Brown & Brown Distinguished Speaker Series
(formerly Johnson & Strachan)
A diverse group of corporate leaders and government officials discuss the strategic and operational issues critical to the nation’s ability to sustain and enhance its competitive edge in a global economy. This community-based academic initiative will enrich the educational experience of the School of Business' students, faculty, and alumni while building and strengthening relationships with the region’s business community.
Students, faculty, and alumni are all encouraged to join the conversation and follow live coverage of each speaker series on Twitter using #BBspeaker.
Register for our upcoming events!
Former U.S. Chief Technology Officer
Aneesh Chopra is the former (and first) U.S. Chief Technology Officer. As an Assistant to the President, he designed the National Wireless Initiative, helped launch Startup America, and executed an "open innovation" strategy across the government built on private sector collaboration - opening up data, convening on standards and staffing "lean government startups." He is the author of the book, "Innovative State: How New Technologies can Transform Government," focused on how we can tap entrepreneurial problem solvers to address challenges in health, energy and education markets among other public and regulated sectors.
Chopra is currently the co-founder and executive vice president of Hunch Analytics, a technology firm focused on improving the productivity of public and regulated sectors of the economy through data analytics. He serves as a Member of the Council on Virginia's Future. In 2011, Chopra was named to Modern Healthcare's list of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare (#39) and in 2008, to Government Technology magazine's Top 25 in their Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers issue. Chopra earned his master's degree in public policy from Harvard University in 1997 and his bachelor's degree from The Johns Hopkins University in 1994.
Enron Whistleblower, former Vice President of Enron Corporation
Sherron Watkins is the former Vice President of Enron Corporation who alerted then-CEO Ken Lay in August 2001 to accounting irregularities within the company, warning him that Enron 'might implode in a wave of accounting scandals.' She has testified before Congressional Committees from the U.S. House and Senate investigating Enron's demise. TIME magazine named Sherron, along with two others, Coleen Rowley of the FBI and Cynthia Cooper of WorldCom, as their 2002 Persons of the Year, for being "people who did right just by doing their jobs rightly." In recognition of her outstanding demonstration of ethics in the work place, Ms. Watkins has received numerous honors, including the Court TV Scales of Justice Award, the National Academy of Management's Distinguished Executive Award, and the Rolfe Award for Educating the Public about Business and Finance. Glamour Magazine named her one of its 2002 Women of the Year, and Barbara Walters included her as one of the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2002.
Ms. Watkins is co-author, along with prize-winning journalist, Mimi Swartz, of Power Failure, the Inside Story of the Collapse of Enron. Currently, Ms. Watkins lectures and consults on leadership and organizational behavior. Prior to joining Enron in 1993, Ms. Watkins worked for 3 years as the portfolio manager of MG Trade Finance Corp., a commodity lending boutique in New York and for 8 years in the auditing and litigation services group of both the New York and Houston offices of Arthur Andersen. Ms. Watkins is a Certified Public Accountant. She holds a Masters in Professional Accounting as well as a B.B.A. in accounting and business honors from the University of Texas at Austin.Ms. Watkins is married with one child and resides in Houston, Texas. www.sherronwatkins.com