The Program

The Leadership Dialogues speaker series is a fireside chat-style event featuring accomplished industry, political and non-profit leaders discussing the latest ideas in organizational research and ongoing practice with U-M faculty. Speakers share advice on topics including how to develop leadership skills, lead purpose-driven organizations, and manage crises. All dialogues are free and open to the entire U-M community.

Ross students will be notified via email when RSVP opens for the next session. Non-Ross students are invited to fill out the interest form below to receive the same communication.

Leadership Dialogues More Info Coming Soon

Our next speaker will be announced shortly.

Program Type

Speaker Series

Key Dates


Participant Requirements

The Leadership Dialogue events are open to the entire community.


Robin Washington - Former CFO of Gilead Sciences

What does it take to lead and inspire others at the intersection of science and business?

Robin Washington, BBA ’84, board member of Alphabet, Salesforce, and Honeywell, and former chief financial officer of Gilead, joined Professor Yesim Orhun to talk about leading as a woman in complex environments. Washington, who ranked sixth on The Wall Street Journal’s 2014 list of Top Performing CFOs, has also been named one of Treasury & Risk’s 30 Outstanding Women in Finance and Black Enterprise’s 75 Most Powerful Women in Business.

Paul Polman - Former CEO of Unilever

How can business leaders take action to create a positive impact on the world?

Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever and co-author of Net Positive, joined Professor Andrew Hoffman to discuss how business can be a force for good, accelerating action to tackle climate change, inequality, and other important issues facing society. To create what Paul calls a “net positive world,” Polman and Hoffman discussed, not only how business practice is changing, but how business education must change to bring about this important shift.

Mary Barra - Chair & CEO, General Motors

What does it take to inspire over 150,000 employees at a 100+ year old company to lean into an all-electric future?

On April 12, 2022, Mary Barra, General Motors Chair and CEO, joined Professor Lindy Greer to talk about leadership through radical change and her plans to have GM launch 30 new global electric vehicles by 2025. Barra described her leadership journey and the leader behaviors and practices that she views as most critical in helping her move her company toward this bold future. Professor Greer, an expert on how to lead adaptive teams and organizations, explored how insights on leadership scholarship relate to Barra’s vision and practice of leadership.