Handpicked Thought Leaders

Handpicked. Diverse. Very Engaging.

Experts that Match Your Needs, Not Ours.
The best learning experience comes from not just the best experts, but the right experts.

Since Smith Executive Education is a Women's Leadership Center and not a business school, we are not beholden to one set of faculty. We have the flexibility to handpick the best women's leadership and global business experts from universities, corporations and consultancies, assuring that you are getting the most amazing learning experience possible.

Below is a representative sample of our esteemed faculty:


Iris Firstenberg
Iris Firstenberg is adjunct professor of psychology at UCLA, teaching in the Department of Psychology and the Anderson Graduate School of Management. She teaches techniques for creative problem solving and innovative thinking for a variety of corporate clients, including IBM, Sony Pictures, Times Mirror, Los Alamos National Laboratories, Raytheon, the Los Angeles Police Department and NASA, among others. Firstenberg is a recipient of the UCLA Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award.


Marshall Goldsmith
Marshall Goldsmith is a world authority on helping successful leaders get even better by achieving positive, lasting change in behavior – for themselves, their people and their teams. He has worked with over 120 major CEOs and their management teams. His book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, is a New York Times best seller and a Wall Street Journal #1 business book. He has been recognized by Forbes as one of the 15 most influential thought leaders in the world, and by Fast Company as America’s preeminent executive coach. Goldsmith has been a volunteer teacher for U.S. Army generals, U.S. Navy admirals, Girl Scout executives, and the International and American Red Cross.


Vijay Govindarajan
Vijay Govindarajan (“VG”) is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on strategy and innovation. He has been named one of the Top Five Most Respected Executive Coaches on Strategy by Forbes, and was the first Professor in Residence and Chief Innovation Consultant at General Electric to CEO Jeffrey Immelt. A Professor of International Business at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, VG works with CEOs and top management teams to challenge and escalate their thinking about strategy. He has guided 25% of the Fortune 500, such as Boeing, Coca-Cola, FedEx, HP, J.P. Morgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson, P&G, Sony and Wal-Mart. VG has published seven books, including the international best seller Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators.


Kathleen Hevert
Kathleen Hevert is an Associate Professor of Finance and Chairperson at Babson College. Her areas of expertise are corporate finance, mergers & acquisitions and real options. She works with a variety of major companies on key finance issues, including General Electric, Alcatel-Lucent, The Nielsen Company and EMC among others. Her research has been published in many leading journals, including Financial Management, The Journal of Portfolio Management, The Journal of Applied Corporate Finance and The Journal of Business Venturing. Hevert is twice the recipient of the Thomas Kennedy Excellence in Teaching Award.


Anja Langbein
As a consultant at THT, Anja Langbein is responsible for designing and delivering leadership development programs in cross-cultural business communication, team building and negotiation for Fortune 100 companies worldwide. She specializes in trainings focused on women in leadership, as well as country-specific cultural programs. Born and raised in the former East Germany, Anja has worked with a wide range of international clients, such as Gillette, Siemens, IBM, Philips, Texas Instruments, American Express, Novo Nordisk, Lafarge and General Motors. Her engaging style and interactive personality make her an energetic and sought-after teacher and speaker.


Moshe Rubinstein
Moshe Rubinstein is a professor at the UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He is an internationally renowned authority on problem solving and creativity in organizations. He is widely respected for his insights, expertise and ability to infuse organizations with tools for decision making and innovation. He has been a consultant to many major corporations and has lectured around the world. Rubinstein was named one of the Top Twenty Professors of the Century at UCLA.


Una S. Ryan
Ph.D., O.B.E. is currently President of Diagnostics for All, a non-profit focused on low-cost and easy-to-use diagnostics for the developing world. Previously, she was President and CEO of Waltham Technologies, Inc. a company in the Clean Water-Clean Energy business. She holds the position of research professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Ryan serves on several private company boards and industry trade organizations, including the board of BIO, and is past chair of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. In 2002, she was awarded the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) for her work to foster and promote biotechnology.


Matthew J. Slaughter
Professor Slaughter is Associate Dean and Professor of Management at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. His area of expertise is the economics and politics of globalization, particularly the global operations of multinational firms. From 2005 to 2007, Slaughter served on the Council of Economic Advisers, advising the President of the United States and his cabinet on issues including international trade and investment, currency and energy markets, and the competitiveness of the U.S. economy. His ideas have been widely featured in Business Week, The Economist, Financial Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and CNBC’s Closing Bell.


John Thomas
John Thomas is the Executive Vice President of Executive Perspectives where his primary focus is in helping leaders improve their businesses and themselves as a result of learning by doing through computer-based business simulations. He has been instrumental in many successful corporate simulation projects, including with executives of Johnson & Johnson, GE, Allstate, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Starwood Hotels, Union Pacific Railroad, Kaiser Permanente, P&G, Fidelity Investments, Verizon, the IRS and IBM, among others. Thomas’s areas of expertise include enhancing leadership skills, creating service excellence, improving employee talent and developing a better customer/market focus.


Melissa Thomas-Hunt
Melissa Thomas-Hunt is an Associate Professor at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. She is an expert in conflict management, team management, the effects of status and power on negotiation, and the role of expertise within diverse groups. Her ideas have appeared in many prestigious industry journals, including the Psychology of Women Quarterly, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Journal of Social Justice Research and Research on Managing Groups and Teams. She received her Ph.D. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and holds a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University.


Brian Uzzi
Brian Uzzi is the Richard L. Thomas Distinguished Professor of Leadership at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His award-winning and highly cited ideas examine the relationship between networks and outstanding human achievement. Media reports about his research have been featured worldwide. He has taught executives around the world, won eight teaching awards, and visited on the faculties of INSEAD in France, the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley.