U.Va. Engineering, Commerce Schools To Co-Host Lecture by DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman

The appearance by DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman (above) is the second in a three-part series on “Engineering Leadership for the 21st Century.”

(REVISED, March 22, 2:07 p.m.) The University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce and School of Engineering and Applied Science are co-hosting a dialogue with Ellen Kullman, DuPont CEO and chair of the board. “Addressing Challenges in a Global Economy” will take place Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

The event will be in the form of an interview with Kullman led by Peter Maillet, McIntire’s associate dean for global initiatives, and will focus on the far-reaching opportunities and challenges leaders face in a swiftly evolving global economy. Kullman is expected to address her vision and strategy for the company, particularly its focus on science and technology, along with her thoughts on leadership and a range of other topics. The conversation will conclude with a 15-minute question-and-answer period.

As CEO of DuPont, Kullman champions market-driven science to foster innovation across the company’s businesses. Under her leadership, decision-making moved closer to customers around the world, resulting in greater partnering, collaboration and solutions attuned to local needs.

Kullman joined DuPont in 1988 as a marketing manager. During her career there, she held a number of posts, including leading two high-growth businesses, DuPont Safety Resources and Bio-Based Materials. She studied mechanical engineering at Tufts University and management at Northwestern University.

She is co-chair of the National Academy of Engineering’s Committee on “Changing the Conversation: From Research to Action,” and is a member of the board of United Technologies Corp. and of the board of trustees at Tufts. She also serves on the board of overseers at Tufts School of Engineering and is a member of the board of Changing the Equation, a national coalition of more than 100 CEOs committed to improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics K-12 learning in the U.S.

“We educate our engineering students to address globalization, leadership, resource and financial issues as part of our program to prepare them to be 21st-century engineers,” Engineering School Dean James H. Aylor said. “We are pleased to sponsor this event with the School of Commerce.”

McIntire Dean Carl P. Zeithaml agrees the event is a great opportunity. “In 1804, President Thomas Jefferson signed DuPont’s first patent,” he said. “More than two centuries later, DuPont is one of the world’s most innovative and global corporations. DuPont owes a large measure of its continuing success to Ellen Kullman’s outstanding leadership. The students and faculty of McIntire School of Commerce look forward to hearing her thoughts on driving success in an increasingly complex and challenging global economy.”

“Addressing Challenges in a Global Economy” is the second in a three-part series on “Engineering Leadership for the 21st Century.” The first speaker on the series was G. Wayne Clough, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. The series concludes with a presentation by Alfred Grasso, president and chief executive officer of The Mitre Corporation, on April 12 at 3:30 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall Auditorium.

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