Batten Welcomes New Executive Director

July 29, 2008 — The University of Virginia's Darden School of Business has appointed Michael Lenox as executive director of its Batten Institute.

With two degrees in system engineering from the University of Virginia and a doctoral degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lenox brings more than a decade of experience in entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability and technology strategy, which he taught most recently at Duke and New York universities.

Lenox says his overarching goal is to continue building on Batten's research while maintaining an energetic community of students, faculty, Batten Fellows and regional entrepreneurs. Research leadership in sustainability and innovation are key initiatives.

"We do as much, if not more than any of our peers in entrepreneurial activity for our students," Lenox said. "I see a real opportunity for Darden to differentiate our educational opportunities as we identify ways to appeal to a broader number of students."

Through the Batten Institute, Darden offers and sponsors many popular programs dedicated to entrepreneurial instruction, including annual business-plan competitions and the Darden Business Incubator, where students can develop ideas into viable corporations. The Batten Institute is renowned for its activities in corporate innovation, environmental sustainability, growth of new industries and economic development through entrepreneurship.

"Running Batten represents a great new challenge," Lenox said. "I've long admired the Darden culture from afar."

Lenox succeeds Darden professor Jeanne Liedtka, Batten's former executive director, who has resumed her focus on working with MBA students and executives in the areas of strategic thinking, collaboration and leading growth.

Founded in 1955, the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business is a professional school that works to improve society by developing leaders in the world of practical affairs. For information, contact communication@darden.virginia.edu.