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.

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

Hosted at…


Our Leadership

The Team

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Naveen is a 2nd year MBA candidate at Columbia Business School. He is interested in strategy and general management. Prior to CBS Naveen worked as an investment banking analyst and then worked on business development and strategy for a mid-stage venture backed biotechnology start-up.


Kristin is an MBA-MIA dual-degree candidate completing degrees at Columbia Business School (CBS) and Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).  Additionally, Kristin continues to work part-time as the Associate Director of the Task Force Program at the Council on Foreign Relations, a leading foreign policy think tank, where she had worked prior to returning to school.


Natali is a 2nd year MBA candidate at Columbia Business School. She spent the summer interning at, and is joining McKinsey & Company in the Calgary, Canada office after graduation. Her pre-CBS life included litigation consulting, market research, and fundraising for higher education 



Akhil is a 2nd year MBA candidate at Columbia Business School and a member of the Value Investing program. Prior to CBS, he worked at Credit Suisse and for a consulting firm that was founded by the author of Freakonomics.  He interned at Owl Creek Asset Management over the summer.



Sally Sun profile photo

Sally is a 2nd year MBA candidate at Columbia Business School. She is interested in management and strategy. Prior to CBS, she was an associate at Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong. 

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