The Executive Program: Strategic Leadership at the Top

  • TEP alumni share their experiences and key takeaways from this "life-changing" program.

  • Today's executives face challenges and opportunities that extend beyond the enterprise—across industries and around the world. Confronting the challenges and embracing these opportunities requires more than training and expertise. It requires a strategic perspective, informed judgment and a global vision for what’s possible. Reserved for senior executives with advanced management experience, The Executive Program: Strategic Leadership at the Top (TEP)  provides a forum for top executives from around the world to come together and explore universal challenges and solutions, helping them lead their organization in today’s complex, global marketplace.

  • At a Glance

    Prepare yourself for the role of a lifetime with The Executive Program: Strategic Leadership at the Top. TEP offers a global leadership experience like no other, a complete immersion into the principles, habits and perspectives of transformational leaders that will provide a higher view for how you lead your organization in today's complex, global marketplace.

    During a multi-day residency in Washington, D.C., you'll have an opportunity to hear directly from expert thought leaders and policymakers on current topics and issues impacting global businesses and their leaders.

    For 2018, the program has been extended to four weeks. Based on feedback from our client organizations and participants, the expanded program will provide more opportunities for participants to dig deeper into their specific challenges and opportunities, as well as take advantage of a variety of personal development and enrichment activities. Throughout this intense program, your TEP journey will be a shared one, connecting with engaged faculty as well as senior executives from diverse industries around the world. Our proven experiential approach focuses on the whole leader, to discover what inspires and drives you from the inside out and beyond. 

    Northwest EE logo For organizations in Asia (excluding China), Darden has partnered with Northwest Executive Education to act as our regional representative for TEP. 

    The Program

    Crystallize your vision, self-awareness and holistic leadership capabilities with Darden's flagship global leadership experience for senior-level executives. The Executive Program's  individualized approach starts with you. No two TEP programs are identical, because each is contoured by every participant's experience and organization, guided by faculty who prepare year-round for each session.

    Because of Darden's commitment to experiential learning, each session is shaped by the expertise and perspective of every person in the room. Nor does the learning stop in the classroom. You will engage with faculty and members of your learning team throughout the program to discuss and explore personalized new possibilities for yourself and your organization.  

    A team of award-winning faculty experts in strategy, ethics, corporate finance, behavioral psychology and leadership, systems thinking, marketing strategy, and wellness will work across their functional boundaries and show you how to do the same. In case studies and simulations, you will face scenarios not with academic 20/20 hindsight, but with the limited information available to the executives who first faced each issue. You will analyze real-life business situations and become a better leader by asking the right questions, thinking strategically and offering solutions-sharpened by the perspective of colleagues and their executive leadership experience. You'll also consider the application of new concepts to your current position, and you'll identify a personal or organizational challenge for which you'll develop a customized plan of action to launch upon your return.

    Your leadership development will continue off-campus during enrichment activities and workshops chosen by you and your peers. You'll expand on classroom concepts with topics like design thinking, financial management, entrepreneurship, or government and politics. You'll also improve your peak performance through a stamina-building wellness program that includes a course on cognitive fitness, structured exercise opportunities and a personalized wellness profile with risk ratings and recommendations for health improvement, so you can ensure that your physical, mental and psychological strengths serve you well during the program and the rest of your life.

    Where You'll Excel

    • Envision different futures for organizations from both leadership and management levels.
    • Use strategy mapping to align departments and establish corporate coherence and governance.
    • Examine financial strategies, including capital budgeting and operational structures.
    • Conduct conversations that navigate politics and inspire diversity of thought, inclusive dialogue and a high-performance culture.
    • Nurture cross-functional relationships and create leadership teams to more effectively manage change.
    • Question personal assumptions and mental models to enhance critical thinking and balance the tension between short- and long-term results.
    • Study branding for competitive advantage, building a value proposition and pricing for value.
    • Practice sustaining growth through systems, entrepreneurial thinking and innovations like business-to-business collaboration and leveraging customer and internal team insights to identify new markets.

    Request a Consultation

    Prior to application, we recommend that the potential participant and/or the referring organization's representative consult with the TEP  program director to discuss the candidate's suitability and answer any questions about the program. To request a consultation, please click below:

    Rare opportunity to step out of your regular life to learn, reflect and engage with a diverse group of people on the importance and responsibilities of leadership and how to create value where it matters most.

    Kristen Hege (TEP '16), CVP, Translational Development, Celgene

    It's a really holistic experience with faculty that teach together. It starts early in the morning, finishes at what time you want to leave at night, and there's a social side to it, too. I just grabbed every bit of it.

    Neal Garnett (TEP '15), SVP, Construction Transport & Industrial, De Lage Landen

    Schedule & Topics

    The curriculum is designed around three pillars of strategic leadership:

    • Think strategically, to develop a vision for your organization's future.
    • Lead strategically, to invite, include and inspire your team to turn vision into reality.
    • Influence strategically, to nurture a sustainable culture that builds lasting results.

    By putting you in a position to engage key issues across functional and enterprise boundaries, you will develop the acumen to inspire change and drive innovation within yourself, your organization and beyond.

    Global Acumen:

    • Understanding the global economy, economic growth and growth metrics
    • Fiscal and monetary policy tools for economic shocks
    • Emerging markets, especially China and India
    • Corporate governance in different countries
    • Identifying the aftermath of global shocks
    • Future growth challenges
    • Strategies for sustainability
    • Strategic choices in a difficult global economy

    Organizational Growth:

    • Continuous innovation, disruptive innovation and design thinking
    • Defining and delivering enterprise performance
    • Customer insight and assessment
    • Leading transformational change
    • Operational effectiveness
    • Marketing the enterprise
    • Managing transition

    Strategic Acumen:

    • Roles and responsibilities of an executive
    • Understanding what business you are in
    • Strategy and entrepreneurship
    • Understanding strategic role of finance and marketing
    • Bottom of the pyramid
    • Understanding economic policy
    • Creating corporate coherence and advantage
    • Marketing and finance in the boardroom
    Personal Growth:
    • Leading through engagement and choices
    • Personal and team energy
    • Influencing and persuading
    • Personal learning strategy
    • Honing cognitive fitness
    • Owning your future
    • Power of exertion and restoration
    • Sustaining your physical, mental, emotional core
    • Igniting your passion for leading


    You'll walk away from The Executive Program with:

    • A C-level enterprise perspective that integrates connections, patterns and key issues throughout your organization and industry to inform your systematic plans for business development
    • Stronger, smarter and more ethical decision-making skills
    • Expanded influence and improved negotiation skills, including the ability to invite, include and inspire teams that balance autonomy and direction
    • A detailed understanding of your company's "value creation zone," which pinpoints its ideal position in the marketplace
    • A customized plan for moving the needle on a specific corporate challenge
    • Techniques for managing individual and team energy during organizational evolution and change, including a personal learning strategy to continue your personal growth
    • The shared expertise and support of a global network of senior executives and business leaders
    • Continued access to TEP faculty


    This program is designed for senior-level executives with more than twelve years of experience in significant management roles. Of the more than 4,000 executives who have graduated from this program, many represent Fortune 100 companies. Their diverse industries include aerospace, consumer services, banking/finance, consulting, defense contractors, insurance, mining, nonprofit, oil, telecom, bio/pharma, chemical, construction and the U.S. military.

    Executives in The Executive Program are selected for their outstanding leadership capabilities. As you share perspectives in the classroom, you will gain insights that will provide more breadth and depth to your own point of view.  As a graduate of TEP, you will join Darden's worldwide network of  4,000+ alumni of the program and 13,000+ alumni of Darden's MBA program in 91 countries, whose sense of commitment, camaraderie and connection is globally recognized.


    Alan R. Beckenstein

    The Global Economy 
    Head of Darden's Global Economies and Markets area, Beckenstein teaches executives about open-economy macroeconomics, policy tools and the politics associated with them, emerging markets and global investing. His courses look at the past, present and the future. He has been the leader of significant learning activities in the public and private sector in New Zealand for 20 years.

    Jolene H. Bodily

    Wellness and Energy Management
    Bodily's "Sleep. Eat. Exercise. Rejuvenate." framework helps executives enhance physical and mental energy, focus and stamina. Executive capacity, endurance and health are increased through coaching and practice tools designed for real life. A registered dietitian with a Master of Public Health, Bodily develops and delivers health, fitness and nutrition programs to private and corporate clients.

    Gregory B. Fairchild

    The Extended Enterprise
    Fairchild is an expert in strategic management, business ethics, leadership and entrepreneurship. He specializes in underserved, overlooked markets and was recently the lead investigator in a study of business models and public policy issues in the field of community development finance, an initiative supported by a $850,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

    Alexander B. Horniman- Faculty Leader

    Managerial Psychology and Leadership
    Horniman's "Leading, Learning and Change" framework has inspired thousands of leaders to think differently about how they lead and influence others. His classes aim to heighten your self-awareness and help you better understand your strengths as an influencer and a leader. Horniman served in the U.S. Army and as a special consultant to U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.


    Elena Loutskina

    Loutskina's research focuses on the impact of the securitization markets on the financial management of financial and non-financial corporations. She also specializes in the area of venture capital and innovation. Alongside numerous academic conferences, she has been invited to present her research at the Federal Reserve Bank, Federal Reserve Board, International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and Banque de France.


    Doug Thomas

    Operations Management
    Thomas has led numerous executive education sessions in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, including programs at Penn State, INSEAD and Georgia Institute of Technology as well as custom programs for Accenture, DuPont, ExxonMobil, IBM, Ingersoll-Rand, Mars, Office Depot, Parker-Hannifin, Pfizer, Schlumberger and the U.S. Marine Corps.  He has testified as an expert witness and consulted for several large organizations on supply chain strategy including Accenture, CSL Behring, Dell, ExxonMobil and Lockheed Martin Aerospace Corporation.

    S. Venkataraman

    Organizational Strategy
    An internationally renowned scholar and educator in the field of entrepreneurship, "Venkat" teaches courses in strategy, entrepreneurship and ethics. He began his career as co-founder of a successful Indian technology spin-off. He consults with Fortune 500 firms and advises companies, universities and governments on strategy.

    Kimberly Whitler

    Whitler's expertise is in marketing strategy with a focus on understanding how board and C-level roles, characteristics and decisions impact the firm's marketing performance. Her professional career covers nearly 20 years in marketing and general management positions, including leadership and executive positions with organizations such as Procter & Gamble, David's Bridal, Aurora Foods and PetSmart.

    Alumni Benefits

    In addition to networking with a diverse group of leaders during your TEP experience, TEP graduates are also connected to the 13,000+ Darden alumni in over 90 countries around the world. As such, you receive many of the same benefits, including:

    • Alumni Directory (
    • Lifetime Darden email address
    • Monthly webinars with faculty
    • Alumni  chapter events around the world (excluding MBA alumni/admissions receptions)
    • Access to Darden's case collection
    • Alumni Career Services online toolkit
    • Alumni newsletters and messages from the School
    • Executive Education - 25% discount on short programs
    • The Darden Report magazine (bi-annually)

    Location & Accommodations

    During The Executive Program, you will stay on Grounds at the Inn at Darden. Consistently ranked among the world's best for food and accommodations by  Financial Times, Darden's facilities include individual accommodations, rooms for discussion groups, a fully equipped exercise room, a recreation area and a casual gathering spot for evening conversations.

    The Abbott Center Dining Room offers a wide-ranging menu of local and organic cuisine prepared by professionally trained chefs. 

    Participants will have access to exercise facilities at the Inn at Darden and at the North Grounds Recreation Center, immediately adjacent to the Inn,  a multipurpose sports center with racquetball and squash courts, group exercise rooms, swimming pool, sauna, Jacuzzi and cardiovascular and strength-training machines.

    Application Process & Policies

    Admission is by application only.

    Tuition is $39,995 and includes materials, meals and accommodations at the Inn at Darden.

    Participants represent a broad range of backgrounds - industries, geographic locations, organizational size and professional responsibilities are considered. Although the number of participants from any one organization may be limited, firms are encouraged to send more than one executive. Admission is based on consultation among the three parties concerned: the nominating company, the applicant and a committee of the TEP faculty that evaluates the candidate's application. Notice of confirmed admission to TEP will be sent as soon as the process is complete.

    Application Procedures

    A candidate's suitability should be discussed with program director, Rebecca Yancey, prior to internal company discussions and participant's application.

    • A company may request a reservation before nominating a specific applicant.
    • Nomination of a participant must be originated by the participant's organization.
    • For additional application forms, contact Jennifer Hicks, director, at +1-434-924-4922.
    • Enrollment is limited. Early application is encouraged.
    • Online application

    Once your application has been reviewed and upon acceptance into the program, a 25% deposit is required to secure your registration.


    TEP opens with a virtual module in May 2019.

    The TEP residential module runs from Sunday evening, 2 June to noon on Friday, 28 June 2019. Registration is from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, 2 June. The program will open with a reception, followed by dinner at the Abbott Center dining room. Classes and events on the final day will conclude by noon.

    TEP concludes after a Virtual Leadership Lab, which runs online from July - September 2019.

    The cost of TEP includes tuition, study materials, lodging, most meals and certificate of participation.

    TEP Cancellation and Transfer Policy

    For cancellation or transfer, please reach out to Rebecca Yancey, Executive Education Director (, or call +1-434-243-5174.