Silfen Leadership Series

Your connection to top executives

      The strength of any great business school lies not only in its ability to teach students the fundamentals of management, finance, and other traditional disciplines, but also in the School’s ability to attract world-class leaders to speak on campus and share their ideas and experience with the next generation of business leaders. The David and Lyn Silfen Leadership Series represents a distinct competitive advantage for Columbia Business School and a unique partnership between students and top executives.

    The leadership series is an unparalleled learning opportunity for the entire Columbia Business School community, attracting renowned business leaders from around the world to provide a forum for students to exchange thoughts and ideas with the most important people in business today. These leaders share innovative ideas, leadership styles, and personal philosophies with our students. The series has established its reputation among students and corporate executives alike for attracting top business leaders from New York and around the world to the School.

2014-15 Speakers

This year’s guests

  • Carlos Brito, CEO, AB InBev
  • Kenneth Buckfire ’87, Co-President & Managing Director, Miller Buckfire
  • Roch Doliveux, CEO, UCB Pharma
  • James W. Keyes ’80, CEO, Fresh & Easy
  • Gail McGovern ’87, CEO, American Red Cross
  • Kevyn Orr, Emergency Manager, City of Detroit
  • Vikram Pandit ’80 PhD ’86, Chairman of TGG Group, Former CEO, Citigroup
  • Peter G. Peterson, Founder and Chairman, Peter G. Peterson Foundation; Co-founder, The Blackstone Group
  • Ian Read, CEO, Pfizer
  • Tracey Travis ’86, CFO, Estee Lauder
  • Bob Wilmers, CEO, M&T Bank

Hosted at…


Past Speakers

Our distinguished guests

  • Keith Banks ’81 – President U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management
  • Lord John Browne – Group Chief Executive, BP Global
  • Michele Burns – CEO, Marsh and McLennan Companies’ Retirement Policy Center
  • Paul Calello ’87 – Chief Executive Officer, Credit Suisse
  • Arnold Chavkin ’77 – Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer, Pine Brook Road Partners
  • Kenneth Chenault – CEO, American Express
  • Leon Cooperman ’67 – Chairman and CEO, Omega Advisors
  • Ian Davis – Managing Partner, McKinsey & Co.
  • Bob Diamond – CEO, Barclay’s Capital
  • Barry Diller – Director and Chairman & CEO of IAC
  • Jamie Dimon – Chief Executive Officer, JPMorgan Chase
  • Larry Fink – CEO, BlackRock
  • Carly Fiorina – former CEO, Hewlett-Packard
  • Dick Fuld –  CEO, Lehman Brothers
  • Carlos Ghosn – CEO, Nissan Motor Co.
  • Jeffrey Kindler – Chairman and CEO, Pfizer
  • Henry Kravis ’69 – Founding Partner, KKR

  • Richard LeFrak ’98 – Chairman, LeFrak Organization
  • John Mack – Chairman and CEO, Morgan Stanley
  • Ken Moelis – President, UBS Investment Bank
  • Anne Moore – CEO of Time, Inc.
  • Anne Mulcahy – Chairman and CEO, Xerox Corporation
  • Dick Parsons – Chairman and CEO, Time Warner Inc.
  • Steven Roth – CEO, Vornado Realty Trust
  • Robert Rubin – Chairman of Executive Committee, Citigroup Inc., Former U.S. Secretary of Treasury
  • William Rudin – President, Rudin Management
  • Keith Sherin ’91 – CEO, GE Capital Services, Inc.
  • David Stern – Commissioner, National Basketball Association
  • John Thain – Chairman and CEO, Merrill Lynch
  • Jack Welch – former CEO of General Electric Company
  • Bob Wright – Vice Chairman & Executive Officer, General Electric Company and Chairman & CEO, NBC Universal, Inc.
  • Sam Zell – Chairman and CEO, Equity Group Investments, Tribune Company

Our Leadership

The Team

2013-14 Board
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Charlotte is a 2nd year MBA candidate at Columbia Business School. She loves hearing leaders reflect on the paths and experiences that have led to their success.Before school, she worked in corporate strategy for Northrop Grumman and equity research for Fidelity Investments.



Caitlin is a 2nd year MBA candidate at Columbia Business School. She is interested in marketing and technology. Prior to CBS Caitlin worked at a marketing consulting firm and at several start-ups focused on mobile gaming and mobile advertising.


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Stephanie is a 2nd year MBA candidate at Columbia Business School. She is honored to be part of such an influential student organization. Before business school she worked in low-income neighborhoods as both a teacher and school leader. Upon graduation, she plans to join the Boston Consulting Group.


Anjali is a 2nd year MBA candidate at Columbia Business School. Prior to CBS, Anjali was an investment analyst with Wells Fargo’s proprietary portfolio and will be returning to investment management after business school.



Nate is a 2nd year MBA candidate at Columbia Business School. Prior to CBS, Nate worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in a variety of roles serving both public market investors and both private and public healthcare corporations. Upon graduation Nate will be joining a healthcare focused merchant banking firm.



David a 2nd year MBA candidate at Columbia Business School.  Prior to CBS, David worked as a foreign currency trader and will be joining a restructuring focused investment bank following graduation.

2013-14 Board

Team (1)

  • Naveen Bazaj
  • Kristin Lewis
  • Natali Naegle
  • Akhil Subramanian
  • Sally Sun

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