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The Paul M. Montrone Seminar Series on Ethics

Montrone dinner with Ratan Tata

The Paul M. Montrone Seminar Series on Ethics is an intimate series of roundtables which focus on real-life ethical issues and the consequences of decisions. This series of sessions fosters open dialogue between business leaders and a small group of students, providing an opportunity for discussion and reflection, which students do not always have in a lecture. While everyone carries values from their upbringing, these values are often latent, not examined or discussed. These roundtables provide a forum for bringing assumed values into the open, where they can be challenged and honed.

The roundtables create a special environment — one in which students can safely discuss dilemmas of choice they may have already faced or fear facing in the future. These small sessions engage students and allow them to ask questions in a more intimate setting, increasing the comfort with which students think about, discuss and practice ethics, making it second nature, thus preparing them to become responsible leaders.

Topics examined and debated range from how individual behavior can affect entire companies and in turn affect shareholders and the public to how small decisions can be particularly impactful — echoing the School’s underlying philosophy as it relates to ethics that “the little things do matter,” particularly in day-to-day business decisions. The core values of corporate culture — an emphasis on speed, authority and an orientation to maximize financial results — can sometimes lead to imperfect systems, particularly with respect to ethics. Best practices in business are not always ethical practices, and there is often little time or opportunity to think, to challenge or to reflect on day-to-day actions.

The Paul M. Montrone Seminar Series on Ethics is a critical part of the MBA experience, and provides a forum for a slow-motion approach to breaking down fast-paced decisions. Discussions with corporate leaders expose students to business leaders making real ethical decisions, giving them the chance to engage more directly in dilemmas of choice. This Seminar Series not only allows students to benefit from the experiences of established leaders, but from each other’s experiences, as well. The Series emphasizes that ethics is not a compartmentalized issue only relevant to those making major decisions and inspired from the top down, but must be practiced on all levels. This format encourages a free exchange of ideas, enabling students to learn to identify the theoretical and practical issues of recognizing and responding to ethical dilemmas, and allowing them to find the link between good ethics and good business.

Past Speakers


Warren Stephens, CEO, Stephens Inc.

Kenneth R. Feinberg, Founder and Managing Partner, Feinberg Rozen, LLP

John C. Liu, Former Comptroller, City Council Member, & 2013 New York City Mayoral Candidate

Eric Gebaide '96, Board Member, Demoulas Market Basket

Arihant Patni, Managing Director, Hive Technologies

Brad Katsuyama, President and CEO, IEX

Joshua Klein, former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York

Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of The Tata Group

Kaihan Krippendorff '99, strategist, speaker, consultant and author

Alex Robertson, President and Chief Operating Officer of Tiger Management, LLC.

Tom Doorley '69, CEO, Sage Partners

Maria L. Chrin '89, Founder and Managing Partner of Circle Wealth Management, LLC (CWM)

Rod McCowan, CEO, Paideia Systems Group

Barbara S. Miller, Partner in Management Solutions for Nonprofit Organizations

Lewis A. Sanders, CEO and Co-CIO of Sanders Capital, LLC.

Meryl D. Hartzband '82, Chief Investment Officer of Stone Point and a member of the Investment Committees of the Trident Funds

Peter Cohen '69, Chairman and CEO of Cowen Group

Paul Volcker, Professor Emeritus of International Economic Policy at Princeton University

Clover Bergmann '78, Managing Director, Golden Seeds

Paul Johnson, Managing Member, Nicusa Capital and Adjunct Professor, Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd Investing

Ellen Zimiles, Managing Director and Head of Global Investigations and Compliance, Navigant Consulting’s Disputes and Investigations Practice

Meg McConnell, Senior Vice President, Financial Stability and Regulatory Policy, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Jim Chanos, Founder and Managing Partner, Kynikos Associates LP

Marilyn Fedak, Vice Chair Emeritus for Investment Services at AllianceBernstein

Whitney Tilson, Founding and Managing Partner, T2 Partners LLC and the Tilson Mutual Funds

John Kamm, Founder and Executive Director, Dui Hua Foundation

Jeffrey Lehman, Independent Director & Chair-Nominations Committee, Infosys

Lieutenant General Richard Y. Newton III, assistant vice chief of staff and director of Air Staff for the US Air Force

Antanas Mockus, Colombian 2010 Presidential Candidate, Former mayor of Bogota City, and Co-Founder of Colombian Green Party

Peter Lowy, Group Managing Director of the Westfield Group

John Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress

Richard M. Sternhell ’69, former Managing Principal of Towers Watson

Charles H. Green, Founder and CEO of Trusted Advisor Associates

Peter Stringham, CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands

Sebastian Fries, Director of Strategic Planning at Pfizer

James Gamble JD/MBA ’94, Litigation Partner at Simpson, Thacher and Bartlett LLP

Secretary Robert Rubin, Former Secretary of the Treasury

Secretary John W. Snow, Former Secretary of the Treasury

Scott Budde, Managing Director of the Global Social and Community Investment Group and Founder of the Global Microfinance Investment Program at TIAA-CREF

Van Jones, Former Special Advisor on Green Jobs to President Obama

O. Griffith Sexton, Board Member at Morgan Stanley and Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School

Lewis B. Kaden, Vice Chairman of Citigroup Inc.

Elizabeth Kalodner '84, Executive Vice President and General Manager for CBS Consumer Products

Jeff Barker, current New York Market President for Bank of America

Robert Downey, Former Senior Director of Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Marc Mayer '83, CEO of GMO LLC

Jeannette Gorgas, Managing Director at Deutsche Bank's Global Markets

Enrique Goni Beltran de Garizurieta, CEO of Caja Navarra

Alice Rivlin, Senior Fellow in the Economic Studies Program at Brookings

John Bodt, Head of Project Finance at Bluewater Wind

Todd Stitzer, CEO of Cadbury

Majora Carter, Founder of Sustainable South Bronx and President of the Majora Carter Group, LLC

Carter Bales, Director Emeritus of McKinsey and the Wicks Group

Burt Staniar, Chairman of Knoll, Inc.

Sarah Nash, former Vice Chairman of J.P. Morgan

Richard Perl '79, CEO of Chocolat Michel Cluizel.

Patrizia Carlevaro, Head of the International Aid Unit at Eli Lilly

Ronald Freeman, Member of the Investment Committee for the Doughty Hanson & Company European Property Fund

Carlos Joly, Former Chair of the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Asset Mgmt Working Group and the Climate Working Group

Thomas L. Reece, Chairman of Dover Corporation
Read about his visit in Center News.

Pat Gnazzo, Senior Vice President, Business Practices and Chief Compliance Officer of CA, Inc. (formerly Computer Associates)
Read about his visit in Center News.

Adam Quinton, Managing Director at Merrill Lynch & Co.

Eric Eve, Senior Vice President of Community Relations, Citigroup Global Consumer Group

Kurt Hoffman, Director of the Shell Foundation

Josephine Linden, Partner at Goldman, Sachs & Co
Read about her visit in Center News.

David Gebler, CEO and Founder of Working Values, Ltd.
Read about his visit in Center News.

Miguel J. Schloss ’68, Managing Partner of DamConsult
Read about his visit in Center News.

Arnold Chavkin ’77, CIO of JP Morgan Partners
Read student article in the Bottom Line.

Susan Frieden ’71, Head Partner of Ernst & Young’s new Quality and Risk Management initiative for the Americas

Featured Research

Economists Aren’t As Nonpartisan As We Think
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Discover the Research >

Program Brochure

View the Bernstein Center brochure, Ethical Challenges in Business