Plenary Speakers

Plenary I: Leading With Power

Jeff_PfefferJeffrey Pfeffer, Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business

Jeffrey Pfeffer is the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he has taught since 1979.  Pfeffer is the author or co-author of 14 books on topics including power in organizations, managing people, evidence-based management and The Knowing-Doing Gap.  His latest book, Leadership B.S.:  Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time, was published in September, 2015.  Author of more than 150 articles and book chapters, Pfeffer has won numerous awards for his scholarly research, including an Honorary Doctorate from Tilburg University in The Netherlands.

Pfeffer has taught seminars in 39 countries and has been a visiting professor at Harvard Business School, London Business School, Singapore Management University, and IESE in Barcelona.  Prior to joining Stanford, he was on the faculty at the business schools at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois.  Pfeffer has served on the board of directors of several human capital software companies as well as other public and private company and non-profit boards. 

Plenary II: Institutional Rankings

Barrett-HelenHelen Barrett, Work & Careers editor, Financial Times

Helen has worked at the Financial Times for five years. She became Work & Careers editor in October 2016, having previously been deputy editor of Financial Times Special Reports.  Her journalism and interests cover business education, management science, leadership, entrepreneurship and working life. Before the FT, Helen worked in roles at UK newspapers including the Guardian and the Telegraph, and various trade magazines.  Before journalism, she worked in the advertising industry for ten years. She studied at the universities of Bristol and Leicester. Her interests include global politics, technology and social inclusion.

Byrne_JohnJohn Byrne, Editor-in-Chief, Poets & Quants

John A. Byrne created the first regularly published MBA rankings for BusinessWeek magazine in 1988. As Editor-in-Chief of, the highly successful business school website, he is the world's foremost observer of B-school rankings and a frequent critic of such lists. Byrne is also the most prominent outside influencer on management education, with unmatched social media presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Quora. Before starting C-Change Media, Byrne was Executive Editor of BusinessWeek, Editor-In-Chief of, and Editor-In-Chief of Fast Company magazine. He wrote an unprecedented 57 cover stories for Businessweek and and is the author or co-author of more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers.

Symonds_MattMatt Symonds, Editorial Consultant, Times Higher Education / Wall Street Journal Business School Rankings

Matt Symonds is the Editorial Consultant for the new Times Higher Education / Wall Street Journal Business School Rankings that publish in Q1 of 2018. For the past eight years he has covered business education and rankings for Forbes (see Matt's November 2017 article), The Economist, Bloomberg, BBC, among many other global publications, and is co-founder and director of Fortuna Admissions. Matt is the co-author of the international bestseller “Getting the MBA Admissions Edge,“ sponsored by Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, BCG, and Bain. As the S of QS, he founded the World MBA Tour in 1995, building an events business in over 45 countries. He has now partnered with John Byrne and Poets & Quants to organize the CentreCourt MBA Festival with the participation of Deans and Admissions Directors from the world’s top business schools.

Plenary III: Create A Growth Culture

Britt-AndreattaBritt Andreatta, CEO, Author and Presenter, 7th Mind Inc.

Dr. Britt Andreatta knows how to harness human potential. Drawing on her unique background in leadership, psychology, education, and the human sciences, she regularly consults with Fortune 100 corporations, businesses, universities, and nonprofit organizations. She’s the former Chief Learning Officer for where her courses have over 5million views worldwide. Dr. Andreatta has served as dean and professor at the University of California and Antioch University. She has authored several titles on learning and leadership including The Neuroscience of Learning, Wired to Resist: The Brain Science of Why Change Fails and a New Model for Driving Success. Her new book, on the neuroscience of teams, will be out Spring 2018.