The Tri-Sector Program was developed in 2014 as a way to bring students and faculty from the School of Law, Darden School of Business, and Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy together. Each year, the program chooses eight students from each school to participate in a series of discussions and meetings with guest speakers focusing on leadership and decision-making. The basic premise of the program is that a “tri-sector approach” — encompassing private, public and social institutions — is the most effective way to address complex issues.
"The program allows graduate and professional students to have honest conversations about the challenges and opportunities of leadership with highly accomplished leaders from the private, public, and social sectors,” said Professor Michael Doran, the Law School’s faculty director of the program. “Several of this year’s speakers were remarkably candid with the fellows about difficult decisions they have made. Additionally, the fellows learn how students from other schools within the University approach problems from different perspectives and with different strategies."
Law School fellow Austin Sim ’17 said he relished the opportunity to engage with students and experts from other disciplines, sometimes in their own workplace.
“Meeting leaders in their own environments across different industries provided a broad, but concentrated, experience that allowed me to draw parallels and parse differences,” said Sim, a J.D.-M.D. student who has already matriculated from the UVA Medical School. He plans to pursue a cross-disciplinary career as an oncologist “working with the implementation and legislation of health care policy.”
The fellows met regularly for salon-style discussions with leaders on topics such as consumer privacy, cybersecurity, energy policy, public universities and health care access. This year’s guest speakers included Kathelen Amos, president of the Aflac Foundation; Sarah Bloom-Raskin, former deputy secretary of the Treasury Department; Professor Paul Mahoney, former dean of the Law School; and Ted Mathas ’92, CEO and chairman of New York Life Insurance Co.
UVA Law students and Tri-Sector fellows Alex Hoffarth ’18, Gannam Rifkah ’17 and Charis Redmond ’17 talk with Darden student and fellow Dana Adams, second from left.
Rifkah said he joined the program because he thought it would be helpful in developing his own leadership skills. He was curious to learn about the speakers’ paths to becoming recognized leaders.
The program included a day trip to Washington, D.C., for meetings with various leaders, including a roundtable discussion with former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler.
“Wheeler told us about the difficult challenges he faced as chairman during the net neutrality debate, and how his leadership was simultaneously tested in both the private and public spheres,” Rifkah said.
The Tri-Sector Program will begin accepting applications for the 2017-18 academic year starting next week. More information about the program will be forthcoming in an email to students, and details can also be found on Darden’s Business, Policy and Leadership website.
2016-17 UVA Law Tri-Sector Fellows
D. Ryan Hart ’17
Alexander J. Hoffarth ’18
Madison Marcus ’17
Ryan Pavel ’17
Charis Redmond ’17
Gannam Rifkah ’17
Austin Sim ’17
Brette Throckmorton ’17