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A Year of Compelling Speakers

We already knew that one of the advantages of being an MBA student at Yale is the opportunity to hear from leaders and thinkers from across the world. But when we looked back at all the people who visited SOM this past year, even we were surprised.

Fall Semester

Private Equity Veteran Robert Davis ’97 on the Importance of Character in Deal Making
The managing director for Aetna’s private equity group tells students that there’s more to a transaction than just getting the best terms.

Johnson & Johnson Executives Discuss Building a Sustainable Brand
How does a company ensure that it is accurately representing the sustainability benefits of products in its marketing material? At the first Colloquium on Sustainability Marketing event, representatives from Johnson & Johnson discussed the company’s Earthwards sustainability designation.

Yale Law School Dean Robert C. Post Discusses Free Speech and Academic Freedom
The Convening Yale speaker series kicked off on September 17 with a talk by Yale Law School Dean Robert C. Post about the role of expertise in a democracy.  

Watch a Yale Insights interview with Robert Post.

Yale World Fellow: Government-NGO Partnerships are Key to Fighting Poverty in China
Wang Xingzui discussed China’s ongoing efforts to alleviate poverty in a talk at Yale SOM on October 8.

How Goldman Sachs Thinks about Leadership
Shoma Chatterjee, who leads the Americas region at the firm’s Pine Street Leadership Development Group, spoke as a guest of Yale SOM’s Leadership Development Program.

Yale World Fellow Carlos Vecchio Discusses Economic Crisis and Change in Venezuela
Carlos Vecchio, the co-founder of the political movement Voluntad Popular, spoke as a guest of the Latin Leadership Association.

PepsiCo’s Manoj Fenelon Looks Past the Horizon
Manoj Fenelon, the director of foresight at Pepsi, described the new thinking and emerging trends that will reshape future business practices during a talk at Yale SOM on November 7.

Margaret Marshall, Former Massachusetts Chief Justice, Discusses a Groundbreaking Career
Margaret Marshall, the first woman to serve as chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the author of the opinion legalizing same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, shared her thoughts on creating change as part of the Convening Yale series.

Watch a Yale Insights interview with Margaret Marshall.

Spring Semester

Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller Discusses His Career
Yale SOM students, faculty, and staff packed Zhang Auditorium to hear Robert J. Shiller, the Sterling Professor of Economics and Professor of Finance, reprise his 2013 Nobel Prize Lecture on January 16.

Watch a Yale Insights interview with Robert Shiller.

Business + Society Conference: Recaps and Video
More than 600 people participated in Business + Society: Leadership in an Increasingly Complex World, the conference marking the opening of Edward P. Evans Hall. The three-day event featured 12 panels and 66 distinguished speakers, examining major trends transforming markets and organizations around the world.

Recruiting for Superpowers
In our last class before Thanksgiving break, we had an amazing guest speaker, Shira Springer, a sports reporter for the Boston Globe, who spoke to us about using sports analytics to predict the performance decline of aging basketball players.

How Did Journalists Miss the Looming Financial Crisis?
Wall Street Journal reporter Dean Starkman had been writing about business for 10 years when the financial crisis of 2008 struck. Responses from his colleagues in the business press varied from disbelief to outrage.

The Seven Laws of Innovation
Hunter Tura, President and CEO of Bruce Mau Design, spoke to students about the fundamentals of innovation.

Alcoa CEO and Chairman Klaus Kleinfeld Discusses the Ingredients for Leadership
Speaking as part of the Leaders Forum lecture series, Klaus Kleinfeld said that young business leaders need the discipline to master complex subjects.

Seeing Is Believing
New products with global marketing potential don’t come along very often, but Sasson Darwish ’94 says he has one. Darwish is the vice chairman of GlassesOff, a startup that promises to restore normal vision to middle-aged eyes, eliminating forever the need for bifocal lenses, through a simple, game-like training app on your smartphone.

Watch a Yale Insights interview with Sasson Darwish.

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman Discusses Fallout from the Financial Crisis
Speaking as part of the Leaders Forum lecture series on January 29, James Gorman called the banking crisis that began in 2008 an “embarrassing” industry failure that required an aggressive federal response.

Watch a Yale Insights interview with James Gorman.

Richard Levin, Yale’s President Emeritus, Discusses the Role of the Research University
Richard Levin called for increased federal funding for university-based research, which he said is important to securing American prosperity.

Extracting a Better Deal
Jenik Radon has for almost 20 years gone eye-to-eye with oil and gas companies planning to extract new reserves in emerging nations. His role, he told students at Yale SOM on February 20, is to represent the public good. “I’m pretty forthright,” he said. “That’s why the industry doesn’t appreciate me—and doesn’t like me.”

Physicians and Hospitals Face a Changing Sector
Graduates of Yale SOM and the Yale School of Public Health in the healthcare industry discussed the physician’s role in the rapidly evolving healthcare sector at an alumni event on March 19. CEO Gary White Discusses Microfinance as a Tool for Access to Water
Gary White’s WaterCredit Initiative has helped people without access to traditional credit markets secure loans and pay for clean water and sanitation.

Christine Bader '00 on a Career in Corporate Social Responsibility
Christine Bader ’00 discussed her career in corporate responsibility as part of the Colloquium on Business and Society at Yale SOM on March 24.

Facets of Sustainability
In 2007, B. P. Agrawal left his longtime career in the telecommunications industry to launch a U.S.-based NGO that would address the shortages of clean drinking water and healthcare in rural parts of India, his native country. The goal was to develop local, self-sustaining solutions. But, he told students, “I had no clue what sustainability meant at the time.”

Talk by Thomas Friedman Marks Two-Year Anniversary of Global Network
The New York Times columnist spoke at Evans Hall in an event streamed live to schools in the Global Network for Advanced Management.

What Makes a Successful Hedge Fund Trader?
Two elements distinguish successful traders from those who struggle at hedge funds, Todd Finegold ’04, managing director at Maverick Capital, told students: creativity and conviction.

Incentives Key to Healthcare Transformation
A panel at the Yale Healthcare Conference held April 11 examined the role of incentives in healthcare reform.

Case Foundation CEO Jean Case Discusses Innovation in the Social Sector
In a question-and-answer session with Yale SOM students, Jean Case said that bold risk-taking is needed in today’s social sector.

Should Fuel Prices Reflect Their True Costs?
Is it worth paying more for gas and coal now to spur emissions reductions in the future? Definitely, according to Bob Litterman, a partner and chairman of the risk committee at Kepos Capital.

Mondelēz International CEO Irene Rosenfeld on Strategy in the Global Snack Market
Speaking as part of the Leaders Forum lecture series, Irene Rosenfeld shared her strategy for successfully introducing American snack foods to overseas markets.

Tim and Nina Zagat Discuss the Origins of the Zagat Survey
Tim and Nina Zagat, founders of the Zagat Survey, discussed the unique user-generated content that has made their company a household name.

The Cloud of Disruption Hovering over the Tech Sector
Josh Geballe YC ’97, ’02, visiting campus on April 28, told Yale SOM students that there are “massive opportunities” in the technology sector.

Siemens USA CEO: Global Experience Is Key
Eric Spiegel told students that his company needs executives with global experience to compete.

Goldman Sachs Panel Focuses on Work-Life Balance
Members of Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division discussed their career paths with Yale SOM students in a panel discussion sponsored by the Women in Management club on April 17.

Video: Education Leadership Conference Aims to ‘Reframe, Reimagine, Reignite’ Reform
Two keynote speeches at the eighth annual Education Leadership Conference, a leading industry event hosted by the Education Club, addressed the challenges in improving education in poor communities.

EMBA Students Preview New Healthcare Tool: IBM’s Watson
Representatives of IBM discussed the healthcare applications for the company’s “cognitive computing system” in Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld’s class.

Narrating Your Critical Path
When Andrea Lustig ’86, the president of the Stralem Equity Fund and director of private client asset management at Stralem & Company, spoke at Yale SOM on April 8, she gave students advice on a critical part of the job search: the interview.

Fosun International’s Harvey Fine on Bringing Overseas Brands to China
Harvey Fine, a New York-based executive of China’s Fosun International, spoke on April 29 about the firm’s strategy.