Becton Fellowship Program Brings Top Leaders into the Classroom

This semester, students are getting the opportunity to hear from prominent leaders in a variety of organizations through the Becton Fellowship Program.

The visiting speakers, many of them graduates of Yale SOM, have diverse careers in a variety of industries. They include Laszlo Bock ’99, senior vice president for people operations at Google; Dominic Barton, McKinsey’s global managing director; Rodney O’Neal, retired CEO and president of Delphi Corp; Neal Keny-Guyer ’82, CEO of MercyCorps; and Donna Dubinsky YC ’77, CEO of Numenta.

Timothy Collins ’82, chair of the Yale SOM Board of Advisors and CEO of Ripplewood Holdings, is the Senior Becton Fellow and has helped assemble the roster of speakers.

"The Becton Program brings speakers with deep experience and profound insight to SOM,” Collins says. “Our students get the opportunity to meet and learn first-hand from leaders who hail from a wide variety of sectors and who are on the front lines, addressing the most pressing issues impacting business and society today."

Some of the speakers give talks that are open to the entire community. Others interact with students as visitors to the Advanced Leadership course, part of Yale SOM’s Leadership Development Program.

Professor James Baron, who is teaching Advanced Leadership, says that such accomplished speakers can provide important guidance for students developing their own leadership skills.

“It’s an unparalleled opportunity for students to observe these leaders’ approaches to global leadership, their varying styles, and the contexts that influence them,” he says. “Students also get invaluable insight into their own career planning as the speakers reflect on the paths they followed and the critical turning points that influenced their development.”

This semester’s Becton Fellowship Program speakers also include Dave Cote, CEO of Honeywell; Linda Mason ’80, co-founder and chair of Bright Horizons; General Stanley McChrystal, former commander of the International Security Assistance Force and United States Forces Afghanistan; Gillian Tett, US managing editor at the Financial Times; and Bill McComb, former CEO of Fifth & Pacific Companies. 

The Becton Fellowship Program was established in 1980 by medical device manufacturer Becton, Dickinson & Company in honor of company Chairman Henry P. Becton YC ’37.