Ascending to the C-Suite: From Theory to Practice

Program Description

This unique and experiential program is designed for senior-level women executives who aspire to the C-suite. The program combines the world's leading business thinkers from Michigan Ross School of Business with leading business practitioners for an unprecedented educational experience. "Ascending to the C-Suite: From Theory to Practice" immerses you in specialized subjects whose mastery is critical for C-suite executives yet often represent gaps in professional development for women leaders. Each topic is taught with a 360-degree view by pairing renowned Michigan Ross faculty with global business leaders.

Participants will dive deep into key business topics and leadership practices while hearing unfiltered insight and first-hand stories from executive role models. Participants will share a similar breadth and depth of experience in a learning environment that will foster strategic connections and relationships beyond the classroom.

Topics that will be covered in depth include advanced business and financial acumen, persuasion and influence, crisis communication, strategic innovation, and building and leveraging networks. Top faculty from Michigan Ross are joined by business leaders whose experience in these subjects is extraordinary - especially when the stakes are high.

Program Highlights:

  • Learn how to pair strategy and finance with business acumen to garner momentum as you ascend to the C-suite.
  • Understand how successful leaders at the top echelons of their companies effectively utilize crisis management/communication to redirect potentially adverse or harmful situations.
  • Sharpen your ability to transform challenges into opportunities as you develop a personalized approach for establishing your negotiation leadership skills.
  • Strengthen your capabilities as an executive global leader as you gain real-world perspective from global industry leaders.

About Michigan Ross

Top 5 global provider - 2018 Financial Times

Michigan Ross Executive Education was recently named a Top 5 global provider by the Financial Times, and our leadership programs have been consistently rated No. 1 by Leadership Excellence. We offer approximately 30 different open enrollment offerings and a variety of custom programs annually, serving over 4,000 business executives around the world. Ross has locations in Hong Kong, Mumbai, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand and delivers programs globally wherever our corporate partners request.

About Inforum

Founded in 1962, Inforum is the only professional organization in Michigan - and one of a few in the country - that combines strategic connections, proven professional development programs, a respected forum for new ideas, and original research to accelerate careers for women and boost talent initiatives for companies. Inforum programs serve a broad range of women in different stages and types of careers - from nonprofit professionals, to emerging and rising corporate leaders, tech entrepreneurs, veterans and corporate board leaders. Inforum also conducts and publishes original research on women's leadership influence. For more information, visit or call 877.633.3500.

2018 Michigan Ross Faculty

  • Scott DeRue, Edward J. Frey Dean of Business, Stephen M. Ross Professor of Business
  • Cheri Alexander, Chief Innovation Officer, Faculty Management and Organizations
  • Susan Ashford, Michael & Susan Jandernoa Professor of Management & Organizations and Chair of Management & Organizations
  • Paula Caproni, Professor of Management and Organization
  • Gautam Kaul, Professor of Finance & Fred M. Taylor Professor of Business Administration
  • Ray Reilly, Professor of Business Administration
  • Maxim Sytch, Michael R. and Mary Kay Hallman Fellow, Associate Professor of Management and Organizations

2018 Guest Speakers

  • Terry Barclay, President & CEO, Inforum
  • Shari Burgess, Vice President & Treasurer, Lear Corporation
  • Françoise Colpron, Group President, Valeo North America
  • Colleen Haley, Vice President of Operations, Hydraulic Group, Parker-Hannifin Corp.
  • Joseph R. Hinrichs, Executive Vice President & President, Global Operations, Ford Motor Company
  • Nora Jacobs, APR, Senior Vice President, Hennes Communications
  • Gerald Johnson, North America Manufacturing and Labor Relations, General Motors Company
  • Patti Poppe, President & CEO, CMS Energy and Consumers Energy Company
  • Maximiliane Straub, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Controlling, Finance and Administration, Robert Bosch LLC

Read the Detroit Free Press article about published May 1, 2016 at the Detroit Free Press website

Go to CBS Detroit  and watch UM Ross Dean Scott DeRue and Inforum President Terry Barclay discuss the program on the "Michigan Matters" show which aired on April 22, 2016.


Who Should Attend

This program is recommended for participants who have a minimum 15 years prior leadership experience and may also include:

  • Organizational levels that are one to two levels below C-suite
  • Executives with a consistent track record of career growth through promotions
  • Current successor candidate to C-suite executives
  • Women business entrepreneurs with sustained business growth and success

All attendees must apply and be accepted. Space is limited. Application deadline is March 2, 2018.

Takeaways & Tools

  • Return to your current role armed with an action plan that provides you with the strategic direction needed to successfully climb to the next leadership level in your organization
  • Create a personal leadership plan and legacy statement to drive your future
  • Gain a deeper understanding of business acumen including strategy and finance
  • Further develop skills in persuasion and influence, crisis management/communication, and negotiations
  • Gain appreciation for competencies required for success in global leadership
  • Capitalize and more deeply understand your network and how to further expand your professional relationships
  • Be inspired by leading role models who have ascended to the C-suite through your participation in a combination of lectures, interactive sessions, and leadership exercises that seamlessly blend academic and practical learning.
Contact Us
Ross School of Business

Alumni Career Services 

(734) 764-1373


Ross IT
734-615-3000 (option 1)

(734) 763-5775

Ann Arbor Office

Seoul Office

Tokyo Office

Ross Executive Education
+1 734-763-1000

Front Desk
Ann Arbor - 734.647.3400
Los Angeles - 310.617.4750

Nicole Watson
Technology & Operations

Ana Austin

Ann Arbor Office

Administrative Office


Heather Byrne, Managing Director

Joyce Buchanan, Executive Secretary

Tesenga Smith

Emily Frye

Paul Kirsch
Managing Director


Lillian Chen, Research Area Specialist

Ross Registrar's Office

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

(734) 615-5002

Stewart Thornhill
Executive Director



Stephen M. Ross School of Business
University of Michigan
701 Tappan Street, R5342
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234

Phone: 734-647-4027">


Tuition & Fees

FEE Includes:

  • Tuition
  • Instructional materials
  • All breakfasts, lunches, and coffee/snack breaks
  • Selected dinners

Please note that this event does not qualify for any special pricing.

All attendees must apply and be accepted. Space is limited.
Application deadline is March 2, 2018.