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Chief Executive Leadership Institute Honors Colin Powell with Legend in Leadership Award

General Colin Powell

Colin Powell, retired four-star U.S. Army General, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989–93), and 65th U.S. Secretary of State (2001–05), will accept the Legend in Leadership Award of the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute  on September 18,  2019, at a ceremony at the Yale CEO Caucus in Washington, D.C.

The award will be presented to General Powell by Carla A. Hills, former U.S. Trade Representative and fifth U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; David P. Abney, Chairman & CEO, UPS; Farooq Kathwari, Chairman, President and CEO, Ethan Allen; and John D. Negroponte, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State. Summit organizer Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Senior Associate Dean for Leadership Studies at the Yale School of Management, commented:

“Despite the range of ideologies, politics, policies, and personalities that divide our nation, there is no more unifying a figure—even in Washington, D.C.—than General Colin Powell. A national treasure, he is revered across sectors, continents, and cultures. Born in Harlem to Jamaican immigrant parents and raised in the South Bronx, he found his public service mission when he enrolled the ROTC program at City College of New York. He earned 11 awards for military heroism in two tours of duty in Vietnam before rising through the ranks in the Pentagon. Renowned for his leadership through Operation Desert Storm under President George H. W. Bush, he continued on as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Clinton Administration, later serving the Secretary of State under President George W. Bush. General Powell discouraged media suggestions that he would be an ideal presidential candidate. Although a long-term Republican, he has been truly independent-minded in politics, surprising many when he supported Barack Obama for president. He serves on several corporate boards but much of his time is devoted to helping young people. He chairs the Board of Visitors of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at his alma mater, CCNY. Decorated with almost every civilian award, such as two Presidential Medals of Freedom and dozens of honorary degrees, we are so fortunate that he is willing to accept this Yale distinction—one of the few global honors he has not already received.”

The Legend in Leadership Award was created 25 years ago to honor current and former CEOs who serve as living legends to inspire chief executives across industries, sectors, and nations. Past recipients include: Ratan Tata of the Tata Group; Jack Bogle of Vanguard; Bernie Marcus of The Home Depot; Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo; Bob Iger of Disney; Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President and CEO, IBM; Janet Yellen, chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (2014–18); Mary T. Barra, chairman and CEO, General Motors Company; Brian Moynihan, chairman and CEO, Bank of America; David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and co-executive chairman, The Carlyle Group; Leonard S. Schleifer, president and CEO, and George D. Yancopoulos, president and chief scientific officer, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; Brian Roberts, CEO, Comcast; Marillyn Hewson, CEO, Lockheed Martin; Jamie Dimon, CEO, JPMorgan Chase; Ken Frazier, CEO, Merck; and FU Chengyu, former CEO, Sinopec. A full list of recipients can be found online.

The caucus theme is Running Your Business through Shifting Sands: Traversing Diplomatic Crises and Domestic Causes. 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.

Caucus participants include: General Colin L. Powell (ret.), Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989–93), 65th U.S. Secretary of State; Robert E. Lighthizer, U.S. Trade Representative; Kevin Rudd, 26th Prime Minister of Australia (2007-2013); David P. Abney, Chairman & CEO, UPS; Dennis A. Muilenberg, Chairman, President & CEO, The Boeing Company; Alex Gorsky, Chairman & CEO, Johnson & Johnson; C. Allen Parker, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Wells Fargo & Company; Stefano Pessina, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance; Tamara L. Lundgren, President & CEO, Schnitzer Steel Industries; Carmen Di Sibio, Global Chairman & CEO, EY; D. James Umpleby III, Chairman & CEO, Caterpillar; Dina H. Powell, U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor (2017-2018); Richard C. Adkerson, Vice Chairman, President & CEO, Freeport-McMoRan; Sara K. Williamson, CEO, FCLT Global; Bob Woodward, Associate Editor, The Washington Post; Greg Fischer, Mayor, Louisville, Kentucky; Carla A. Hills, U.S. Trade Representative (1989-1993), 5th U.S. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development; Farooq Kathwari, Chairman, President & CEO, Ethan Allen; James P. Keane, President & CEO, Steelcase; Kevin A. Lobo, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Stryker Corporation; and Catherine L. Mann, Global Chief Economist, Citibank.

Conference partners: Edelman, EY, Korn Ferry, PepsiCo, Central Asset Investments, UPS, CNBC.

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. For more information, visit