Executive-on-Grounds | UVA McIntire School of Commerce
M.S. in MIT Charlottesville classroom


One expects a top-notch graduate business program to attract high-profile guest speakers – and the M.S. in MIT Program certainly delivers. More than 35 CIOs and other business and technology leaders are invited to discuss how their organizations are dealing with current issues or technologies. Given the high level of professional experience that exists within the class, faculty members carefully choose guest speakers who can bring a unique and fairly broad perspective to the topics being discussed. These speakers generally address the class for an hour or two and may join the group for lunch or dinner to further the discussion.

In addition, McIntire’s unique Executive-on-Grounds (EOG) program works with a select number of senior-level business leaders who agree to engage deeply on a topic or issue. The EOGs work closely with students and faculty members throughout a module, often mentoring students around executive leadership skills, as well as helping them engage in executive-level thought processes in evaluating IT and management decisions. 

Recent and past examples include:

Module 2: IT Project Management

Two EOGs serve as curriculum advisers and coaches for sourcing, vendor management, and project recovery content. They work with Professor Ryan Nelson to hone content, attend and speak during classes, and provide experts for specialized content, such as “legal issues in sourcing.” EOGs currently serving this role include:

  • Dan Elron, Managing Partner, Accenture
  • Ray Hoving, former Principal Consultant, Ray Hoving Associates LLC
Module 3: Enterprise IT Management

EOGs meet with students early in the module to discuss enterprise-wide management best practices. Each student is then charged with exploring IT enterprise management practices at their own organization and creating a recommendation for improvement. Students craft their ideas into a memo, which is submitted to their module coordinator and an EOG. Executives meet with students individually to discuss their ideas and help shape ideas appropriately. The hope is that students ultimately will apply their recommendations at work and create value. In a large number of cases, this happens – with tremendous success. EOGs who have served in this module are all current or former CIOs and have included: 

  • Steve Cooper, Partner, Fortium Partners LP; Principal, Deep Water Point; Member, Federal Executive Advisory Board, Samsung Electronics America; former Senior VP and CIO, American Red Cross; first CIO, Department of Homeland Security
  • Brian Ronnau,  CIO, AllyAlign Health
  • Martyn Holland, COO, StrataBare International
  • Jay Sanne, CTO, Card Customer Platforms, Capital One
  • Jill Singer, Vice President, National Security, AT&T
  • Deborah Cassidy, Global Chief Information Officer, PRA Group
  • David Bear, Project Leader (Pro Bono), Compass Pro Bono
  • Jennifer Chronis, General Manager, DOD, Amazon Web Services
  • Phil Cherbaka, CIO, U.S. Army Research Laboratory
  • Jonathan Alboum, CTO, Public Sector, Veritas Technologies LLC