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Courageous Conversations

Courageous Conversations with Dr. Campbell

President Mary Schmidt Campbell

The recordings listed below feature in-depth conversations with former Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., and distinguished guests. They were candid discussions about their corporate and personal journeys, working through crisis and the opportunities for Black women leaders as equity becomes more valuable across professions. Please see the 2023 schedule of talks with Spelman's 11th President, Helene D. Gayle, M.D., MPH.

The goal of Courageous Conversations is to inform and inspire.

Presented by UPS
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Series Recordings

Courageous Conversations: Black in the C-Suite with Ursula Burns

Tuesday, March 1, 2022 | 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.

  • Zoom


Ursula Burns has extensive international experience in leading large companies that are facing technology sea changes within their industries.

Burns was the chairman of the board of Xerox Corporation from 2010 to 2017 and chief executive officer from 2009 to 2016, after having been appointed president in 2007. Burns joined Xerox as a summer intern in 1980 and has since held leadership posts spanning corporate services, manufacturing and product development. During Burns’ tenure as chief executive officer, Burns helped the company transform from a global leader in document technology to the world’s most diversified business services company serving enterprises and governments of all sizes. Shortly after being named CEO in 2009, Burns spearheaded the largest acquisition in Xerox history, the $6.4 billion purchase of Affiliated Computer Services.

In 2016, Burns led Xerox through a successful separation into two independent, publicly traded companies – Xerox Corporation, which is comprised of the company’s Document Technology and Document Outsourcing businesses, and Conduent Incorporated, a business process services company. After her retirement from Xerox, Burns was appointed as chairman of VEON, Ltd. in 2017. Burns became chairman and CEO in December 2018 until June 2020. During her tenure at VEON, Burns successfully steered the company through various compliance and restructuring changes.

Burns is a member of the Exxon Mobil, Uber Technologies, Inc., Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc., and IHS Holdings Board of Directors. She is also a founding partner of Integrum Holdings, a private equity firm, Non-Executive Chairman of Teneo Holdings LLC, and the executive chairman of Plum Acquisition Corp I. In addition, Burns is on several private company boards, including Waystar and, while also providing leadership counsel to several other community, educational and non-profit organizations including the Ford Foundation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Corporation, Cornell Tech Board of Overseers, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Mayo Clinic amongst others.

U.S. President Barack Obama appointed Burns to lead the White House national program on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) from 2009 - 2016, and Burns served as chair of the President’s Export Council from 2015 - 2016 after service as vice chair from 2010 - 2015. In February 2022, Burns joined the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Advisory Council on Supply Chain Competitiveness.

Burns holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York University. Burns is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Royal Academy of Engineering and the G7 Gender Equity Advisory Council.

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