‘Leading Forward’ speaker series showcases business leaders

Business school

A former CEO of Scottish Enterprise and an internationally-renowned expert in reputation, brand and crisis management appointed by two US presidents are among the inspirational speakers in a new lecture series.

Hosted by the University’s Business School in partnership with the Royal Bank of Scotland, ‘Leading Forward’ is a series of free evening seminars with global business leaders.

The event is curated by Dr Lena Wilson CBE in her capacity as a Visiting Professor at the Business School, who will give the first talk and her inaugural lecture on February 6, titled ‘The Hard Impact of Soft Power’.


The leading businesswoman, who is also a non-executive Director of the group board of the Royal Bank of Scotland plc, a former World Bank Advisor and FTSE 100 non-executive Director, is followed on May 1 by the Honourable Mary Jo Jacobi.

A former Executive Vice President of BP America, Mary Jo was appointed by George H. W Bush, as Assistant United States Secretary of Commerce and as Special Assistant to Ronald Reagan.

Jacqui Ferguson, an experienced CEO from the technology industry, and Deirdre Michie OBE, the CEO of Oil & Gas UK are among the other speakers in the series, which runs throughout 2019.

Dr Wilson said:

The speakers are leaders in their field with a perspective and contribution that I am looking forward to hearing when I host the sessions. This year’s line up all happen to be women – still an unusual phenomenon. However it’s not a ‘women’s series’ – it’s for absolutely everyone.

She added: “I hope this series will be the start of something which endures and makes a significant contribution to discourse in Scotland."

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal of the University, said:

I’m delighted to welcome speakers of such standing and achievement to the Leading Forward lecture series at Strathclyde.

"Between them, they represent a wealth of expertise and knowledge in a diverse range of sectors within Scotland and across the globe, and I am confident their seminars will inspire future business leaders."