Stan Ahalt

Dean, UNC School of Data Science and Society

Stanley C. Ahalt is the Inaugural Dean of the UNC School of Data Science and Society (SDSS) and a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also serves as Executive Adviser and Domain Scientist for Team Science at the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) at UNC and as Associate Director of Informatics and Data Science (IDSci) in the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (NC TraCS), UNC’s CTSA program.

He came to UNC in 2009 from Ohio, where he served as Executive Director of the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) from 2003 to 2009 and as a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The Ohio State University for 22 years. Since coming to Carolina, Ahalt has developed key partnerships between RENCI and computer science and developed research partnerships involving RENCI, the UNC School of Medicine, the UNC School of Information and Library Sciences, and various research units at North Carolina State and Duke universities.

Ahalt launched several model programs at OSC, including Blue Collar Computing, a national program to bring high performance computing to a wide spectrum of industries and applications, and OSCnet, a leading high-speed research network for K-12 schools, higher education and economic development. He also served as co-chair of the Ohio Broadband Council, the coordinating body for the state’s initiative to extend the reach of the Broadband Ohio Network.

Ahalt earned his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Clemson University and has over 30 years of experience in data science, signal and image processing, and pattern recognition/ML.


DeLisa Alexander

Board Director, Qlik, Sophos and Synechron; Retired Chief People Officer, Red Hat

DeLisa Alexander served as the executive vice president and chief people officer of Red Hat, leading the organization responsible for global human resources including Red Hat University, from 2011 to 2021. The organization’s mission is to be a strategic partner to the business in acquiring, developing, and retaining talent and to enhance the Red Hat culture and talent brand. During Alexander’s tenure, Red Hat grew from 1,100 to 8,000+ associates and was recognized as one of the best places to work in multiple publications around the globe.

The founder of the Women’s Leadership Community at Red Hat, Alexander received a 2015 Stevie Silver Women in Business award in recognition of her leadership in advancing opportunities for women in technology. She serves on the executive committee for the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED); the board of directors for Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and Innovate Raleigh; and the board of advisors for the Bull City Ventures, NC State University Poole College of Management and SoarTriangle

Alexander joined Red Hat in 2001 and served in the office of general counsel until mid 2006, most recently as assistant general counsel and assistant secretary. She received her JD degree from the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.


Ritch Allison

Retired CEO, Domino's Pizza

Ritch Allison began as Domino’s chief executive officer in July 2018, previously serving as president of Domino’s International since 2014. Domino’s is the world’s ninth largest quick-service restaurant chain and the world’s No. 1 pizza company based on retail sales, with more than 17,200 stores in over 90 markets, as of Q3’20.

During the seven years Allison ran Domino’s International, since joining the company as executive vice president in 2011, the division expanded by more than 20 countries and grew by more than 5,000 stores. As of Q3 2020, Domino’s International had achieved 107 consecutive quarters of positive same stores sales growth. The International division accounts for more than one-half of the company’s global retail sales – nearly $7.3 billion in fiscal 2019.

Allison joined Domino’s after more than 13 years at Bain & Company, a leading business consulting firm, where he was a partner and co-leader of Bain’s restaurant practice, working with some of the world’s most well-known restaurant brands.

Early in his career at Bain, he worked in multiple industries including grocery retail, specialty services, manufacturing and logistics. In addition to his experience at Bain, he worked for BellSouth Corporation in strategic development and online services.

Allison received a B.S. in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and later earned an MBA from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, where he was named a Dean’s Scholar and received the Norman Block Award. He also serves on the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Board of Advisors. In September 2019, Allison was named to the board of directors at Starbucks Corporation.


Theresa Barber

Vice President, HR People Systems and Analytics, SAS

Theresa Barber is the Vice President, HR People Systems and Analytics with SAS Institute in Cary, NC. Theresa has been with SAS Institute since 2008.  Prior to joining SAS, she worked at Lucent Technologies for 10 years.  Theresa is a transformative HR leader whose career is marked by her passion for HR innovation. In her current role, she leads SAS’s HR People Systems and Analytics strategy with a specific focus on enhancing employee engagement and making data driven decision. Theresa partners with business leaders to develop and implement talent management strategies that revolve around engagement and continuous learning. Her deep understanding of the intersection between technology and human interaction ensures that SAS’s talent remains motivated, enthusiastic, and committed. Her approach prioritizes the well-being and satisfaction of employees, making them integral to the company’s success.

Theresa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.


Michael Barkley

Former CEO, KIND Snacks; Board Director, Higher Ambition Leadership Alliance

Mike Barkley is the former CEO of KIND Snacks and a current board director at the Higher Ambition Leadership Alliance and the Ignatian Solidarity Network.

Mike is a purpose-driven leader with a 30-year track record of building high-performance teams, driving transformational change, and creating enduring value at leading consumer product companies such as PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson, and Campbell’s. He succeeded founder Daniel Lubetzky as CEO of KIND Snacks and led the company into and through a new era of growth and expansion, culminating in the sale of KIND to Mars. Mike now dedicates much of his time and energy to helping people and organizations in the areas of education, faith formation, leadership development, and social justice.

Mike and his wife Amy both earned graduate degrees at UNC, and their youngest of four is currently a junior at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.


Sekou Bermiss

Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Sekou Bermiss’ research is in the area of strategic management and organizational theory. Specifically, he investigates how institutional factors shape the perception of firms by critical stakeholders. His research also explores the antecedents and consequences of human capital mobility and how different forms of employee movement impact a firm’s ability to compete with rivals.

Dr. Bermiss teaches courses in people analytics, managing human capital, leading for impact and organizational theory and design

He is a Fellow at the Filene Institute where he leads the research efforts of the “War for Talent” Center of Excellence.

His award-winning research has been published in the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal and Research in Organizational Behavior. His research has been highlighted by Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio.

He was honored as a Poets & Quants 2018 Top Undergraduate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, where he served on the faculty before joining UNC Kenan-Flagler.

Before entering academia, Dr. Bermiss worked for Deloitte Consulting in New York City.

He received his PhD and MS management and organizations from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and his BS in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


Kathy Boden Holland

CEO, Consumer Safety Technology

Greg Brown

Distinguished Professor of Finance and Sarah Graham Kenan Distinguished Scholar, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Greg Brown’s research centers on alternative investments, including hedge funds and private equity funds. He s a leading expert on financial risk and the use of derivative contracts as risk management tools.

He is the founder and research director of the Institute for Private Capital.

Dr. Brown served as executive director of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise from 2015-2023. During his tenure he significantly increased engagement with faculty members whose research has strengthened the institute as a source of data-driven solutions to economic problems for the public and private sectors. The institute filled a vital role during the pandemic, creating a COVID-19 dashboard displaying real-time data for North Carolina business leaders and policymakers, enabling better-informed decisions about the state’s reopening. In 2022 Brown helped launch the American Growth Project, which supports government officials, business leaders and other decision-makers by providing real-time economic analysis and forecasts.

His research has been published in leading academic and practitioner finance journals, including The Journal of Finance, The Journal of Financial Economics, The Review of Financial Studies, The Journal of Derivatives and The Financial Analyst Journal. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Alternative Investments.

Dr. Brown serves on the board of directors of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association.

He previously served as director of research for Amundi Smith Breeden Associates, a global asset management firm specializing in fixed income investments. He has served as a consultant on financial risk and portfolio management for money management firms, the U.S. government, non-profits and Fortune 500 companies.

Prior to joining UNC Kenan-Flagler, he worked at the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System in the division of research and statistics.

He also worked in artist relations for a subsidiary of Capitol Records in Hollywood.

He received his PhD in finance from the University of Texas at Austin and his BS with honors in physics and economics from Duke University.


Rick Brown

Senior Vice President, Leader on Loan, Bank of America

Richard (Rick) Brown is a Senior Vice President and Private Client Manager with Bank of America Private Bank in Raleigh, North Carolina. In his role, Rick is responsible for maintaining client relationships with high-net-worth individuals and families to identify opportunities and deliver a broad spectrum of client services including investment management, credit, lending and banking solutions, and estate planning services. Rick works closely with Private Client Advisors, Portfolio Managers, Trust Officers and Wealth Strategists to help ensure client satisfaction and relationship growth. He takes great satisfaction in his ability to connect clients with Bank of America’s extensive global resources that align with their distinctive needs.

Rick joined Bank of America in 1988 as a credit analyst. Prior to joining Bank of America Private Bank (formerly U.S. Trust) in 2017, he held a variety of positions within the commercial banking division. Rick spent 12 years in the government and public sector banking group, where he managed the relationships with state and local governments and public universities across North Carolina. Previously, he served as Bank of America’s city executive in Durham. He currently serves on Bank of America’s Triangle leadership team.

Originally from Illinois, Rick began his career there as a junior officer at a small bank before transitioning to Deere & Company where he was a financial systems analyst and worked on its audit staff. Rick earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and an M.B.A. in finance from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

Active in his community, Rick spent more than ten years coaching youth baseball, soccer, and basketball and has served on numerous non-profit boards. Most notably, he was the founding board president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Durham and Orange Counties, which has since grown to become Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle. He was also a founding board member of the Emily Krzyzewski Family Life Center. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity of Durham as past Chair. Rick’s hobbies center around sports, including tennis, golf, walking and general fitness.


Anita Brown-Graham

Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Government, UNC School of Government; Director, ncIMPACT Initiative

Anita Brown-Graham, Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Professor of Public Law & Government and Director of ncIMPACT Initiative, brings together critical stakeholders to help communities create collaborative change to overcome challenges.

Anita Brown-Graham, Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Professor of Public Law & Government and Director of ncIMPACT Initiative, brings together critical stakeholders to help communities create collaborative change to overcome challenges. She and her team have tackled the need for higher educational attainment, opioid misuse, economic mobility, and community economic development. Sought-after speaker and moderator, Brown-Graham serves as host for the ncIMPACT television program on PBS NC. The public affairs program features innovative community collaborations across North Carolina.

Anita R. Brown-Graham rejoined the UNC School of Government in September 2016 to lead the public launch of ncIMPACT—a special initiative that seeks to expand the School’s capacity to work with public officials on complex policy issues. She and her colleagues bring together critical stakeholders to help communities create collaborative change to overcome challenges, including keys to economic recovery after COVID, the need for greater numbers of post-secondary credentials and degrees, expansion of prekindergarten, and opioid misuse. Sought-after speaker and moderator, Brown-Graham serves as host for the ncIMPACT television program on PBS NC. The public affairs program features innovative community collaborations across North Carolina.

Brown-Graham’s first tour as a School faculty member was from 1994 to 2006, during which she specialized in governmental liability and community economic development aimed at revitalizing communities. In 2007, Brown-Graham became Director of the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at NC State University. There, she led IEI’s efforts to build North Carolina’s capacity for economic development and prosperity, working with leaders from across the state in the areas of business, government, and higher education to focus on issues important to North Carolina’s future. She began her career as a law clerk in the Eastern District of California. Brown-Graham is a William C. Friday Fellow, American Marshall Fellow, and Eisenhower Fellow. Past and current board service includes Aspen Institute: Thrive Rural, Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC Foundation, Consensus Building Institute, Made in Durham, NC IOLTA, OnBoardNC, Research Triangle Park, Triangle Community Foundation, and Z Smith Reynolds Foundation.

In 2013, the White House named her a Champion of Change for her work at IEI, and the Triangle Business Journal named her a 2014 Woman in Business for her policy leadership in the state and a 2017 CEO of the year. The UNC School of Government named her the Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Professor in 2020.

She earned an undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University and a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Candace Burnett

Vice President, Partner Resources, Starbucks

Candace Burnett is a seasoned human resources executive whose career spans diverse industries. She has consistently demonstrated her ability to contribute to executive policy creation and strategic planning, acting as the influential “voice of the people” in internal decision-making processes. Candace excels in personalizing corporate initiatives for local and regional deployment, cultivating a culture of investment in staff development and growth, all while achieving remarkable success within strict budget and schedule limitations.

Candace’s passion for talent development is evident throughout her career. She has continuously strived to attract and retain top talent within organizations, bridging knowledge and talent gaps with innovative solutions. Her talent management expertise extends to succession planning and maintaining candidate pipelines.

At the heart of Candace’s professional journey is a relentless commitment to continuous improvement. She excels in defining and leveraging key performance indicators (KPIs) to guide national and regional strategies. Her expertise extends to scaling up, streamlining, and standardizing internal processes, advocating for the adoption of smart technologies to enhance capacity, and ensuring the highest standards of workplace safety and security.

In her current role as Vice President, Human Resources at Starbucks, Candace directly supports over 7,000 Starbucks restaurants. She partners closely with the SVP of Operations to provide strategic HR leadership across the U.S. business in the area of people relations.

Prior to Starbucks, Candace served as the Field People Officer for McDonald’s USA. Candace oversaw the U.S. human resources field team supporting 14,000 restaurants and 1,300 franchisees. In this critical role, Candace was accountable for developing and implementing a strategic vision for HR functions across the U.S., impacting 800,000 crew members, 2,300 franchisees, and 40,000 staff. Her leadership during the pandemic and her focus on diversity strategies have left a lasting impact.

Candace’s life beyond HR is rich and fulfilling. She is married to her husband Carey and is a proud mother of two daughters, Gray and River, and shares her home with a Doberman named Nova. She enjoys traveling but as of late has been spending a large amount of time on soccer fields, as her nine-year-old twin daughters are avid soccer players. The entire family are huge fans of the Philadelphia Eagles!


Wayne Busch

Group President – Consulting & Digital Transformation Services, NTT DATA

Wayne Busch is group president of the Consulting & Digital Transformation business unit at NTT DATA Service, a Global IT Innovator delivering technology-enabled services and solutions to clients around the world. In this role Wayne leads an organization of almost ten thousand NTT DATA personnel who are passionate about using technology to help clients optimize and transform their current business models and position them for greater success in the eyes of their customers, employees and shareholders.

Wayne brings three decades of experience leading high-impact business consulting, technology, and operations teams to personally serve clients across industry segments with global impact.


Mike Christian

Bell Distinguished Scholar and Professor of Organizational Behavior, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Mike Christian is an award-winning teacher and researcher. Poets & Quants named him a “Best 40 Under 40 Professor” and the Association for Psychological Science honored him as a “Rising Star.”

Dr. Christian aspires to help people to be their best at work. He also aspires to create an inclusive culture that values the potential of human differences across various levels, including within his academic field, within his university, and within the Organizational Behavior Area’s team of faculty, post-doctoral researchers, and PhD students. His goals with research, service, and teaching are to create scientific and social impact.

His research focuses on understanding the mind-body connection at work. He examines how somatic states such as sleep, pain and sickness affect energy, work engagement and self-control at work. He studies how these factors dynamically relate to unethical behavior as well as desirable work performance.

Dr. Christian has examined:

  • How mindfulness helps employees to cope with unfairness at work by reducing anger, rumination, and reducing retaliation behaviors.
  • How daily fluctuations in human energy resulting from somatic pain lead to ebbs and flow in engagement and withdrawal at work
  • The effects of sleep deprivation on deviant and unethical behavior in the workplace, and how caffeine might reduce these effects while unethical social influence exacerbates them
  • The “slippery slope” of unethical behavior, identifying the regulatory role of moral disengagement in leading people to commit increasingly larger ethical transgressions

Administrative Science Quarterly, The Academy of Management Journal, The Journal of Applied Psychology, American Psychologist, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Personnel Psychology and The Journal of Management have published his research.

He has received research grants from the National Science Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation.

Dr. Christian is also the Area Chair for the Organizational Behavior Area and the Director of Academic Leadership at Kenan-Flagler. He is also an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at UNC-Chapel Hill.

His teaching interests include human energy optimization, resilience, leadership coaching, leading effective teams and organizational change at UNC Kenan-Flagler.
Dr. Christian received his PhD in management from the University of Arizona, his master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Tulane University and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.


Gerald Cohen

Chief Economist, Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

Gerald provides strategic vision and leadership of the translational economic research, and policy initiatives at the Institute. He has worked in both the public and private sectors focusing on the intersection between financial markets and economic fundamentals. During the Obama Administration Gerald was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Macroeconomic Analysis at the U.S. Department of Treasury where he helped formulate and evaluate the impact of policy proposals on the U.S. economy. Prior to Treasury, he co-managed a global macro fund at Ziff Brothers Investments.

Gerald holds a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University and is a contributing author to 30-Second Money as well as a co-author of Political Cycles and the Macroeconomy.


Barbara Entwisle

Kenan Distinguished Professor, UNC Chapel Hill

Dr. Barbara Entwisle is a Kenan Distinguished Professor and training program director for the Carolina Population Center (CPC). She previously served as CPC director (2002-2010) and the training program director (2002 to 2008).

Dr. Entwisle rejoined the CPC in 2017. The CPC supports the population research and training activities of an elected body of 55-60 faculty fellows from 16 departments and five schools across the university. While CPC director, Dr. Entwisle doubled the size of the research program, received a perfect score on her most recent NIH center grant, and received an NIH MENTOR award for her NIH training grant. She built a new strength in “Population and Environment” area by winning an NSF IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training) award (the only one at UNC so far) that more than doubled the number of faculty engaged in this area, spun out the Center for Galapagos Studies, and inspired a host of newly funded projects and collaborations.

Prior to rejoining CPC, Dr. Entwisle served as the vice chancellor for research at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (2011-2016). She lead a campus-wide research program spanning the College of Arts and Sciences, ten professional schools (including the School of Medicine) and 16 pan-university research centers and institutes. She contributed to the development of the overall strategy for the university, set priorities for investments in research and partnered with other units on campus to meet these priorities.

Her primary faculty appointment is in sociology, but she also holds adjunct and auxiliary faculty positions in geography, environment and ecology, international studies and Asian studies. Dr. Entwisle received her Ph.D. from Brown, postdoctoral experience at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and has spent most of her academic career at UNC Chapel Hill, where she was promoted up through the faculty ranks and named distinguished chair in 2007. Her research focuses on the demographic and health behavior in relation to the multidimensional environments in which this behavior occurs. Her signature contributions have included methodological innovations in the design of longitudinal surveys, novel data collection methods that integrate qualitative and quantitative methods, the measurement of dynamic social networks, the integration of spatial and social data and multilevel analysis.

Dr. Entwisle has served on numerous advisory groups for the National Academy of Sciences, the National Institutes for Health, the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency, among others. Her contributions have been recognized by her election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2003), election as President of the Population Association of America (2007) and election as President of the Sociological Research Association (2014). She has also received five department-based teaching and mentoring awards, a university-wide award for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction (2004) and recognized as a PAA Honored Colleague (2012).

Her recent research has focused on two sets of projects. The first examines the demographic responses to rapid social change, migration and social networks and the interrelationships between population and environment in Northeast Thailand. The other project looks at two North Carolina Vanguard locations of the National Children’s Study (NCS), a large longitudinal study of how social, behavioral, community and environmental factors affect human health and development.


Jeneén Felder

Director, Global Emerging Talent Recruiting, Cisco

Jeneén Felder is the Director of Emerging Talent Recruiting in the Talent Acquisition organization at Cisco Systems, Inc. Emerging Talent Recruiting is strategically focused on attracting and hiring a diverse pool of the best early in career talent. Prior to joining Talent Acquisition, Jeneén spent several years in Talent Development where she led an organization which provided a wide range of services in support of the design, development and delivery of training solutions serving an average 260K learners annually, consuming 1.1 million hours of content. Over 20 years ago, she started her Cisco career in IT where she launched IT Training centers at serval locations in the US and Asia, designed an acquisition employee onboarding framework, and ran the global operations for the IT Learning Group.

Jeneén is a strong advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion, and is previously served as the global co-president of Cisco’s Connected Black Professionals Inclusive Community. She is a graduate of North Carolina State University with bachelor’s degrees in both Business Management and Economics. Jeneén is a native of Raleigh North Carolina and currently lives in Wake Forest, NC with her husband and 17-year-old son. She also has three adult children, and 6 grandchildren.


Mary Margaret Frank

Dean, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

The academic interests of Mary Margaret Frank include the integration of business principles and public policy objectives, cross-sector collaboration and leadership, and sustainable investing. These interests stem from her research on the effects of tax, financial accounting and patent reporting on the strategy of corporate management, investors and entrepreneurs.

An award-winning teacher and researcher and academic leader, Dr. Frank was named dean of UNC Kenan-Flagler effective Aug. 15, 2023.

She is a Triple Tar Heel, an academic fellow at the UNC Tax Center and has taught in the Master of Accounting Program.

Dr. Frank returns to UNC Kenan-Flagler from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, where she was senior associate dean for faculty development, John Tyler Professor of Business Administration, and co-founder and academic director of the Institute for Business in Society.

She also served on the faculty of University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where she received its Phoenix Award in recognition of the faculty who, in addition to classroom responsibilities, has greatly enriched the learning experience of campus students.

Dr. Frank served as a board of director and chairperson of the audit committee of a small publicly traded company, The Female Health Company, for 14 years, which merged with a biotech company in 2016 to become Veru Inc. The medical device company’s mission was to empower women, most of whom were from developing economies, to protect themselves against HIV and AIDS.

She practiced as a CPA and senior tax consultant for Arthur Andersen in Washington, D.C, before she returned to UNC Kenan-Flagler to enroll in the PhD Program in accounting.

She received her PhD, Master of Accounting and BSBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler.


John Haltiwanger

Dudley and Louisa Dillard Professor of Economics, University of Maryland and 2023 Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow

John C. Haltiwanger, is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Maryland. He is also the first recipient of the Dudley and Louisa Dillard Professorship in 2013. He received his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University in 1981. After serving on the faculty of UCLA and Johns Hopkins, he joined the faculty at Maryland in 1987. In the late 1990s, he served as Chief Economist of the U.S. Census Bureau. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Economic Studies at the U.S. Census Bureau, and a Fellow of the Society of Labor Economics and the Econometric Society. He has played a major role in developing and studying U.S. longitudinal firm-level data. Using these data, he has developed new statistical measures and analyzed the determinants of firm-level job creation, job destruction and economic performance. He has explored the implications of these firm dynamics for aggregate U.S. productivity growth and for the U.S. labor market.

The statistical and measurement methods he has helped develop to measure and study firm dynamics have been increasingly used by many statistical agencies around the world. His own research increasingly uses the data and measures on firm dynamics from a substantial number of advanced, emerging and transition economies. His work with the statistical agencies has been recently recognized in his being awarded the Julius Shiskin Award for economic statistics in 2013, the Roger Herriott Award for innovation in federal statistics in 2014,  and the Global Entrepreneurship Research Award in 2020. He has published more than 100 academic articles and numerous books including Job Creation and Destruction(with Steven Davis and Scott Schuh, MIT Press).


Stephanie Headley

Senior Vice President, North America Skin Care and Global Olay, Procter & Gamble

Stephanie Headley is the Senior Vice President of North America Skin Care and Global OLAY within Procter & Gamble’s Skin and Personal Care business, a position she has held since March 2022.

She has worked on the OLAY brand since 2017. While working on OLAY, she has led product and commercial innovation planning. Her responsibilities included translating consumer trends, breakthrough technology and industry insight into long range planning to grow OLAY globally empowering women to be fearless to Face Anything.

Prior to her work on the OLAY business, Stephanie spent 19 years at P&G working in a range of Brand Management and retail facing assignments in Cincinnati, OH and Charlotte, NC on iconic brands including Febreze, Herbal Essences and OLAY. Stephanie was recognized as a Top Woman in Beauty, Wellness and Health in 2019 and Ebony Power 100 in 2021.
She is most proud of her work that reflects a more inclusive definition of leadership, STEM & beauty. OLAY launched a brand new platform behind Face Anything in September 2019 featuring nine fearless women who represented the broad definition of empowerment and beauty in September Vogue. Most recently, Stephanie partnered with the Algorithmic Justice League and Badger and Winters to create Decode the Bias, a campaign sending 1200 to code camp to face the systemic bias found in algorithms.
Beyond her work at P&G, Stephanie was appointed to the UNC Kenan Flagler Next Gen Board of Advisors in 2020 and has been a board member of the Cosmetic Executive Women’s organization since 2022. Lastly, she is an active member of her Crossroads Community Church.
A native of Kilmarnock, Virginia, Stephanie holds a MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan Flager School of Business and a Mathematics/Education degree from the University of Richmond. In her spare time, she enjoys international travel, working with kids and is creating a new podcast on leadership. Stephanie resides in Cincinnati, Ohio.


David Hofmann

Hugh L. McColl, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior and Senior Associate Dean of UNC Executive Development, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Dave Hofmann’s research focuses on organizational climate, leadership, and organizational change, organizational design and decision-making.

He teaches courses in organizational behavior, leadership and the complexities of middle management.

Dr. Hofmann served as associate dean for the full-time MBA Program, area chair of organizational behavior and senior associate dean of academic affairs.

A specific focus of his research is the impact of leadership and organizational culture on safety and errors in organizations that operate in high-risk environments. He has edited two scholarly books on these topics, including “Errors in Organizations” with Michael Frese.

In recognition of his work’s applied implications, he received the American Psychological Association’s Decade of Behavior Research Award in 2006.

He received a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award to study errors and safety issues in organizations at the University of Giessen in Germany, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant to investigate error management and organizational learning on nursing units.

He has served on two National Research Council/National Academy of Engineering committees. The first investigated the causes of the BP Deepwater Horizon accident, and the second focused on how to improve safety culture in the offshore industry.

Dr. Hofmann has presented his research or conducted executive development sessions in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, UAE and the U.K.

He earned his PhD in industrial and organizational psychology from Pennsylvania State University, his master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Central Florida, and his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Furman University.


Dr. Pamela Howze

National Director of Workforce Strategies, National Institute for Innovation and Technology

Tim Humphrey

Chief Analytics Officer, NC State Executive and RTP Senior Site Executive, IBM

Timothy Humphrey is currently IBM’s Chief Analytics Officer. He is also the Senior State Executive for IBM in North Carolina and Senior Location Executive for IBM in Research Triangle Park, NC, one of the company’s largest sites. Tim has over 25 years of global experience with IBM and Lenovo. He has held various roles spanning hardware, software, battery technology, supply chain, acquisitions, data, and AI. He has earned numerous patents as well as management, innovation, and excellence awards for his contributions to the computing industry.

Active in the community, Tim engages in several non-profit fundraising activities, special events, and volunteer efforts. He serves as a board member for many local non-profit organizations. Tim is also a very active mentor to over 40 global professionals, students, and youth.

Tim graduated from North Carolina State University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and is a member of the North Carolina State University Electrical and Computer Engineering Hall of Fame and the North Carolina State University Board of Trustees. Tim is a North Carolina native and currently resides in Raleigh, NC.


Mohammad Hossein Jarrahi

Associate Professor, UNC School of Information and Library Science

Mohammad Jarrahi is an Associate Professor of Information Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research focuses on the use and consequences of emergent digital technologies in shaping the future of work and organizations. His previous project explored flexible organizational contexts such as the gig economy, specifically the paradoxical roles of digital labor platforms in organizing and mediating work practices within these contexts. Since 2017, his work has delved into the transformation of knowledge work through the integration of AI.. He articulated the concept of ‘human-AI symbiosis’ to explain how humans and AI systems can work synergistically together and complement each other in decision making in organizational contexts. His research also advanced the concept of algorithmic management, detailing how algorithms may automate or augment the managerial functions.


Jerry Jones

Executive Director, Center for Workforce Engagement, Durham Technical Community College

Jeff Korzenik

Chief Economist, Fifth Third Bank

Jeff Korzenik is the Chief Economist for Fifth Third Commercial Bank. In this role, Jeff provides research and analysis that impacts the Bank’s key markets, providing insight to business leaders and policymakers throughout the country. He is an award-winning author whose writings have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Newsweek and many other national and regional publications, and Jeff has appeared regularly on CNBC, Bloomberg and Fox Business News. Policymakers have sought his expertise on a variety of topics leading to his testifying before state legislatures and on Capitol Hill.

His groundbreaking book, “Untapped Talent: How Second Chance Hiring Works for Your Business and the Community” (HarperCollins Leadership, April 2021), shares the business case and best practices of hiring people with criminal records. He was elected to membership in the Council on Criminal Justice in recognition of his work on the intersection of the justice system and the labor market.

Jeff is a graduate of Princeton University with an A.B. in Economics and a Certificate of Proficiency in Near Eastern Studies.


Camelia Kuhnen

Director of Research, Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise; Faculty Director, NCGrowth; and Professor of Finance, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Camelia Kuhnen is an expert in neuroeconomics, behavioral finance and corporate finance. Her work has an interdisciplinary nature, with the over-arching theme of trying to understand how people make financial and economic choices that concern them as individuals or as decision makers in firms.

Her dual training in finance and neuroscience led her to conduct pioneering research in the new field of neuroeconomics. In this work Dr. Kuhnen has studied the micro-foundations of financial decision making by investigating the brain and genetic mechanisms responsible for learning and risk taking in financial markets.

In her corporate finance work, Dr. Kuhnen has analyzed issues at the intersection of behavioral and organizational economics. She has studied how firms select and incentivize employees and has demonstrated the importance of social connections and social comparisons for these processes.

Top neuroscience, finance and management journals have published her work, which has attracted significant media coverage and public interest.

Her work has been recognized with her election to two roles. She served as president of the Society for Neuroeconomics and is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

Prior to joining the faculty at UNC Kenan-Flagler, Dr. Kuhnen served on the faculty of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

She received her PhD in finance from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and two bachelor’s degrees – in finance and neuroscience – from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Sen. Michael V. Lee

North Carolina General Assembly

Senator Lee is the father of four children, one dog and has been a resident of the Cape Fear Region for over 23 years.  Senator Lee is a graduate of UNC-CH and obtained his law degree, with honors, from the Wake Forest University School of Law.

Senator Lee serves on the Board of Directors for The Hunt Institute and is a Hunt Kean Fellows member.  In his law practice, Senator Lee has received numerous superlatives through the years such as being included in The Best Lawyers of America directory and recognized as Lawyer of the Year in Real Estate, Business North Carolina Magazine’s Legal Elite, and Law & Politics Magazine Super Lawyer designation.

Finally, Senator Lee served as a North Carolina State Senator from 2014-18 and was re-elected in 2020 and is currently serving his fourth term.  Prior to his service in the NC Senate, Senator Lee served on the NCDOT Board of Transportation and Chaired the NC Port Authority.


Angelica Leigh

Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations, Duke Fuqua School of Business and 2023 Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow

Dr. Angelica Leigh is an Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Dr. Leigh received her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Dr. Leigh’s research centers on race in organizations. In her first stream of research she takes a dynamic approach to studying race and in doing so, she explores the often overlooked experiences of racial minority employees. Specifically, her work examines the spillover effects of “mega-threats” – large scale diversity related societal events – on organizations and the people within them. In her second stream of research she examines the behaviors that racial minority employees engage in that go against typical norms of suppressing their identities at work, such as engaging in conversations about race in the workplace, and the actions that these employees take to combat racism in organizations.

Her research has been published in the Academy of Management Review, the Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, and the Journal of Applied Psychology. In 2019, she won 2nd place in the INFORMS/Organization Science dissertation proposal competition. She is also the recipient of the numerous awards including the 2020 Kenan-Flagler Business School Outstanding Graduating Ph.D. Student Award and the Society of Personality and Social Psychology’s Outstanding Student Researcher Award. Dr. Leigh is also an active member of the PhD project, an organization that is dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented faculty in business schools. She is currently the faculty graduate advisor for the PhD Project Management Doctoral Student Association and she is a former President of this same organization.

Before joining academia, Dr. Leigh worked at General Electric Healthcare as a Financial Management Program member and a Global Product Finance Manager for the MI/CT business.


Joshua Levy

Senior Policy Analyst, North Carolina Department of Commerce

Joshua Levy is Senior Policy Analyst in the Labor and Economic Analysis Division (LEAD) of the North Carolina Department of Commerce, where he focuses on research and policy related to the state’s economy and workforce. He recently completed an economic impact report on the military in North Carolina. Other recent projects included a workforce assessment of Clean Energy jobs in the state, with a focus on our emerging Offshore Wind industry, and several surveys of employers focusing on hiring difficulties. Prior to joining NC Commerce he worked in research administration and economic development at UNC Chapel Hill.


Mark Little

Executive Director, NCGrowth

Mark Gabriel Little is the executive director of NCGrowth, an initiative building shared prosperity through applied interventions, research and policy. In this role, he leads a multi-state initiative to help communities and business create jobs and equitable opportunities; and co-chairs Black Communities: A Conference for Collaboration, an annual international convening of scholars and leaders across the African diaspora. He previously served as managing director of the UNC Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise supervising operations, research, external affairs and student-facing activities. Mark has served as an AAAS congressional science fellow to the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs and worked in renewable energy development and the earth and environmental sciences. He is also a musician and composer.


Arvind Malhotra

H. Allen Andrew Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and 2023 Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow

Arvind Malhotra’s area of research focus on crafting innovation problems, open innovation approaches, crowd creativity, crowdsourcing for innovation, using crowds to solve complex societal problems and the future of work. His research projects include studying successful open-innovation organizational and extra-organizational structures, creating the process and structure for large-scale collaboration and management of knowledge in extra-organizational collaborative contexts.

His book “Unleashing the Crowd: Collaborative Solutions to Wicked Business and Societal Problems” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019) focuses on how organizations can leverage crowds for solving wicked business and societal problems.

Dr. Malhotra has received research grants from the Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise, Society for Information Managers Advanced Practices Council, Dell, Carnegie-Bosche Institute, National Science Foundation, RosettaNet consortium, UNC-Small Grants Program and the Marketing Sciences Institute.

He has consulted, conducted applied research projects or led executive development workshops with ESPN, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, IBM, ExxonMobil, Primax Properties, Sprint, RosettaNet Consortium, American Golf Corporation, Cisco, ING Direct and Cargill Sweeteners.

Dr. Malhotra’s research has been published in leading academic journals such as Harvard Business ReviewSloan Management ReviewAcademy of Management Perspectives, Information Systems ResearchMIS Quarterly, Journal of Service ResearchJournal of Services MarketingJournal of Academy of Marketing SciencesManufacturing and Service Operations ManagementJournal of Management Information SystemsJournal of Knowledge Management and Communications of the ACM.

He received the best paper award from MIS Quarterly, the top information science journal, in 2001, and the best paper of the year from the Journal of Services Research and Journal of Knowledge Management in 2005. Two of his papers earned the prestigious Society for Information Managers Best Paper Award.

He received his PhD in business administration and his MS in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Southern California. He earned his BE in electronics and communications engineering from the University of Delhi.


Shawnice Meador

Senior Director, Global Talent Management, Wolfspeed

I love improving processes and helping people define and optimize personal success. I have expertise creating, implementing and directing both technical and human capital organizations. I’m known for approaching issues strategically, providing analytic and insightful consulting, and leading people, programs and processes in an efficient and intelligent way.

  • 27 years of progressive corporate and higher education experience, including leadership roles in strategic talent management, career management, leadership development, process improvement / Six Sigma and engineering
  • Strategic member of Talent Management global leadership teams at three Fortune 500 corporations
  • Results-oriented leadership style with a focus on metrics & ROI, strategic thinking, collaboration and continuous improvement
  • Featured as a career and leadership expert in numerous on-line publications, including Forbes, Fox Business, US News & World Report, Diversity Executive, Yahoo! Finance, SHRM and Woman’s Day.
  • Traveled to 20+ countries for work and for leisure, including India, Singapore, Turkey, South Africa, England and Brazil.
    • Specialties:

      • enterprise-wide talent management direction
      • one-on-one leadership & career consultation
      • talent acquisition strategy, on both corporate and higher education MBA student side
      • from-scratch leadership development & career management programmatic design & execution
      • succession planning facilitation & oversight
      • business process & “people process” improvement
      • workshop design & facilitation
      • classroom and conference lecturer / presenter

Shimul Melwani

Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Associate Dean of the Undergraduate Business Program, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

The research interests of Shimul Melwani meet at the intersection of emotions and interpersonal processes in organizations. She is conducting groundbreaking research on the influence of gossip – the negative and positive consequences of initiating and participating in it – for individuals, dyads and groups in the workplace. She also is examining the interpersonal influence of discrete emotions on organizationally relevant outcomes. By studying the interpersonal effects of discrete emotions, such as contempt, compassion and anger in a series of different work contexts, her research provides a richer picture of how emotions influence attributions, relationships and performance of both those expressing emotions as well as perceiving them. In related research, Dr. Melwani is exploring the role of implicit processes that occur outside of people’s conscious awareness on critical workplace outcomes such as creativity and performance.

Her research has appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social PsychologyJournal of Applied Psychology and Psychological Science.

Dr. Melwani teaches courses on global leadership and organizational behavior to undergraduate and graduate students.

She is an award-winning teacher. She received the 2021 Weatherspoon Award for Excellence in Teaching in the PhD Program, the 2018 Weatherspoon Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Undergraduate Business Program, and Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, a University award.

She received her PhD and master’s degree in management and organizational behavior from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She received a master’s degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Mumbai.


Paige Ouimet

Executive Director, Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, Associate Dean for the PhD Program and Professor of Finance, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Paige Ouimet became executive director of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise in August 2023 after a year as the institute’s research director.

She has several research projects looking at income inequality and the role of firms. She also has researched ESOP (employee share ownership plans) and employee stock options and their impact on labor productivity, wages and turnover.

Her research agenda is concentrated at the juncture of finance and labor economics. She is interested in how decisions studied in finance impact employee stakeholders – specifically how those effects are reflected in firm performance and, hence, corporate finance decisions.

Her work has been published in the American Economic Review, Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies and Journal of Financial Economics.

Paige worked at The Center for Clean Air Policy, an independent, nonprofit think tank working on climate and air quality policy at the local, U.S. national and international levels.

She received her Ph.D. and MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and her B.A. from Dartmouth College.


Dana O’Donovan

Social Impact and Monitor Institute by Deloitte Leader, US Purpose and DEI Office, Deloitte

Dana currently serves as Deloitte’s Social Impact and Monitor Institute by Deloitte leader. In addition to her role as the Practice Leader for the Monitor Institute by Deloitte, she oversees Deloitte’s 10-year, $1.5B social impact investment strategy and Deloitte’s Social Impact Activation efforts, which implements these strategies in alignment with the priorities and needs of our people, the markets where we live and work and our partners in purpose – our social impact partners, largest clients and alliance partners.

The Monitor Institute is a social change consultancy within the Purpose and DEI Office that works with innovative leaders to surface and spread best practices in public problem solving and to pioneer next practices. Drawing on her twenty-five years as a social impact adviser, consultant, and non-profit executive, Dana partners with the CEOs and leadership teams of national foundations, non-profits, and corporations to transform their ability to drive social impact. She supports leadership teams on the entire strategic journey from choice making to operations planning to organizational design and change management and guides leading organizations through critical inflection points such as CEO/Founder succession, financial turnarounds, and strategic pivots. Her work on issues of social impact strategy and implementation have been published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Fast Company, and Fortune.

Dana chairs Deloitte’s Social Impact Investment Committee. She has also served on many non-profit, foundation and government boards, including the Morehead-Cain Scholarship Fund Board, the North Carolina Council for Women, the North Carolina Aquarium Society Board, The University of North Carolina’s Luther Hodges Scholars Advisory Council and the Peace First and Hill Center boards. She graduated from The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill where she was a Morehead-Cain Scholar.


Margaret Roberton

Vice President of Workforce Development, Central Carolina Community College

Margaret Roberton is Vice President of Workforce Development at Central Carolina Community College building connections between college resources, employers, community partners, and economic development entities to support the workforce needs of the region. Margaret returned to CCCC after spending several years at the North Carolina Community College System office as the Associate Vice President of Continuing Education where she was responsible for supporting the 58 North Carolina community colleges in providing robust short-term training programs addressing the state’s workforce needs. This work included opportunities to work closely with state agencies, employer groups and trade associations in defining current and future needs for skilled employees and developing regional and state level responses that leveraged employer engagement and college resources. She has been engaged as a core team member in the North Carolina Workforce Credentials effort for the past several years and is the current Director of AdvanceNC, a new  collaborative focusing on optimizing the strengths from community colleges, universities, and workforce boards to address the needs of thriving regional employers and positioning North Carolina as a global leader in advanced manufacturing.


Gary Salamido

President and CEO, NC Chamber

With decades of experience and a proven track record representing North Carolina business interests at the N.C. General Assembly, Gary led the Chamber’s lobbying, advocacy and political efforts before being named its chief operating officer and acting president in 2018, then president and CEO in 2019. Gary’s leadership in advancing policy at the NC Chamber has helped propel the state to the top of a number of best-in-business rankings.

Prior to joining the NC Chamber in September 2011, Gary worked 19 years at GlaxoSmithKline, the last 10 years serving as GSK’s director of state government affairs. Gary’s advocacy responsibilities spanned a broad range of issues including corporate tax, environmental impact, tort and liability reform, economic development, workforce development, employment and Medicaid.

Gary’s previous work experience includes serving as senior account manager, integrated healthcare markets for GSK and as director of professional and state government affairs for GlaxoWellcome. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in pharmacy from the Albany College of Pharmacy in Albany, N.Y. and a master’s degree in pharmacy administration from the University of Texas at Austin. Gary has experience in hospital and community pharmacy practice and completed the American Pharmacists Association Foundation’s Executive Residency in Association Management, which trains individuals for leadership positions within the profession and in national, regional, state, and local professional organizations.

Gary resides in Raleigh, N.C. with his wife Lisa. They are the proud parents and grandparents of a daughter and son-in-law, both NC State alumni, a son who is an Appalachian State University alumnus, a daughter who attends NC State University, two grandchildren and a dachshund named Hugo.


Tammy J. Samuels

Executive Director, Career & Leadership for MBA & Alumni, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Tammy is the Executive Director of Career and Leadership for MBA and Alumni at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hill. As the Executive for the Career & Leadership Team, she leads the strategy, development and administration of the career management, employer engagement, and operations functions that support all MBA programs as well as all UNC Kenan-Flagler alumni.

With nearly 30 years of diverse experience in higher education leadership and career coaching. Throughout her professional tenure she’s held several leadership positions in both academic affairs and student affairs including Assistant Vice President, Dean of Students, Assistant Dean and more. Tammy has worked for private, public and proprietary institutions including Duke University, LIM College, Rutgers University, and Wilson College to name a few.

Tammy is a certified HR professional by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM-CP) and received her Master’s degree from Montclair State University, and a Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University. She’s currently enrolled at the University of Southern California (USC) Rossier School of Education in pursuit of her doctoral degree in Organizational Change and Leadership. She has held Board positions with the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers (EACE) and also received a nomination for the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Human Relations. Tammy resides in Cary, NC with her husband, three daughters, and their dog, Champ.


Thomas Stith

CEO, The Michael Thomas Group, Inc.; Former President, North Carolina Community College System, and 2023 Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow

As a highly accomplished leader in the public and private sectors, Thomas Stith has an extraordinary record of improving operations, increasing productivity, and scaling revenue. He is recognized as a thought leader on economic development, small business, investment, development opportunities and public policy.

Thomas’s career spans numerous industries, including state and local government, higher education, technology, nonprofits, health care, transportation and energy/utilities. His commitment to driving measurable organizational and community change is at the core of his work.

Earlier in his career, Thomas served as a Special Assistant to the Governor of North Carolina. He also served three terms as a Councilman with the City of Durham. Later, he returned to the Governor’s Office as Governor McCrory’s Chief of Staff, where among other responsibilities, he led the establishment of the $60M Venture Capital Multiplier Fund to support entrepreneurship and innovation in the state.

Thomas’s devotion to improving his community is evidenced through his work with organizations such as the U.S. Small Business Administration, where he served as the District Director for North Carolina and the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At the SBA, he facilitated $16B in direct assistance to North Carolina small businesses, contributing to the stability and growth of the state during the COVID 19 pandemic. Through his work with the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, Thomas bolstered the entrepreneurial and small business ecosystem of North Carolina and promoted private enterprise as a critical component of capitalism.

Thomas’s most recent tenure was as President of the North Carolina Community College System, the nation’s third largest, comprised of 58 individual colleges across North Carolina. During his tenure, he secured a historic $1.4B legislative investment, turned around a declining enrollment, and redesigned recruiting efforts that resulted in an unprecedented number of diversity hires within the senior team leadership.

Thomas earned a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration from North Carolina Central University. He is also certified in nonprofit management from Duke University and holds a Directorship Certification from the National Association of Corporate Directors. Thomas and
his wife Yolanda have three adult children and live in the Triangle area of North Carolina.


Fred Stutzman

CEO, Freedom

Fred Stutzman is the Founder and CEO of Freedom, where we are developing the future of focused work. In a distraction-first world, we believe that the ability to reliably and consistently do focused, deep work is a differentiating skillset. Our suite of apps have been used by over two million people to complete their graduate degrees, write screenplays and novels, produce reports and analyses, and to just turn off the noise of a distracting world. We have been innovators and leaders in the space for ten years – and we are just getting started.


Jeff Swearingen

Global Senior Vice President, PepsiCo

CURRENT ROLE: Jeff Swearingen is currently the Global Senior Vice President of PepsiCo’s Commercial Capabilities and Global Sales Services. His teams are responsible for accelerating and converting demand across PepsiCo’s portfolio through the creation or acquisition of transformational services and capabilities in insights, analytics, pricing, promotion, merchandising, marketing and execution, and for driving above-market productivity and leverage through shared services.

CAREER WITH PEPSICO: Jeff has a broad range of marketing, sales and commercial analytics & insights experience, including Senior Vice President – Marketing, Group Vice President – National Sales, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer – Frito-Lay Canada, Vice President of Marketing – Quaker Snacks, and Sr. Marketing Director for iconic PepsiCo brands like Doritos. He is a 29-year veteran of PepsiCo, having joined the Company in 1994.
PRIOR TO PEPSICO: Prior to PepsiCo and business school, Jeff spent four years in corporate banking, with Hibernia National Bank in New Orleans, Louisiana.

A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ME: Jeff is a frequent speaker and contributor to industry and academic events and publications. Jeff has a Finance degree from the University of Oklahoma, and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Jeff and his wife Lynn live in McKinney, Texas and their two sons, Connor (21) and Tyler (19) claim to be in college. Jeff enjoys adventure travel, running and spending time with family.


Bruce Van Saun

Chairman and CEO, Citizens Financial Group

Bruce Van Saun is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

Van Saun joined CFG in October 2013 – after serving as Group Finance Director and as an executive director on the RBS Board from 2009 to 2013 – and led Citizens to a successful initial public offering in September 2014, and full independence from RBS in October 2015. He has more than 30 years of financial services experience.

From 1997 to 2008, Van Saun held a number of senior positions with Bank of New York and later Bank of New York Mellon, including Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer. Earlier in his career, he held senior positions with Deutsche Bank, Wasserstein Perella Group and Kidder Peabody & Co.

Van Saun has served on a number of boards in both the U.S. and the U.K. He is currently a director of Moody’s Corporation, sits on the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston board, and is Audit Chair of the Bank Policy Institute. He is a member of The Clearing House Supervisory Board (since 2013) and serves on the board of the Partnership for Rhode Island.


Tara Watson

Professor of Economics, Williams College; Director of Center for Economic Security and Opportunity, Brookings Institution and 2023 Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow

Tara Watson is the Director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution. She is also Professor of Economics at Williams College, where she has been on the faculty since 2004, a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a co-editor of the Journal of Human Resources. Watson was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Microeconomic Analysis at the U.S. Treasury from 2015 to 2016. She has also been a visiting researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan, and a research associate with Princeton University’s Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. She earned a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1996 and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 2003.

Watson’s work focuses on U.S. social policy, including immigration and the safety net. Watson’s book with journalist Kalee Thompson, The Border Within: The Economics of Immigration in an Age of Fear, was published by University of Chicago Press in 2021.

Watson lives in the D.C. area with her family and poorly-behaved dog.


Albert L. Wright, Jr.

President and CEO, West Virginia University Health System

Albert is the president and chief executive officer of the West Virginia University (WVU) Health System, West Virginia’s largest private employer.

Before joining the Health System in September 2014, he served in a variety of senior-level leadership positions at some of the nation’s most prestigious healthcare systems and academic medical centers, including Ohio Health and UPMC.

Since his appointment as president and CEO, Albert has led a fundamental transformation of the Health System, moving it from a holding company to a fully integrated network of 24 hospitals while significantly expanding its specialty and sub-specialty care in areas such as cancer, heart and vascular, and the neurosciences, among others. Under his leadership, the Health System also became West Virginia’s first and only multi-organ transplant center and opened a new, 150-bed Children’s Hospital in September 2022.

Today, the WVU Health System has over 3,000 licensed beds, 4,000 providers, and nearly 30,000 employees. Anchored by a 700-bed academic medical center, the Health System also includes a Children’s Hospital, 13 community hospitals, and 9 critical access hospitals that collectively serve a multi-state region that includes West Virginia, Western Maryland, Eastern Ohio, and Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Albert obtained his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy degree at the University of Toledo, a Master of Health Administration at The Ohio State University, and his Doctor of Pharmacy at the University of Florida. He is involved in several charitable and civic organizations and serves on several boards. He and his wife, Joy, have four children.


Katie Wu

Associate Director, Sustainable Investing, Private Markets, Manulife Investment Management

Katie is Associate Director, Sustainable Investing, Private Markets at Manulife Investment Management. Her role focuses on sustainable investing activities within the private equity, credit, and infrastructure businesses, as well as providing leverage to the wider private markets sustainability team. Prior to joining the firm, she was part of the sustainable investing team at CPP Investments, where she worked with investment teams on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) integration and asset management across global public and private portfolio companies. Her experience includes performing ESG due diligence and partnering with investment teams through the investment lifecycle, stewardship and engagement with company board and management to advance ESG initiatives. She’s been an active member in industry groups such as the 30% Club, Principles for Responsible Investment, and numerous collaborative engagement groups. Katie also has a background working in risk management and project management in capital markets, including a short stint in China. She has an HBA from Ivey Business School and is a CFA charterholder.


Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

Leveraging the Private Sector for the Public Good

Established in 1985 by Frank Hawkins Kenan, the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise is a nonpartisan business policy think tank affiliated with the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. The nonprofit institute and its affiliated centers convene leaders from business, academia and government to better understand how the private sector can work for the public good. The institute leverages best-in-class research to develop market-based solutions to today’s most complex economic challenges. In doing so, the institute aims to support businesses and policies that better the lives of people in North Carolina, across the country and around the world.

A Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise Event