worked closely with the Human Values Forum, a University sponsored student-led organization encouraging the inter-student dialogue on the philosophical and value based issues underlying politics, international relations and corporate social responsibility. Additionally, in 2004 Olivia raised funds for the Tsunami Relief Fund after the crisis in Southeast Asia. After her time at Princeton, she became an executive with Young Professionals in Foreign Policy in Washington, DC, and developed relationships with key international businesses. While working at Lockheed Martin Corporation, Olivia served on the Corporate Risk Management Board.
Tania Clerisme is a dual degree student at Columbia, complementing her MBA with an MSW at the Columbia School of Social Work. Her background is largely rooted in nonprofit work, including consulting AIDS orphanages in South Africa, teaching in Panama, and most recently working as a counselor for chemically dependent HIV patients in the Bronx. Tania is an active member of the Haitian-American community and plans to blend her knowledge in the social work and business arenas to help rebuild Haiti's debilitated economy. Prior to beginning her MSW in 2009, Tania worked in public relations and marketing, developing communications platforms and executing brand campaigns for pharmaceutical, beauty, and real estate clients. Tania holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Harvard University.
Antoinette Genovese is a vice president at Goldman Sachs working in the Securities Division. She is actively involved in socially responsible leadership programs both within the firm and as part of the New York City community. At Goldman, she was a member of the Financial Women's Network working to recruit, retain, and develop women professionals and increase their representation at senior levels. Additionally she participates in the annual Community TeamWorks volunteer program as a captain and champion of Employee Initiated projects. She has participated in various events run by the 10,000 Women and 10,000 Small Businesses philanthropic initiatives, mentoring and advising underserved business networks. Outside of Goldman, she was an active member of the New York Junior League, serving as a public relations event coordinator.
Prior to attending Columbia Business School, Jessica worked in strategy consulting for four years, first at Kaiser Associates where she served Fortune 500 companies in the pharmaceutical, consumer goods and technology industry. Subsequently she moved to Dalberg Global Development Advisors, where she did management and strategy consulting for clients that included the Gates Foundation, the African Development Bank in Tunisia, the IFC and Overseas Private Investment Corporation in Washington and mothers2mothers, an NGO scaling up prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in South Africa. In her spare time, she serves as the director of strategy for Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, a volunteer organization in Washington D.C. that strives to foster the next generation of foreign policy leaders.
Kenneth is a lawyer with thirteen years of corporate and commercial transactional experience. He spent his formative legal years working as a corporate and capital markets associate at a Wall Street firm, during which time he was also a pro bono volunteer with the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now known as Human Rights First), involved in political asylum refugee proceedings before the U.S. Immigration Court. Upon return to Europe, he spent much time working on corporate governance issues in European M&A transactions, and the varying emphases placed on the interests of various corporate stakeholders under different governance regimes. As a partner in the U.S. law firm of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, he was appointed to be a member of the firm's Ethics Committee, which oversees the firm's compliance with the codes of professional responsibility and ethics rules in the multiple jurisdictions in which the firm's 800 lawyers practice. Kenneth's primary practice focus is on the global hospitality industry. Kenneth holds a Bachelor of Laws degree (L.L.B.) from Trinity College Dublin, and is admitted to practice law in New York, England & Wales and Brussels (EU List).
For 10 years, Jackson Hewett has covered business and economics as a journalist for Sky News and later the BBC. He attends Columbia University on the prestigious Knight-Bagehot fellowship, a program designed to enhance journalists' understanding of business and economics by placing them in courses at Columbia Business School.
For six years prior to joining Columbia University, Jackson has worked for the BBC as a producer and correspondent, working in London, the Middle East and New York. Seeing first-hand how leadership at a government and corporate level can impact a country's wealth and the lives of its people, Jackson hopes to deepen his understanding of leadership and ethics at the Sanford Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics.
Xander Kaplan grew up in a rural New England town and was fortunate to begin traveling at an early age—first to Haiti where her family had a house, and later to Europe, South America and farther afield. After graduating from Georgetown University, she landed a job as an editor at Travel & Leisure magazine where she covered design, eco-tourism and the hotel industry. A few years later, she became travel editor at Conde Nast's Brides magazine and then decided that there were much more exciting jobs out there that involved travel (but not necessarily honeymoons) and came to Columbia Business School.
Juliette Li currently oversees the Earth Institute's research and educational programs focusing on East Asia and serves as special advisor on China issues to the Earth Institute Director. Most of her research programs focus on sustainable development, such as clean energy, urbanization, and macroeconomic issues. She travels often to Asia to do fundraising and develop partnerships between the Earth Institute and local governments, companies, and NGOs. Prior to attending Columbia Business school, Ms. Li led the marketing communication group at Financial Partner International, a leading private wealth management firm in Asia Pacific. Ms. Li also developed and implemented a China entry strategy for a start-up fashion publishing company, which is now one of the most successful luxury lifestyle magazines in Greater China. Ms. Li holds an MIA from Columbia University and is currently pursuing an Executive MBA at Columbia Business School.
Matt Magenheim has five years of investment banking, private equity and international business development experience. Most recently, he was vice president at Leopard Capital, manager of the first Cambodia-focused private equity fund. Previously while an associate for Projects International, Matt worked with clients worldwide from numerous sectors including energy, transportation, defense industries, telecommunication, banking and food services to achieve their objectives in finance, market access and cross borders transactions. He also worked in the Investment Banking Division of Morgan Stanley. In addition to his financial experience, Matt has held management positions at the William J. Clinton Foundation. He served as the Cambodia Country Coordinator for the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative and as Public Housing Project Manager for the Clinton Climate Initiative's Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program. Matt received his A.B. summa cum laude from Bowdoin College and is a recipient of the Royal Government of Cambodia's Sahametrei Medal.
Goldy Michael ’11— MBA Co-Chair
Goldy studied government at Harvard University and devoted much of his time to focusing on issues of empowering youth, urban education and homelessness. Goldy worked in the Office of Senator Harry Reid and on several political campaigns, including a historic run-off victory for Senator Mary Landrieu before joining Guardsmark, a national contract security firm. He spent six years with the company in management and sales roles, receiving awards for diversity management, sales performance and risk management. He attributes his success there to a focus on using a strong ethical compass to balance the needs of providing outstanding client service, a high quality employment experience for his team and strong company profitability. Outside of work, he continued his focus on urban education and youth empowerment as a volunteer with Junior Achievement and member of the Harvard Alumni Association's Schools Committee.
Guillaume Moyen runs a start-up developing and distributing Sustainable Development / CSR innovative services and SaaS solutions. From 2001 to 2008, he held a variety of roles with AREVA, a global leading provider of energy services and solutions. Most recently he served as vice president and CFO of EURIWARE (Consulting and IT services), and as vice president and CFO of CANBERRA (nuclear measurements and engineering). He headed strategic planning, finance, IT, and CSR / sustainable development activities for groups of companies representing up to $350M of turnover, and 2,200 employees in different countries. Moyen is a Certified Internal Auditor (2004) and a Chartered Accountant in France (2001).
Mae joined Columbia Business School after working for five years for the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) across Africa, most recently as the West and Central Africa regional director. She served as a member of the 15-person senior management team and was responsible for management of CHAI's offices in 10 countries, including overseeing strategy design as well as programmatic, financial and human resources management. While also with CHAI, Mae launched CHAI's offices in Liberia, Ethiopia and Lesotho, where she fostered partnerships with each government and designed country-specific programs to facilitate the expansion of quality HIV treatment. Prior to joining CHAI, Mae worked as a Project Analyst for Mintz Levin/ML Strategies, a government relations consulting firm. Mae obtained an undergraduate degree in economics and international relations from Wellesley College.
Dan Reicher ’11— MBA Co-Chair
Dan Reicher is a J ’11 MBA candidate. Prior to business school, he has worked in diverse environments and was always involved in designing management systems, improving processes and leadership development. During the past four years Dan worked a manager for Itau-Unibanco, the biggest retail bank in the South Hemisphere, promoting the Culture of Performance through process improvement and leadership development. During this period he managed groups of up to 15 people. Before that, he worked at Dana Corporation in Brazil as a Black Belt, aftermarket and export supervisor and process design aligned to Malcolm Baldrige Criteria. Dan has a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Prior to arriving in New York, Omair worked as a financial consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers in the corporate finance function of the firm's transaction services department. During his time at PwC, Omair assisted and advised senior executives on a host of issues across all aspects of the deal cycle, ranging from formulating strategic growth objectives to structuring transactions. As a 'middle management' professional, Omair also played an active role in bridging the gap between associates and partners at the firm and participated in mentoring and developing junior staff and new hires. As part of this, Omair conducted several training sessions on topics such as risk management and compliance, as well as technical topics such as financial statement analysis and valuations.
Before enrolling at Columbia Business School, Katherine spent three and a half years at Glocap Search, an executive search firm headquartered in New York City. It was in her capacity as a financial services recruiter for a variety of firms that she became fascinated with the question of how an ethical workplace is built and maintained, one of the subjects she is studying in business school. Prior to Glocap, Katherine worked at Mercer Management Consulting and before that in investment banking at Morgan Stanley. Katherine is involved with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure as well as other cancer charities and has been a volunteer with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in economics from Harvard University.
Stacey Wang worked for Deloitte Consulting in the Strategy and Operations practice after graduating with a degree in global management from the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley. She has advised top international clients on mergers and business strategies. Having been educated in Asia, Europe and America, Stacey strongly believes that education is the key to transcending social and economical boundaries. She took an active position in the community, serving as a board member for Leadership High School, the first charter school in San Francisco and participated in Junior Achievement. Stacey was also a proponent of corporate social responsibility at Deloitte, developing financial literacy outreach workshops for high school students.
Steven Wu is a student at Columbia Law School and Columbia Business School, where he is a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and James Kent Scholar. He has previously worked as a summer associate at Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett LLP's Hong Kong and New York offices and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP's New York office. He focused on securities, mergers and acquisitions and credit agreements. While at Columbia Law School, he served as a research assistant to Professor Elizabeth Emens on topics of race, sexuality and physical disabilities. He was also a teaching assistant to Professor Andrzej Rapaczynski's Torts class. Steven graduated from Dartmouth College cum laude in three years with a double major in Psychology and Government.
Patty Yaghmaei is a member of the Internal Audit team at Goldman Sachs in New York. She is a Technology Audit Specialist responsible for evaluating and enforcing the reliability of internal technology controls, regulatory requirements, identifying areas for improvement and monitoring corrective action across all business units. She has a BS in Computer Science from George Mason University and has held several technology and management positions with a focus on Cyber Security and Risk Management. She has a passion for volunteering and non-profit work. Through her volunteer work, she focuses on development of women and programs that promote economic independence and sustainability. She serves on various committees and boards including the leadership board for Women In Technology International (WITI), sponsorship committee for Comp2kids and networking committee for Dress For Success. She is also involved with corporate responsibility initiatives within Goldman Sachs and serves on the Goldman Sachs Women's Network philanthropic committee.
Becky Yang is a director at Avantage Ventures, a social enterprise advisory firm based in Beijing, China. Avantage Ventures consults and promotes investments in sustainable social businesses in Asia. Prior to joining Avantage, she was with the Clinton Global Initiative Asia managing donor relations. Prior to that, she worked at Lehman Brothers in their capital markets hedge fund services team in Hong Kong and corporate marketing areas in New York and London. Becky is active in the community as a founder of 85Broads Hong Kong, a chapter of the leading global professional women's network. Becky received her Bachelors from Vanderbilt University and is pursuing an executive MBA from Columbia Business School and Hong Kong University's global program. She enjoys yoga, scuba diving, tennis, contemporary art and film.
2009–10 Board Members
Kesha Cash ’10 — MBA Co-Chair
Kesha founded a consulting firm that combines artistic freedom with corporate structure and financial feasibility to develop sound business strategies. The firm provided services for several fashion and beauty related companies, and raised seed capital for three start-up ventures. Prior to this, Kesha worked as a Mergers and Acquisitions Analyst for Merrill Lynch. Based on her experience in growing up in a low-income neighborhood, Kesha is passionate about giving back to the community. She mentors underprivileged youth and volunteers with Sustainable South Bronx, a nonprofit organization that develops and executes environmental justice solutions through innovative, economically sustainable projects informed by community needs.
Jane Del Ser ’10 — EMBA Chair
Jane currently consults for companies in creating and improving their branding and marketing communications. Previously she spent three years at a Spanish-American start up as product and project manager in artificial intelligence technology. Prior to that she lived and worked in Spain as a corporate trainer and education consultant for corporations such as Microsoft and Arcelor. With a B.Sc. in Geology and a variety of professional experiences including working as a park ranger for the National Park Service, producing documentaries for NY Times Television and consulting for social enterprises, Jane is undertaking the executive MBA at Columbia Business School to transition to the international development field with a focus on global health.
John Bockstoce started his career at age 18 by launching and running a seasonal oyster bar in Newport, Rhode Island. After graduation, he then helped to turn around an operationally distressed unit of the restaurant chain Pret A Manger. Upon finishing this project, Bockstoce joined FedEx, and gained more than three years of experience with FedEx Express in operational roles in New York and Shanghai, as well as strategy experience with FedEx Kinko's in Dallas. Most recently, he was part of the management team that launched The Standard, a 337-room hotel in Manhattan's Meatpacking District, and re-launched Sunset Beach, a seasonal hotel in Shelter Island, New York.
Jeremy earned his Bachelors degree from U.C. Berkeley's Haas Business School, where he was an Alumni Leadership Scholar and involved in various philanthropic activities. As part of the HSBC International Management program, Jeremy has worked in a variety of roles around the world, including Corporate Finance in Madrid and Relationship Management and International Strategy in Hong Kong. In his previous role with HSBC Card Services in California, Jeremy drove initiatives to acquire Credit Card customers through non-direct mail channels, thereby reducing the company's use of paper. He currently is in HSBC's New York office, focusing on Business Development and Strategy within the Bank's Premier Banking and Wealth Management propositions. Jeremy has particular interest in emerging economies, politics, microfinance and entrepreneurship.
Michelle Bologna is the associate director of the Women Leaders Program at Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, where she co-directs initiatives that leverage the leadership of women in Africa and the Middle East to bring about a more secure and just world. For the past six years, she has co-instructed (with Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland) and coordinated Columbia University's graduate seminar on human rights and ethical globalization. Previously, Michelle worked in the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, and the Permanent Mission of the United States to the United Nations. She has also consulted with Africa-based organizations providing education, health and psychosocial services to children rendered vulnerable by HIV/AIDS, and authored the portion of Panos London's global study on American newspaper coverage of the epidemic. Michelle serves on the Board of the Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union in upper Manhattan, and holds a Masters Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude and with College Honors from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies.
Before joining Columbia Business School, Grant spent the summer interning as an analyst at Blue Ridge Capital. Previously, he spent two and a half years at Lehman Brothers where he was most recently a high yield credit research analyst covering American automotive original equipment manufacturers and automotive parts suppliers. Before joining Lehman Brothers, Grant spent two years as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in General Studies, in addition to being the captain of the University of Michigan Big Ten champion football team.
Vicente is a former investment banker with five years of experience in the Brazilian market. He was involved in transactions in the Latin American equity capital markets, and the setting of best practices in corporate governance for the companies that the bank took public, in the context of greater awareness of the private and public benefits of good corporate governance in Brazil. Vicente has also been involved in many social activities in Brazil. As an instructor for the Junior Achievement initiative, he was able to speak to many teenagers about leading initiatives in the economic environment.
Before enrolling at Columbia Business School, Margo worked at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a communications specialist. While at UNDP, she focused on advocacy related to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—international targets for reducing global extreme poverty—with a regional focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to working at UNDP, Margo worked on the communications team of the United Nations Millennium Project, an independent advisory body to Kofi Annan tasked with developing a policy road map for how the world can achieve the MDGs and reduce the poverty, hunger and disease that affects more than one billion people. Prior to her work in sustainable development, Margo worked as a journalist for the International Herald Tribune in Paris. She holds a B.S. in Journalism with a dual degree in French from Northwestern University.
Major Bill Bundy is an Army officer currently serving at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Previously an assistant professor in the Department of Social Sciences where he taught classes on critical thought, western and Islamic political philosophy, and American politics, he is now the special assistant to the Superintendent. Bill was commissioned in the Infantry upon graduation from West Point and has served in a number of airborne assignments. He commanded a company in the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Iraq and recently served as an economic advisor to the same unit in Afghanistan. He has also worked with U.S. and allied forces in Europe, North Africa, the Balkans, Qatar and Kuwait. Major Bundy holds a master's degree in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University.
Prior to business school, James worked as an associate at TRIAD Capital Management, a mid-market private equity firm based in Chicago. Prior to TRIAD, James worked in UBS's M&A group and Wachovia's subprime trading and securitization group in Charlotte. James's financial career to date has included buyouts, equity offerings, M&A transactions and structured finance. James served as co-chair of Princeton's Annual Giving team in Chicago and currently sits on the Associate Board of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. James holds a BA degree in Religion from Princeton University.
Prior to business school, Allyson spent four years working in Democratic politics in New York. She served as New York State finance director for Eliot Spitzer's successful 2006 campaign for governor. After directing his inauguration, she became director of his re-election organization, Spitzer 2010, where she had the opportunity to work with business leaders from across New York State on the public initiatives that were a priority to them and their companies. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University and a BA from Colby College.
Prior to business school, Carla spent five years working at Lehman Brothers, in the finance analyst program and then with the office of the President working on diversity programs for the bank. Such programs included global diversity awareness training and launching initiatives like Encore, a program designed to help women who had taken time off in their careers return to the workforce. Carla spent time working in Hong Kong as the interim head of Diversity initiatives in Asia. Carla obtained an undergraduate degree in Economics and Communications Studies from Northwestern University, and a Masters in Science from Columbia University's Journalism School.
Before enrolling at Columbia Business School, Julia worked in the banking and financial services industry, and at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte as a senior associate. She advised Fortune 100 companies on their IPOs and mergers and acquisitions. Julia is also an active and effective leader in the community. She served as board member of the Fifth Third Bank Diversity Board, a committee member of the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and leader of Deloitte National Community Day. Julia earned a Master of Accounting degree from the Ohio State University at the age of 21, the youngest graduate in the Program's history. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Julia speaks fluent English and Chinese and is an award winning pianist.
Chidiebele (Chidi) is Nigerian, and was the MD of Gache One consult an environmental technology firm. Prior to this, he was the manager of coverage marketing at Celtel, where he was responsible for developing and implementing “Project Rose”, a landmark project in telecoms which developed thousands of bore hole projects and implemented immunization projects in Nigeria. Chidi holds a BEng in Mechanical Engineering from University of Nigeria, an MSc in Management and Environmental Technology from University of Applied Science, Emden, Germany, DeMonfort University Leicester, UK and Aalborg Universitet, Esbjerg, Denmark. He is also a member of: the Nigerian Society of Engineers, the Institute for Mechanical Engineers, and International Society for Environmental Geo-technologist; and a fellow with the Global Institute for Social Innovation, and Startingbloc.
Hasan joined Columbia Business School after serving five years with the New York City Police Department. He was a Detective assigned to the elite Counter Terrorism Division and worked on many high profile cases. Prior to that assignment, he served in the 43rd Precinct, located in the South Bronx. Hasan also spent time working as part of his family business in Pakistan, focusing on infrastructure development. He has a bachelors' degree in Civil Engineering and a masters' degree in Construction Management, both from Stevens Institute of Technology. While attending Stevens, Hasan was elected as the Vice President of the student body and also served as the head of Community Affairs for Delta Tau Delta. In this capacity he was responsible for the initiation of two successful community service programs: “Habitat for Humanity” and “Adopt a School.”
John Lewis is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs & General Counsel, Assistant Secretary of the Board and Ethics Officer of the United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU). As General Counsel, Mr. Lewis is responsible for all aspects of the legal and compliance functions at UNFCU and its subsidiaries. John authored the UNFCU Code of Ethics and has been appointed Ethics Officer in charge of administering the Code. Prior to joining UNFCU, John was an attorney with the New York firm of Cilmi & Associates PLLC. Before beginning the practice of law, John owned and operated several bars, restaurants, and nightclubs in the central Florida area. He is a member of The National Association of Federal Credit Union's Regulatory Committee and the Association of Corporate Counsel. John was born and raised in New York City and graduated from Brooklyn Law School, where he is a guest lecturer.
2008–09 Board Members
Clelia Peters ’09 — MBA Co-Chair
Before enrolling at Columbia business School, Clelia was a Program Manager at the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, an NGO network dedicated to monitoring, reporting and responding to violations against children in international armed conflicts. Through her work with Watchlist, Clelia researched and worked directly in a wide variety of countries either actively involved in conflict or in the immediate post-conflict phase, including Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Nepal. While at Watchlist, Clelia also worked with members of the UN Security Council to advise on the development of international law related to the protection of children. Prior to this position, Clelia had worked in Southeast Asia providing support to orphanages funded by HOLT International in both Thailand and Vietnam. Clelia currently serves as the President of the Board of Trustees of the dance/theater company Moving Theater. Clelia has a BA in Literature from Yale University and in addition to her native English, speaks French and some very rusty Thai.
Lukas Pieter ’09 — MBA Co-Chair
Before enrolling at Columbia Business School, Lukas Pieter gained substantial leadership and operational experience working in the business and nonprofit sectors. He served as the CFO and as a Board Member of Faribault Mills, one of the oldest manufacturing companies in the U.S. In this capacity, he was responsible for directing all financial and IS/IT functions in the company, developing strategy and making recommendations on composition of the management team. Previously, he worked as an investment banker with Goldsmith Agio Helms. At this firm, he participated in the sale, restructuring and business valuation of middle market companies. Lukas is also an active community volunteer. He co-founded the Czech and Slovak Center of Minnesota, an organization over which he later presided. He was a member and advisor of the MN Governor's trade mission to the Czech Republic, and a Board Advisor for Czech Innovation for Global Markets.
Sophie Romana ’08 — EMBA Co-Chair
Before joining a Private Equity fund in New York in 2000, Sophie worked with French nonprofit organizations involved in emergency humanitarian relief. She has worked in Rwanda as head of a relief mission to unaccompanied children following the 1994 genocide. She spent two years in Madagascar where she worked as a consultant for various private and public entities. One of her assignments was to assess the efficacy of USAID's equipment donations on reducing the judgment backlogs in civil and criminal courts. She has particular interest in socially responsible investment, banking and financial regulations in emerging markets and sustainable development in Africa. Sophie holds a Bachelor's in International Public Law and a Master in Public Law from Université Paris I – Sorbonne.
Daniel Jurrow ’09 — EMBA Co-Chair
Daniel Jurow has worked in digital marketing for nearly a decade, focusing on multichannel and interactive marketing, e-commerce, and digital brand communication. He is currently an Executive Producer at R/GA, a digital advertising agency, leading multipleglobal lines of business for Nike, Inc. Daniel has created campaigns for Nike community-basedprojects such as the Nike Women's Marathon to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Cinco de Mile, a 1-mile race in Los Angeles to raise awareness for youth fitness. His experience with these and other efforts around corporate responsibility (NikeResponsibility.com, LetMePlay.com, and his own firm's charitable projects), and his extensive travel through Southeast Asia, have informed his understanding of the relationship between firm value and societal value, the effect ofindividual character on organizational behavior, and the political and economic influence of media and technology in underserved communities and developing nations. Daniel graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997 with a BA in Biological Basis of Behavior. He is also an accomplished music producer and lives in Brooklyn with his wife, a Bulgarian software developer.
Prior to business school, Matt worked as the Marketing Coordinator for Paragon Industries, a non-profit company providing vocational and work services for individuals with disabilities. He was responsible for all marketing related activities at Paragon as well as growth and development opportunities. Matt has been involved with a number of organizations ranging from environmental advocacy groups to political campaigns at several levels of government. Matt was a Botwinick scholar at Columbia Business School and holds a BS in International Business and Human Resources with an Environmental Ethics minor from Marquette University. He is a native of Milwaukee, WI.
George Caravias, brings twenty-five years experience in the information technology and telecommunications industries in the United States and internationally. As a Senior Vice President at Calim Private Equity, Caravias is responsible for maximizing the value of an early-stage venture portfolio. Previous work as an entrepreneur included establishment, management and profitable exits of a $240 million Australian telecommunications company, a $10 million web hosting business and turnaround of a software venture. He was also a founding member and elected deputy-chairman of a 120-member national telecommunications association. Caravias holds degrees in engineering from the California Institute of Technology and in mathematics/physics from Whitman College.
Jennifer Chilton is an Associate Partner with IBM Business Consulting Services where she has worked for more than 13 years. She leads the ERP Business Intelligence and Analytics Initiative within IBM's Financial Services Financial Management Practice. Jennifer is originally from Baltimore, Maryland and holds an undergraduate degree in Management Science from Virginia Tech. Jennifer currently resides in Manhattan and enjoys traveling, reading and running, and works closely with a Cancer Research Foundation, Joan's Legacy, in her spare time.
Isabelle Freidheim was born and raised in France and lived in Romania in 1990 for one year after the revolution. She started her first two years of undergraduate in Law School in France and finished the last two undergraduate years at Columbia. She earned a BA in Economics and upon graduating, worked in investment banking at Lehman Brothers. After a couple of years in New York, Isabelle joined a private equity fund for one year in London. For the past six months, she has helped her mother run for a seat as Member of Parliament of the European Union on behalf of Romania. Throughout Isabelle's education and professional experience, she has been exposed to extreme standards of ethics across cultures. She has also been training for the Olympics in Horse Riding and is hoping to qualify for 2012.
Wally has held various sales and marketing positions within the surgical space, including Vice President of Marketing and Eastern Area Vice President of Sales. He is currently leading the U.S. Marketing effort for surgical stapling products in minimally invasive surgery at Covidien. Over the last 16 years, he has taken part in building a $41B conglomerate that became Tyco International, one narrow escape from corporate bankruptcy, plans for a $10B start-up, five house moves, a marathon, and two handsome sons. He has seen the building of a corporate conglomerate under "Deal a Day" Dennis Kozlowski, the design of Corporate Governance under Ed Breen, and the launch of a $10B start up (July 2007) of Covidien under Rich Meelia.
Prior to business school, Eric worked for fuve years at Shell Oil Company in Houston, Texas. During that time, he served for four years as an engineer and one year as a business analyst. As a business analyst, much of Eric's time was spent ensuring the accuracy of information being reported by Shell executives to third party associations. While at Shell, Eric was elected as Chairperson of the Shell Young Employees Community Service Organization. In that role, he led a wide range of activities including volunteering at a food pantry, tutoring at-risk students in low income areas and cleaning up local parks. Eric holds a BE in Chemical Engineering from Vanderbilt University.
Gaurav is a Senior Manager with NB Ventures, a privately held consulting company that specializes in process and procurement consulting services. At Global eProcure, Gaurav is part of the Global Leadership Team responsible for delivering services to strategic clients and supporting Global eProcure's international growth strategy. He also leads their People Care program to identify and develop managers within the firm. His prior work experience includes stints at the Marsh & McLennan companies and Virtual Self, Inc. During his time in Chicago, Gaurav led the initiation of a Junior Board for the Sue-Duncan Children's center, an after-school program for inner city youth, and was a board member for the Windy City Open, one of the largest professional Squash tournaments in North America. Gaurav has a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Communications from Denison University.
Sarita Narson is a Fixed Income Sales Trader at Goldman Sachs and has been working there for nearly four years. Her primary responsibility as a portfolio manager is overseeing over $7 billion in assets of municipal fixed income securities. On a daily basis she trades, liaises with capital markets professionals, participates on conference calls and attends various meetings. Sarita graduated from Emory University in 2002 with a BBA in Finance and Marketing, and has a minor in Russian.
Prior to joining Columbia Business School, Ruchi Patwari spent four years working internationally in the oil and gas sector. While leading onshore and offshore well testing projects as a field engineer with Schlumberger oilfield services, she developed a deep understanding of the ethical issues and the social challenges associated with this domain. Her work took her to countries like France, Yemen, Qatar, Dubai, India and Malaysia, where she realized the ramifications of social-, cultural-, economic- and gender-based divides. She has led various community-improvement endeavors in India and the Middle East. Ruchi initiated the “each one teach one” program in India and organized mid-wife training camps in Yemen to reduce peri-partum mortality. Discussions with her colleagues introduced her to the manifold perspectives on social issues people from different nations and varied economic and social strata hold. Ruchi graduated from IIT Kharagpur with a B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering.
Prior to joining Columbia Business School, Jonathan Perle studied political science and foreign policy as an undergraduate at Tufts University and law at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduation from law school, he worked as a corporate attorney at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP. At the firm, he was in the mergers and acquisitions group and worked on mergers, acquisitions and divestitures of both public and private companies in various industries, including outsourcing, real estate, telecommunications, tax credit syndication, restaurants, music and industrial services.
After beginning my career in Dallas as a CPA at Ernst & Young, Todd moved to New York in 1997 to become a member of Ernst & Young's Corporate Finance Group. In 1999, he followed a colleague to Merrill Lynch as a Vice President to provide M&A services to the firm's tax-exempt healthcare clients. While at Merrill Lynch, he also spent time in the firm's San Francisco and Palo Alto offices as a member of the firm's Technology Private Placements Group. In 2002, Todd joined Cain Brothers & Company, a boutique investment bank focused exclusively on health care, and today heads the firm's financial sponsors and private placement efforts as a Managing Director.
Prior to attending Columbia Business School, Sharon was a Senior Consultant with Vantage Partners, a boutique negotiation and relationship management consultancy. At Vantage, she helped Fortune 500 companies negotiate and manage their most critical business relationships. Her work included training and coaching clients on how to effectively communicate difficult issues in the workplace. She also previously worked as an investment banking analyst on both M&A and private finance transactions. Sharon currently serves as the fundraising cochair for the class of 2001 at Dartmouth College, and was a Big Sister and mentor in the Boston area. She holds a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College.
Doug Tsang ’09 (Columbia/Berkeley-Haas EMBA)
Doug Tsang joined Microsoft Corporation in 1994 after graduating with a degree in electrical engineering at Brown University. He is currently a Development Lead for Office server products working directly with customers and partners. Having traveled to poorer parts of China and India, his belief in education as a means of raising the standard of living is demonstrated in his volunteering in the local school district, and for non-profit organizations in helping local foster children and in school-building in remote Chinese villages. Working in a company with a firm belief and a pervasive culture in giving back to the community, Doug is especially passionate in exploring issues on corporate social responsibility.
2007–08 Board Members
Sandra Seru ’08 — MBA Co-Chair
Sandra Seru came to Columbia Business School after spending five years at Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), a global business membership organization dedicated to promoting corporate social responsibility through advisory services, public conferences and grant-funded research. As a Manager on BSR's Energy and Extractives Group, Sandra led teams throughout Europe, North America and Latin America to develop socially responsibility strategies for oil, gas and mining companies. She has conducted trainings for many of the largest resource companies, primarily focused on strengthening community consultation processes and maximizing positive impacts on local stakeholders. Sandra has also developed various tools for companies to manage their programs more effectively, including an assessment instrument that measures a mining operation's impact on local sustainable development. While at BSR, Sandra also worked with consumer products, retail, agriculture and finance companies and managed a weekly news report that was distributed to BSR's membership. Prior to joining BSR, Sandra was a summer analyst at Goldman Sachs, where her responsibilities focused on analyzing the effectiveness of divisional programs in the company's Charitable Services Group. Sandra holds a BA in Psychology from Harvard University and is proficient in Spanish.
Peter Wolfgang ’08 — MBA Co-Chair
Prior to business school, Peter worked as a financial analyst at Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, a firm that produces integrated investment recommendations based largely on the ability of companies to structure corporate governance around environmental and social issues. Prior to that, Peter worked at the marketing consulting firm Harris Interactive as a research analyst in the branding and healthcare practices. A past volunteer with the elementary school reading program, Everybody Wins Power Lunch, Peter founded a branch of the program at Harris and recruited one in ten of his office co-workers to donate their time during the program's first year. Peter also completed a pro-bono consulting project for the Everybody Wins Foundation to assess its current effect on participating volunteers and children, the results of which will be used in future marketing and fundraising efforts. Peter holds a BA in Comparative Literature from New York University and is a native of Coshocton, OH.
Mia Lin Jung ’08 — EMBA Co-Chair (EMBA Global)
Mia previously worked for two years at Merck Pharmaceuticals selling cardiovascular medications to cardiologists and for seven years with Guidant, now Boston Scientific, selling pacemakers and defibrillators to electrophysiologists. Both Merck and Guidant have been involved in law suits regarding the quality of their products and Mia has had firsthand experience with lawyers representing both companies, and more broadly been exposed to various ethical dilemmas regarding the balance between patients and profits in the medical industry. She has worked with physicians and patients in operating rooms throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia and has been exposed to the worldwide impact of implantable device recalls on patients, physicians and companies. Mia graduated from Villanova University in 1997 and currently lives in NYC. She is also a voracious runner and enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking and scuba diving.
Mary Jane McQuillen ’07 — EMBA Co-Chair
Mary Jane is the Director of Social Awareness Investment at ClearBridge Advisors (formerly known as Citigroup Asset Management), a unit of Legg Mason. In this role, she leads the portfolio research on socio-cultural and industry issues in the stock selection process for institutional and individual clients. She also heads the advocacy and proactive engagement efforts with the managements of corporations. Mary Jane is the chair of the Social Investment Committee of the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA), is an active member of the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Asset Management Working Group and serves as a judge for the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award. She was also an early active member of the Business Council for Peace, an organization of business women who volunteer to help women in places of conflict and post-conflict, such as Afghanistan, Rwanda and the Middle East, to learn business skills and help build local economies.
Having spent over seven years in public accounting, Rahul is currently a manager in Ernst & Young's Banking and Capital Markets audit practice in New York. His clients include some of the largest global financial services firms, where he is involved with the implementation and assessment of Sarbanes-Oxley rules. He has also been involved in an international forensic accounting investigation for a federal government agency in south-east Asia as well as in transaction advisory services for private equity clients. He is a Chartered Accountant in India and a CPA in the United States. During university, as President of a Rotary International youth wing in Mumbai, he initiated slum rehabilitation projects and forged partnerships with federal hospitals to provide health-care services for the underprivileged. He is currently a member of the Asia Society, and enjoys tennis and traveling.
Sorabh Gupta has more than 10 years of experience in the mobile/telecommunications industry. He has spent majority of his professional career at Lucent Technologies holding Marketing, Business Development and Sales leadership responsibilities. He has also been involved in a consulting role at a start-up and is now leading the entry of a Taiwanese-smart phones manufacturer, HTC, into the U.S. and global markets. Sorabh has also been involved with Big Brother Big Sister of NYC and International Association for Human Values, a global nonprofit that promotes education and training for violence-free and stress-free societies through group processes, exercises and meditation. More recently, he returned from an 18-month sabbatical during which time he led the organization's Katrina Relief Operations in Austin, Texas.
Lou is a director and co-head for Fitch Ratings' fund & asset manager rating group in New York. His team is responsible for the ratings analysis and surveillance on a variety of mutual funds and local government investment pools. His experience working closely with top global asset managers and their investment mandates have engaged Lou with the emergent area of Socially Responsible Investments. Prior to Fitch, Lou was a senior associate for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in their investment management services group providing assurance and advisory services. Working in the audit profession during the corporate scandals of 2001-2002 has afforded him first-hand insights into the fallout that results when leadership fails. Lou graduated from Villanova University with a BS in Accountancy and is a CPA. His hobbies include traveling, scuba diving and fishing.
Prior to business school, Escamillo Lin was the Private Equity Portfolio Manager with Shell Asset Management Company, based in Europe. As Portfolio Manager, he was appointed to the investor Advisory Board of numerous private equity funds globally, addressing issues such as conflict of interests. Outside of work, he co-founded the 100K Challenge, a charity movement that raises monies for other charities, which won the Platinum Award for a record fund-raising. Escamillo graduated with First Class Honors from the National University of Singapore and is a CFA and CAIA charterholder. He has published research related to corporate governance in Asia-Pacific.
Prior to enrolling at Columbia Business School, Jim worked for six years in the Real Estate industry in finance, investment and development. Jim worked for Trammell Crow Company, AMI Capital and The Carlyle Group before starting his own investment and development company based in Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD. Recent projects included the redevelopment of two historic apartment buildings in downtown Baltimore, MD. Jim is an active volunteer, working with Special Olympics as well as Honeycare Africa, a social enterprise project providing a sustainable source of income to impoverished rural African inhabitants. He holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and is a native of Bethesda, MD.
Olivia Peoples has been active both on the staff and boards of social change organizations for the last twelve years. As a senior in high school she was a founding board member of The City School, a nonprofit organization that develops the leadership capacity of diverse high school students who are interested in social justice issues. She subsequently joined the staff of The City School and developed and implemented social justice based curriculums. Since then Olivia has worked for the city of Boston, distributing public funds to nonprofit organizations. Immediately prior to starting at Columbia Business School, Olivia was the Community Initiatives Director at the Red Hook Community Justice Center, overseeing several programs that used the resources of the justice system to solve community problems. Olivia is also an active community volunteer. After several years of volunteer teaching at Boston area prisons, she moved to New York City and co-founded a volunteer organization, the Prison Education Initiation, that recruits and trains volunteers to teach classes at Riker's Island.
Before business school, Lakshmi worked as a healthcare-lifesciences consultant at IBM providing subject matter expertise to the healthcare industry, where she developed an understanding of the ethical and moral dilemmas that exist in this domain. Lakshmi also served on IBM's Invention Evaluation Board, has 14 pending patents and has mentored several first time innovators. Lakshmi is also involved in promoting the importance of women's education and creating awareness against domestic violence. She recently produced a short film aimed at increasing awareness of domestic violence amongst women in India. Lakshmi also enjoys the outdoors and like to travel.
Prior to business school, Doug spent five years in Philadelphia working for the Securities & Exchange Commission as a Securities Compliance Examiner. While at the SEC he was responsible for the inspection and investigation of various financial entities, including investment advisers, investment companies and transfer agents. Additionally, he specialized in the calculation and testing of investment performance returns and performed timely analysis for several of the “mutual fund late trading” cases that the Commission brought to trial. In 2001, Doug graduated from Villanova University with a BS in Finance and Management Info Systems. He is also a CPA. Doug's hobbies include snowboarding, golfing and traveling.
Jonathan has worked in various sales and marketing roles in the technology and consulting industries. Over the last three years he worked with LRN and the Corporate Legal Standard dealing in corporate compliance and responsibility. Most recently, he has been hired as the Director of Membership Development at CRO (Corporate Responsibility Officer) Corp LLC, a membership organization for corporate leaders, which now encompasses Business Ethics Magazine. He grew up in Massachusetts, and has lived in Boston, Los Angeles and currently resides in New York.
Before coming to Columbia Business School, Cai Steger worked in the nonprofit, entertainment and communications fields. Most recently, he was Manager of Communications at the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), where he completed a four-month research report covering thirty one Fortune 500 companies, which was distributed throughout the corporate philanthropy community. He also co-managed CECP's National Corporate Philanthropy Day efforts, co-edited CECP's quarterly publication on corporate philanthropy and served as the liaison for media relations. Previously, Cai trained for four years to be an agent in marketing and television at Creative Artists Agency, where he assisted in client service and business development efforts for top talent and corporate clients. In addition, he has served as a PR account executive, and worked as an Internet sales and marketing associate. A recipient of the Benjamin Botwinick Scholarship for ethics, Cai will be focusing on Social Enterprise.
Prior to business school, Amancaya worked as Regional SOX Compliance Manager at Barrick Gold Corporation where she drafted, implemented and monitored the first regional plan for 2005/2006. Previously, she worked at Banco Sudamericano (Scotiabank), where she designed a process modernization project with efficiency and customer care focus, resulting in a major shift in the bank's processes and strategy. She also worked as an analyst in Ernst &Young's Business Advisory Services. During undergraduate studies, she interned, among others, at the United Nations' Global Compact Office. Amancaya is native of Finland, is fluent in Spanish, French, and Finnish and has lived in six countries. She received her BS in Business Administration from Universidad del Pacifico in Peru.
Before coming to Columbia Business School, Jason joined JPMorgan as a management trainee in their Internal Consulting Services Leadership Program. As an Assistant Vice President and over his six year tenure at JPMorgan Chase, Jason integrated and developed complex organizations through mergers and acquisitions, from a number of management functional specialties including: finance, marketing, sales, strategy, client management, technology and operations and capital markets. Jason enjoys connecting classmates from “heartland” cultures like rural Texas to those from international capitals around the world. His goal is to lead through example to show that people, community and ethics must share pride of place next to the bottom line. Jason received his BS Degree in Communications and Leadership from Texas A&M University, where he received the “Buck Weirus Spirit Award”, the University's highest honor for students.
2006–07 Board Members
Sara Batterton ’07 — Co-chair
Before coming to Columbia Business School, Sara spent four years working in the non-profit sector in Baltimore and New York. At the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private charitable foundation, she worked on designing, funding and implementing community and economic development programs that benefited low-income families and neighborhoods. In particular, she focused on developing model programs that increased access to and affordability of financial services for low-income individuals with limited and/or damaged credit. Prior to this, Sara worked at the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, where she conducted research to guide the development of a secondary market for affordable sub-prime mortgage loans originated by non-profit lenders. This effort sought to leverage the capital markets on behalf of sustainable financing streams for non-profit lenders. Sara is currently focused on community and economic development by concentrating in real estate and social enterprise. She holds a BA in Spanish and Political Science from Columbia University and is a native of Baltimore, MD.
Kimberley Tait ’07 — Co-chair
Prior to business school, Kimberley worked in the corporate communications division of Golin/Harris in Chicago. She then moved to New York City to join the September 11th relief effort as a crisis communications coordinator at the 9/11 United Services Group, an umbrella organization coordinating the non-profits working on the front lines of the disaster response. Kimberley then worked on the corporate communications team at Citigroup's corporate center as Manager & Senior Editor, co-managing the 2005 companywide launch of the Five Point Plan and Shared Responsibilities – Citigroup's effort to promote an internal culture of ethics and integrity to 300,000 employees in 100 countries. In her spare time, Kimberley serves as Director of Marketing for local non-profit Giving Opportunities To Others and enjoys training for marathons, writing fiction, and skiing. She is a native of Toronto, Canada, and graduated with honors in English and Government at Dartmouth College.
Alex Gregory ’07 — EMBA Chair
Alex Gregory graduated from Tufts University in 1995, and has spent most of his career in Financial Technology. He spent ten years on Wall Street at Morgan Stanley in Fixed Income and Prime Brokerage, and at Bank of America at the Credit Derivatives Desk. Alex has been an active member of the community, serving as a high-school mentor and SAT Math teacher for inner city youths. Alex also served as a board member for Comp2Kids, an organization dedicated to bridging the digital divide in New York City, from 1999 thru 2003.
Prior to business school, Brian was a product marketing manager for National Instruments, an electrical test equipment manufacturer in Austin, TX, where he managed market and competitive analysis, product positioning and messaging, field sales force training, and press communications for two product lines. He has written numerous articles for international test equipment industry publications and led the company's first synchronized global product launch. Brian graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in electrical engineering focused on power and control systems. While at Colorado, he worked as an undergraduate research assistant for the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.
After graduating Columbia College with a BA in Economics, Michael worked at CIBC World Markets' Financial Institutions Investment Banking Group. After almost two years, some of his co-workers and he left to begin a private practice consulting company within the same industry. After a year he was hired by one of their clients to head their Operations Department. After selling that company, he moved to China and enrolled in Nanjing University's Chinese Language Program where he completed the intermediate level of their program. Over the past four years Michael has been on the Young Patrons Board of the Museum of Art and Design, the Asia Society, and the National Jewish Hospital.
Before coming to Columbia, Sumitra worked in India, the Middle East and in the United States, in industries including personal care, confectionery, financial services and consulting. For a period Sumitra managed India's largest confectionery brand. Most recently, she was a strategy consultant focusing on the consumer and retail sectors. While working at Perfetti SpA, she headed a senior level task force to chart the vision and mission of the company. Sumitra has a post graduate diploma from the Indian Institute of Management, and won the Governor's gold medal for excellence in her undergraduate degree. She is also the founder vice-president of an association created to promote leadership skills among underprivileged youth, sponsored by Rotary International, and is also involved with several New York City nonprofits including Bottomless Closet and New York Cares, in the area of helping women from low income households return to the workplace.
Before coming to Columbia Business School, Rohit conducted research on corporate regulation at the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution, two prominent public policy think tanks in Washington, DC. He published three papers on the economic analysis of regulation. While in DC, Rohit also worked for Congressman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on corporate governance issues. Prior to his work in Washington, he was a lead financial advisor for IBM's Microelectronics Division. He graduated cum laude with distinction in economics from Yale University in 2000. At Yale, he helped found the Museum of Money and Financial Institutions, a virtual museum dedicated to improving economic literacy. He was also awarded the Davie Prize for improving the quality of life of his college. In his spare time, he teaches soccer skills and mentors youth.
Robert received a BA cum laude in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Prior to business school, Robert worked in merchandising and corporate strategy for Target Corporation in Minneapolis where he helped divest two business units, develop a strategy for the company's supercenter format, and reinvent the pet care department. While working, Robert also mentored Minneapolis elementary school students and helped organize volunteer events at a Minneapolis homeless shelter.
Prior to business school, Michelle worked on a documentary film featuring Nobel Peace Prize Laureates from India, Tibet, Ireland, Burma, Argentina and Iran. As part of a production team she helped the Laureates retell the pivotal moments in their lives that changed the course of history for themselves, their nation and the global community. Michelle has worked in Viacom's New York headquarters as a member of the channel acquisition unit. At Viacom she helped analyze and redesign the finance operations of 30+ U.S. broadcasting stations. She is fluent in French and highly proficient in computer programming. Michelle completed her undergraduate education at Dartmouth College.
Prior to business school, Marc spent five years as an investment banker in Toronto, most recently as an Associate at Dundee Securities Corporation. During that time, he founded the Annual Red & White Winter Ball for Rethink Breast Cancer which has raised over $40,000 for cancer research to date. He is active with the Sigma Chi Fraternity in mentoring undergraduate students and helping foster values-based leaders. Marc is native of Montreal and is fluent in French. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration (Honors) from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. Marc is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the Toronto Society of Financial Analysts.
2005–06 Board Members
Jonathan Gordon ’06 — Co-chair
Before coming to Columbia Business School, Jon managed the New York City MS Bike Tour, an annual 5,000-person, $2 million fundraising event. Before joining the MS Society, he worked for a number of startups, both as an employee and as a consultant, writing business plans, developing investor presentations, creating financial models and securing new clients. He joined Kargo, a wireless internet startup, as the first employee, and managed operations and strategy as the company raised $3 million and grew to forty employees. Prior to joining Kargo, Jon was an analyst for the Blackstone Group. Jon graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 1999 with a degree from the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs.
Dimple Kaur ’06 — Co-chair
Before coming to Columbia Business School, Dimple worked as a strategic business consultant at Blue Cross Blue Shield and MasterCard International. She was also a director at Jupiter Research, an internet research firm. Prior to that, Dimple worked at Rockwell Automation as a liaison between corporate headquarters and Rockwell's Latin America and Asia-Pacific subsidiaries. Additionally, she has served underprivileged communities in New York and Wisconsin by developing and teaching at after-school academic programs and as a board member on several NGOs. In the immediate post 9/11 period, she was profiled on PrimeTime with Connie Chung for her work as an activist in New York City. Dimple speaks Hindi and Punjabi fluently and is currently learning Spanish. She holds a B.B.A. from University of Wisconsin. In her spare time, Dimple enjoys working out, meditating, hiking and jogging with her dog.
Cindy Bo plans to join Booz Allen Hamilton upon graduation. She is interested in focusing on health care management consulting and policy. Prior to business school, she worked at Deloitte for five years, managing engagements at major academic hospitals, including The University of Pennsylvania Health System and New York-Presbyterian Health System. At Columbia, she is the Co-President of Health Care Industry Association (HCIA), the Co-Vice President of Community of Columbia Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO), and active members of the Management Consulting Association (MCA) and Hermes Society. Outside of school, she is also the founder and volunteer of the Lenox Hill Career Development Program. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with five-year old son, writing children's short stories, and crafting pottery.
Chris Hunter, Corporate Energy Manager for Johnson & Johnson, is responsible for coordinating the company's energy program and climate change strategy in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. A graduate of the College of Engineering at Rutgers University (highest honors), he has been with the company since 1997. Chris holds a Certified Energy Manager designation and was a founding member of the Green Power Market Development Group. He is also a Board member of The Climate Group, a leadership coalition of organizations committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions launched by Prime Minister Tony Blair in April 2004. Chris is an avid leisure traveler, cook, photographer and sportsman. He currently lives and works in Brussels.
After graduating from Amherst College in 1999 with a BA in Psychology, Kim worked in Private Wealth Management at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York and San Francisco. In 2003, she left Goldman Sachs to pursue her long standing interest in medicine and medical ethics. Kim spent the year before business school working at the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics as Research Projects Manager of the Neuroethics Imaging Group. In addition to an MBA, she is also studying for a Master of Bioethics at The University of Pennsylvania. Kim plans to pursue a career centered around both business and bioethics.
After receiving a master's degree in journalism in 1997 from New York University, Jonathan spent two years as a reporter with the Philadelphia Inquirer. He has also written for the New York Daily News and the Houston Chronicle in its Washington Bureau. In 2000, Jonathan transitioned from journalism to Wall Street, working in equity research sales covering mutual funds and hedge funds. In 2003 and 2004, he was named to Smith Barney's Chairman's Club, reserved for the firm's top producers. He has successfully completed CFA Level One.