Press Release

Are Effective Leaders also Ethical Leaders? Ethics Center Explores Character and Integrity in Leadership and Public Life

Are Effective Leaders also Ethical Leaders? Ethics Center Explores Character and Integrity in Leadership and Public Life On September 15, 2016, the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law (CERL) at the University of Pennsylvania Law School will host a one-day symposium titled “Producing Leaders of Character and Integrity: Instilling Values into Public Life.” The event features a keynote address by Judge Sergio Moro, a Brazilian federal judge who gained international attention for his work fighting corruption in Latin America.

Over the course of five expert-panel sessions, the symposium will work to conceptualize ethical leadership, identify the challenges that impede its cultivation, and explore impact that educational, military, political, professional, and business institutions can make to the development of an ethical leader.

Panelists include senior members of the military such as Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, Admiral James McPherson, Lt. Gen Dirk Jameson, and Purple Heart recipient Gen. Carol Eggert; academics such as Prof. Michael Useem from Wharton, Prof. Nancy Sherman from Georgetown, and Prof. Mark Doorley from Villanova; and senior political leaders like Congressman Mickey Edwards. Panel topics will include character and the rule of law, education and modern leadership, military leadership and character development, the dark side of leadership, and dilemmas in corporate and political leadership.

There will be a lunchtime keynote by Dr. Albert C. Pierce, Director and founder of the Institute for National Security Ethics and Leadership at the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, D.C. Founding director of the Center for the Study of Professional Military Ethics (now known as me Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership) at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, Dr. Pierce was a defense correspondent for NBC News and Deputy Director of the Strategic Concepts Development Center (SCDC), an in-house think tank established by Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger. He also served as Assistant to the Secretary of Defense.

The symposium’s keynote address will be delivered by Judge Sergio Moro, a leader in the emergence of rule of law governance in Brazil. He has been heralded for his judicial stewardship of “Operation Car Wash,” an investigation that uncovered a Brazilian money laundering and graft scheme involving the movement of nearly $3 billion and implicating business and political leaders at the highest levels. Both Time and Fortune have named him one of the most influential people in the world.

“Judge Moro’s commitment to the rule of law and fighting corruption has made him a testament to the power of leading with character and integrity,” said Claire Finkelstein, Algernon Biddle Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy, and the Director of the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law. “This symposium will convene a diverse group of experts to explore the nature of ethical leadership and how institutions can best nurture it.”

CERL brings a unique perspective to the cultivation of ethically sophisticated leaders because of its focus on rule-of-law values: where individuals respect the rule of law, their leadership is arguably ethically grounded and maximally effective.

The symposium will be held at Penn Law with the support of the Wharton School’s Center for Leadership and Change Management; the Ethics Program at Villanova University; InitBridge, a Philadelphia-based global partnership firm; the Office of the Provost of the University of Pennsylvania; and the Latin American and Latino Studies Program of the University of Pennsylvania.

CERL is a non-partisan interdisciplinary institute dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the rule of law in twenty-first century warfare and national security. The only center of its kind housed within a law school, CERL draws from the study of law, philosophy, and ethics to answer the difficult questions that arise in times of war and contemporary transnational conflicts. It represents the vision of its founder and director, Professor Claire Finkelstein, in uniting scholars and policymakers from various fields in a multi-disciplinary conversation on some of the most challenging issues of our time.