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Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute to Honor American Express Chairman and CEO Kenneth Chenault with Yale Legend in Leadership Award

New Haven, Conn., June 7, 2011 - American Express Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Chenault will accept the "Legend in Leadership Award" from the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute at a ceremony to be held June 8 at the New York Stock Exchange.

New Haven, Conn., June 7, 2011 - American Express Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Chenault will accept the "Legend in Leadership Award" from the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute at a ceremony to be held June 8 at the New York Stock Exchange. 

The award will be presented to Mr. Chenault by Ivan G. Seidenberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Verizon Communications, at the 66th gathering of the Yale CEO Summit of The Chief Executive Leadership Institute, the world's first CEO college. 

Other conference participants are expected to include: Thomas Glocer, CEO, Thomson Reuters; Jon Corzine, Chairman & CEO, MF Global; Nicholas Pinchuk, Chairman, President & CEO, Snap-on Incorporated; Thomas Quinlan, President & CEO, RR Donnelley & Sons; Tony Alvarez, Co-CEO, Alvarez & Marsal; John Legere, CEO, Global Crossing; Kay Koplovitz, Chairman of the Board, Liz Claiborne; Gerardo Lopez, CEO & President, AMC Entertainment;Gary Knell, President & CEO, Sesame Workshop; Stuart Miller, CEO, Lennar; Lynn Tilton, Founder & CEO, Patriarch Partners;Barry Gosin, CEO, Newmark Knight Frank; Frederick Terrell, Vice Chairman, Credit Suisse; Stephen Roach, Non-Executive Chairman of Asia, Morgan Stanley; Walter Buckley, Co-Founder & CEO, Internet Capital Group; US Undersecretary of Defense Ashton Carter;Elaine Chao, former US Secretary of Labor; James Woolsey, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Alan Murray, Deputy Managing Editor and Executive Editor, Online, the Wall Street Journal; Andrew Ross Sorkin, Editor, Dealbook, the New York Times; Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Anchor, CNBC; RK Pachauri, Chairman, UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC (2007 Nobel Peace Prize); and IBM's WATSON computer, among 100 other top opinion leaders across sectors. 

Kenneth Chenault has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Express Company since January 2001, having joined the company in 1981. Chenault began his career at American Express as Director of Strategic Planning. He was named President of the Consumer Card Group in 1989, and in 1993, was named president of Travel Related Services. In 1995, he assumed the added responsibility for the company's worldwide card and travel businesses and also was named Vice Chairman of American Express. In 1997, Chenault became President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to American Express, Chenault was a management consultant at Bain & Co., and before that, an attorney at Rogers & Wells. He presently serves as Vice Chairman of the Business Council and the Business Roundtable. 

Conference organizer Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for executive programs at the Yale School of Management, commented, "From the disruptive technological and consumer market revolutions that converged on the world of finance in the 1980s and 1990s, to the horrors of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center adjacent to American Express, to the turmoil and its consequences over the past decade, and the global financial crisis of this current decade, Ken Chenault has been both a stabilizing pillar of wisdom and an inspiring leader with compelling vision for the future. He is revered for his Socratic leadership model—encouraging constructive debate and candor, avoiding grandiosity, and transcending ideological barriers. As a leader who embraces change, Ken is referred to by many CEOs as a model for sorting through and refining regulatory changes, identifying new consumer interests, entering emerging markets, and embracing new technologies." 

The Yale CEO Summit will be held tonight and Wednesday at the New York Stock Exchange. While the discussions of the CEO Summit are off the record, the press is invited to attend the "Legend in Leadership Award" presentation to Mr. Chenault on Wednesday, June 8, as well as the final conference session, "Keeping Revolutions Forever Young: Investing in Legacies for their Future," which immediately follows the award presentation. 

The conference theme is "Settling Old Debts, While Taking on New Risks." Distinguished global corporate leaders from across industries will engage in lively, candid discussions at this invitation-only leaders' conference hosted by the Yale School of Management. 

Conference sponsors include Alvarez & Marsal; CNBC; Deloitte; PepsiCo; IBM; NYSE Euronext; North Highland; Russell Reynolds Associates; and UPS. 

The "Legend in Leadership Award" was created 20 years ago to honor current and former CEOs who serve as living legends and to inspire chief executives across industries, sectors, and nations. Past winners include: Alan Mulally of Ford Motor Company; Ratan Tata of the TATA Group; Myron Ullman of J.C. Penney; Infosys founder Nandan Nilekani; Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase; Robert Iger of The Walt Disney Company; Stephen Schwarzman of The Blackstone Group; Roger Enrico of PepsiCo; John Pepper of Procter & Gamble; Don Keough of The Coca-Cola Co.; McKinsey founder Marvin Bower; Jim Kelly of UPS; Vanguard founder Jack Bogle; Ivan Seidenberg of Verizon; Richard Teerlink of Harley-Davidson; Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson; financier Wilbur Ross; and Lou Gerstner of IBM. 

The Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute was founded in 1989 to provide original research on top leadership and lively, current educational forums through peer-driven learning for accomplished leaders across a range of sectors. Visit the Yale CELI website for more information. 

For an interview with Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, or to register for the Legend in Leadership Award presentation ceremony and the final conference session, please contact Renée Anastasio, 203-432-9904;, or Bonnie Blake, 203-915-4783;