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New Professorship Brings Vivian Riefberg to Darden

University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business has announced that Vivian Riefberg, currently a senior partner at McKinsey, will be the first person to hold the school’s newly created David C. Walentas Jefferson Scholars Foundation Professorship.

Riefberg, who will join Darden as a professor of practice, works frequently with government organizations at McKinsey, especially on issues involving healthcare.

She has also been a prominent public voice on the economic costs associated with gender inequality, coauthoring The Power of Parity: Advancing Women’s Equality in the United States.

Besides speaking and writing about issues related to healthcare and gender parity, Riefberg is on the boards or advisory boards of several nonprofits and organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, Public Broadcasting Service, and Partnership for a Healthier America.

Darden dean Scott Beardsley noted that “Vivian brings to Darden a successful track record of advancing ideas on healthcare and women’s leadership on the global stage.”

He added that “Darden learners will benefit from her insights in the classroom, and she will continue to advance the practice of management in these areas through speaking, writing and convening.”

Riefberg will retire from her role at McKinsey this spring and join the Darden faculty in August.

But she won’t be a total newcomer on the Darden campus, as she has already co-taught a healthcare leadership course in the school’s EMBA program. In her new role, Riefberg will be involved with the full-time MBA, EMBA and executive education programs.

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Regarding her appointment, Riefberg said: “I genuinely look forward to making an impact by developing leaders with healthcare knowledge and by further shaping efforts around diversity and gender parity.”

She also expressed gratitude to the Walentas family, whose donation led to the new endowed professorship that brought Riefberg to Darden. That professorship was announced in 2018, and the Walentas gave a further $100 million to the school in 2019.

A key advantage of top MBA programs is that they have the resources to attract leaders like Riefberg to professorship positions, which ultimately leads to greater opportunities for students. As an applicant, the type of faculty talent a business school draws is a point to pay attention to.

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