Sandra E. Peterson ’80 will speak on “Reconstructing Leadership: Why Economics and Empathy Matter in Equal Measure,” Thursday, Nov. 1, at 4:30 p.m. in Alice Statler Auditorium as Cornell’s 36th Robert S. Hatfield Fellow in Economic Education.
Leaders today are under intense pressure to produce results while advances in science, technology and connectivity disrupt ways of doing business. In her talk, Peterson will address why business acumen is only part of being a successful leader in today’s global environment.
Peterson, a graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, is the former group worldwide chair for Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest healthcare company. Previously she was chairman and CEO of Bayer CropScience AG in Germany, CEO of Bayer Medical Care and president of Bayer HealthCare AG’s Diabetes Care Division. She has held leadership roles at Medco Health Solutions (previously Merck-Medco), Nabisco, Whirlpool Corp. and McKinsey & Co.
She is a member of the board of directors of Microsoft and formerly served on the board of directors of Dun & Bradstreet, where she chaired the Innovation and Technology Committee. Peterson is a member of the board of the Institute for Advanced Study, a leading center for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry, and the American Academy in Berlin, a research and cultural institution. She formerly chaired the board of EcoHealth Alliance and has been named to Fortune magazine’s list of Most Powerful Women.
The Continental Group Foundation established the Robert S. Hatfield Fund for Economic Education at Cornell in 1980 to honor the then retiring chairman, president and chief executive officer of the Continental Group Inc. The fund supports the Hatfield Fellows Program, which serves as a major platform for the exchange of ideas between the academic and the corporate communities.
Past Hatfield fellows include Jeffrey R. Immelt, General Electric; Henry M. Paulson Jr., former secretary of the U.S. Department of Treasury; and Eric E. Schmidt of Google. Alumni fellows include Sanford I. Weill ’55, Ratan N. Tata ’59 and Irene B. Rosenfeld ’75, MS ’77, Ph.D. ’80.
The Hatfield Lecture will be introduced by Mark W. Nelson, the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. A moderated question and answer session will follow the lecture, which is free and open to the public.