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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Leadership and Business Ethics Council

The Leadership and Business Ethics Council at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics creates a space for corporate leaders from organizations large and small; established and early stage, publicly traded companies, privately held organizations, and nonprofits to gather regularly and think together with the leadership ethics program at the Ethics Center. We consider how organizational leaders help create conditions in which humans thrive and enterprises create value in the service of the common good. Much of the dialogue centers around the freshest business-organizing rubric, ESG, which has become the way businesses articulate their ethics.

Meetings are held under Chatham House Rules. Occasionally, the council chooses to share its collective wisdom, as it did following its discussion before the first American Indigenous People’s Day in Fall 2021.

Ann Skeet, senior director of leadership ethics, convenes the group, shaping its agenda collaboratively with participants to ensure the relevant ethical issues of the day are surfaced. 

Cathy Benko: Cathy Benko is an experienced corporate board member, best-selling author, and patent holder. Former Deloitte vice chairman, she serves on the public boards of NIKE, Inc.; Solar Winds; and Prime Impact Acquisition; and private company, WorkBoard.

Rob Chesnut: Robert Chestnut is a speaker, investor, and author of the book Intentional Integrity. He spent 14 years at the U.S. Justice Department, and served as the general counsel of Airbnb and Chegg, Inc.

Dan Cooperman: Board Member of public, private, and nonprofit organizations, former general counsel of Oracle and Apple. 

Jim Cowie: Jim Cowie is the chief legal officer of the Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine, which addresses pressing challenges in cancer care and promotes innovation through the integration of clinically driven science and applied engineering. Before joining the Ellison Institute, he served for over 12 years as the senior vice president and general counsel of Cadence Design Systems, Inc. He is a U.S. Navy veteran.

Chris Foster: Chris Foster is a partner at McDermott Will & Emery in San Francisco. He advises and represents leading companies on labor matters. Chris is also a former member of the Advisory Board for the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and an SCU alumnus.

Rich Geruson: Richard J Geruson is a businessman and author whose experience spans CEO roles including a Fortune-500 company and the startup that invented voice recognition for mobile phones. Currently, Richard is head of a company that provides board services and investments across three continents and is working on his second book on his new topic of "emergence."

Kara Helander: Kara Helander is the chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for Carlyle. She is also the co-founder of the Science of Diversity & Inclusion Initiative (SODI) and a board member of Leading Educators.

Jonathan Hicks: Jon Hicks is currently the Board Chair for the American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley and Senior Counsel of UCAN Employment Law for Netflix. Jon coaches leaders as they navigate complex legal, ethical, and high-profile issues. 

Andy Hinton: Andy is currently a member of the advisory board of #NotMe, a company empowering individuals to confidently raise concerns of misconduct in the workplace while helping organizations more effectively address those concerns and, ultimately, prevent misconduct altogether. Andy is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Social Engineering Project, a not-for-profit that inspires underrepresented students of color to master math, science, chemistry, physics, engineering, and computer science, go to college, major in a technical field, and pursue technical careers. Until his retirement in 2019, Andy was vice president and chief ethics & compliance officer for Google.

David LeBaron Jr.: David is a 30-year consumer packaged goods professional and an angel investor in retail-related products and technologies. In addition, he has served as managing partner for real estate-related ventures in and around the Silicon Valley. 

Alexandra Roddy: Alexandra is a technology executive leading ecosystems and alliances at IBM. She is also a longstanding advocate for social justice, working both within and beyond corporate structures to advocate for equity and inclusion.

Barbara Rogan: Barbara Rogan is an experienced business executive with expertise in compliance, corporate governance, and legal affairs. She has served on several non-profit boards supporting education.

Mary Rotunno: Mary Rotunno, a mission-driven healthcare executive and experienced corporate board director, started her career as a registered nurse and now guides healthcare leaders to critically think through complex challenges and innovate with strategic vision, ethics, and integrity. Rotunno currently serves on the Board of two pharma companies, Vistagen Therapeutics (Nasdaq:VTGN) and SaNOtize Research & Development, and serves as Chair of the Audit and Compensation Committees for Momentum for Health, the largest provider of behavioral health services in Santa Clara County.

Julie Schaefer: Julie Schaefer is a purpose-driven business leader specializing in Leader and Performance Communications. Her company, Winning Presence, helps leaders effectively navigate organizational change, issues and crises, and performance while keeping a North Star of people and values at the core of design and decision-making. Julie is also partnered in start-up ventures in the manufacturing, CPG, and arts & entertainment industries. Julie is passionate about helping companies make their mission, vision, values and purpose real for all stakeholders. She is also a parent to two SCU students and serves on the Parent & Family Leadership Council. 

Mike Schroeder: Mike Schroeder is an experienced technology executive and CHRO specializing in organizational development, talent acquisition, change management, coaching, and employee engagement at startups and global public corporations. He is passionate about building inclusive environments that value transparency, fairness, and diversity, while always aligning people strategies with critical business objectives.