By Julie Daum
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business announced today that Vivian Riefberg will join Darden’s academic faculty as a professor of practice starting in August 2020. In this role, she will hold a David C. Walentas Jefferson Scholars Foundation Professorship chair.
A global thought leader in the areas of health care and women’s leadership and senior partner at McKinsey & Co., from which she will retire in spring 2020, Riefberg will bring to the UVA and Darden communities over three decades of experience and in-depth applied knowledge. A speaker, writer and convener in the health care field — notably in health care services and the interplay between business and government — she is also a leader in work on the economic benefits of gender parity in business and society.
Riefberg is the first to hold a David C. Walentas Jefferson Scholars Foundation Professorship at Darden; the chair became fully endowed in 2018. In October 2019, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation announced additional support of $38 million at Darden for another professorship chair, scholarships and fellowships as part of a new $100 million gift to UVA from David Walentas — a visionary New York real estate developer, 1961 alumni of UVA and 1964 graduate of Darden — and his wife, Jane.
“The Jefferson Scholars Foundation is delighted that Vivian Riefberg will join the Darden School faculty as the David C. Walentas Jefferson Scholars Foundation Professor,” said Jimmy Wright, president of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation. “We look forward to her active involvement and participation in the Jefferson Scholars Foundation and Darden School communities.”
“Vivian brings to Darden a successful track record of advancing ideas on health care and women’s leadership on the global stage,” said Darden Dean Scott C. Beardsley. “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. Vivian will certainly add to the richness of academic life at both Darden and UVA.”
Riefberg will teach at Darden in the degree formats, including the full-time MBA and Executive MBA, and will conceive programming and teach in Darden Executive Education — working out of both the UVA Darden DC Metro location and the School’s Charlottesville Grounds. Teaching at Darden is not new to Riefberg, as she recently co-taught a health care leadership course in Darden’s Executive MBA program.
“It is an incredible honor to hold a David C. Walentas Jefferson Scholars Foundation Professorship at Darden. I am grateful to the Walentas family, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation, the University of Virginia and the Darden School,” said Riefberg. “I genuinely look forward to making an impact by developing leaders with health care knowledge and by further shaping efforts around diversity and gender parity. I am thrilled to be part of this community that delivers transformational educational experiences to prepare leaders for the future of work.”
Riefberg earned an A.B. in history, magna cum laude, from Harvard-Radcliffe College and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.
She originally joined McKinsey & Co. in 1987 in Washington, D.C. After serving as an associate in the firm, she left for two years for an entrepreneurial venture in real estate. She returned to McKinsey in 1989 and was elected senior partner in 2004. During her time there, she helped build two practice areas — health care services and public sector — from their early days to fully scaled operations. She served on McKinsey’s board of directors from 2015 to 2018.
Riefberg also has a history of civic leadership and has worked with multiple nonprofits, serving on advisory boards at organizations including the National Institutes of Health. She is a founding board member at the Partnership for a Healthier America, a nonpartisan program and outgrowth of former first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign that aims to solve the child obesity challenge. Currently, Riefberg serves as general director of the board of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
A frequent author, speaker and media commentator, Riefberg has presented at the World Economic Forum at Davos and has lectured at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
“We are delighted that the Walentas Professorship has enabled us to attract such top talent to UVA and Darden,” said Beardsley.
About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.