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The Journey After Duke: Reflections and Connections with Graduate Alumni

The Journey After Duke: Reflections and Connections with Graduate Alumni

Join a panel of graduate alumni reflecting on their professional lives since departing Duke. An opportunity for networking with the speakers and other Duke alumni who are leaders in their fields (login to Box for the list) will follow the conversation. Not sure what to expect from this event? Read a reflection by Judith Mwobobia (Global Health master's student) about her experience at a past offering.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Yang Chen, M.S.’95, Ph.D.’97 (Statistics & Decision Sciences), Managing Director, Risk and Quantitative Analysis Group, BlackRock
  • Anna Hrom, M.A.’15, Ph.D.’18 (History), J.D.’16, Associate at Williams & Connolly LLP
  • Pramod Kolar, M.S.’01, Ph.D.’05 (Electrical & Computer Engineering), Principal Memory Architect, Stealth Mode Startup
  • Moderator: Ronald Temple ’90, M.P.P., Managing Director and Head of U.S. Equities and Co-Head of Multi-Asset Investing, Lazard Asset Management, LCC
From top left: Anna Hrom, Ph.D., Pramod Kolar, Ph.D., Yang Chen, Ph.D., Ronald Temple, M.P.P
From top left: Anna Hrom, Ph.D., Pramod Kolar, Ph.D., Yang Chen, Ph.D., Ronald Temple, M.P.P

Yang Chen is a financial portfolio and risk management expert with over 25 years of experience on Wall Street. After completing his Ph.D. in Statistical Science at Duke in 1997, he immediately began a career in in the financial industry. He has held quantitative analysis and risk management positions at several major financial institutions before joining BlackRock in 2010 as part of the Risk and Quantitative Analysis Group, where he is now managing director. Dr. Chen also holds an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business.

Anna Hrom received her J.D., summa cum laude, from the Duke University School of Law in 2015 and her Ph.D. in History from Duke University in 2018. She is now an associate at Williams & Connolly with a focus on complex civil litigation. She has represented Fortune 500 companies and major news organizations in cases involving commercial contract disputes, defamation, First Amendment rights, product liability, and environmental torts. Dr. Hrom also served as a Teach for America corps member prior to graduate school and served as a judicial law clerk at both the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia before joining Williams & Connolly.

Pramod Kolar received his B.E. in electronics and communication engineering at the National Institute of Technology Karnataka before pursuing his Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Duke. He launched his career as a design engineer at IBM before moving to Intel for the next 20 years, where he rose to a senior staff engineer before departing to Microsoft, where he was promoted to Principal Engineer for Microsoft Quantum in 2021. Since 2022 he has served as Principal Memory Architect for a stealth-mode startup.

As managing director and co-head of multi asset and head of U.S. equity at Lazard Asset Management LLC in New York, Ronald Temple ’90, M.P.P. is responsible for oversight of the firm’s multi asset and U.S. equity strategies as well as several global equity strategies. Mr. Temple is also a portfolio manager/analyst on various U.S. and global equity teams. He joined Lazard in 2001 with 10 years of global experience including fixed-income derivative trading, risk management, corporate finance, and corporate strategy in roles at Deutsche Bank AG, Bank of America NT & SA, and Fleet Financial Group in London, New York, Singapore, San Francisco, and Boston. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Economic Club of New York, and the New York Society of Security Analysts. He is the host of the Lazard Asset Management podcast “The Question Is…” and frequent contributor to CNBC. Mr. Temple has a M.P.P. from Harvard University and graduated magna cum laude with an A.B. in economics and public policy from Duke University.

This event is part of The Graduate School’s Professional Development Series. Questions? Contact Dr. Melissa Bostrom, Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Professional Development, at

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Additional Location Information

Guest parking is available at the Washington Duke Inn parking lot (park in the non-valet lot). Registered students will also receive details for an Uber code good for a 5-mile radius of the WDI as another transportation option.


Alumni, Communication, Core Competencies, Professional Adaptability, Professional Development