Join The Graduate School for a series of conversations with alumni reflecting on the role that their Duke education played in their careers, facilitated by faculty and current students. These 30-minute virtual conversations focus on six key questions:

  1. Tell us about your background. What was your path to your current role?
  2. Can you tell us about your organization and describe a typical day for a Ph.D.-level hire? 
  3. What do you see as the value that doctoral training has added to your professional trajectory?
  4. Beyond strong research skills, what other skills, experience and/or training are important for success in your field?  
  5. Are there any skills, training, or experiences you wish you’d had in graduate school to prepare you for your current career path?
  6. What can students who would like to work in this field (or explore it further) do to prepare?

Senior Leadership Insights: A Conversation with Heather Megosh, Ph.D., Global Director of Strategy and Operations, Social, Healthcare, and Public Entities Practice at McKinsey & Company

Monday, May 22, 2:00 to 2:30 pm

Heather Megosh, PhD

What does leadership look like in the management consulting sector? Dr. Heather Megosh has built a career at McKinsey & Company over the past 16 years, rising from an associate straight out of her Duke Pharmacology Ph.D. to Global Director of Strategy and Operations for the highly visible Social, Healthcare and Public Entities Practice. Dr. Wallace will be joined in conversation by Dr. Brigid L. M. Hogan, Professor of Cell Biology and Pediatrics, with time for attendee questions.

Senior Leadership Insights: A Conversation with Wanda Wallace, Ph.D., Managing Partner, Leadership Forum

Tuesday, February 21, 2023, 3:00 to 3:30 pm

Wanda Wallace, Ph.D.

How can you lead when your team knows more than you? And how can you build a truly inclusive culture where your team members can fully leverage their expertise? Wanda Wallace, Ph.D.’85 (Psychology) has devoted her career to encouraging people to get out of their comfort zones and thrive as leaders. Managing Partner of Leadership Forum, as well as a successful author, radio host, and public speaker, Dr. Wallace will share her insights in conversation with Jiayue Liu, Ph.D. candidate in Psychology & Neuroscience, with time for attendee questions.

Senior Leadership Insights: A Conversation with Dennis Gilmore, Ph.D., President, Crosslynk Research Consulting
Dennis Gilmore, PhD

Tuesday, January 31, 2023, 1:00 to 1:30 pm

How do start-ups move from creating technology to product development? Dennis Gilmore, Ph.D.’78 (Chemistry) has leveraged his expertise in answering that question with companies across the country and around the world, in sectors spanning energy, chemical manufacturing, and nonprofit research. Currently President of Crosslynk Research Consulting, Dr. Gilmore will share his insights in conversation with Dr. Benjamin J. Wiley, Professor of Chemistry, with time for attendee questions.

Recordings of Past Events

Evelyn Murphy ’61, Ph.D.’65
Founder and President, The WAGE Project, Inc.
Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Lisa Yvette Waller, Ph.D.’97
Head of School, The Berkeley Carroll School
Tuesday, June 1, 2021 

Adam Sharkawy, Ph.D.’97
Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Material Impact
Monday, July 12, 2021 

Ron Temple, ’90
Managing Director and Head of U.S. Equities and Co-Head of Multi-Asset Investing at Lazard Asset Management
Thursday, September 2, 2021 

Bob Beckler, Ph.D.
Chairman and CEO at TemperPack
Friday, October 15, 2021

Susan Wood, Ph.D.
President and CEO of VIDA Diagnostics
Tuesday, November 16, 2021 

Chini Krishnan, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO,
Thursday, January 13, 2022 

Tomiko Brown-Nagin, J.D., Ph.D.
Dean of Harvard Radcliffe Institute
Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Lori Lehman, Ph.D.
Former Vice President, Gilead Sciences
Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Darryl Webster '82, J.D. 
Senior executive and advisor to biotech and life sciences companies
May 26, 2022

Dennis Gilmore, Ph.D.
President, Crosslynk Research Consulting
Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Wanda Wallace, Ph.D.
Managing Partner, Leadership Forum
Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Help Us Plan Future Conversations

We welcome suggestions of other Graduate School alumni in leadership roles to be featured in future events.


Melissa Bostrom, PhD
Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Professional Development
Duke University Graduate School