Scott Beardsley

Scott C. Beardsley

Dean and Charles C. Abbott Professor of Business Administration


Saunders Hall

Areas of Expertise

Global Strategy, Regulation, Talent Development, Knowledge Economy, Global Telecommunications, Higher Education Management

Education: B.S., Electrical Engineering, Tufts University; MBA, MIT Sloan School of Management; Ed.D., Higher Education Management, University of Pennsylvania

Scott C. Beardsley is the ninth dean of the University of Virginia Darden School of Business and a chaired professor in the Strategy, Ethics and Entrepreneurship area. A former senior executive, he acts as CEO of the financially self-sufficient Darden enterprise (School and Foundation). Since 2015, as chief fundraiser, he has helped raise a record $500 million in gifts — including gifts of $100 million, $80 million and $50 million — and endowment to: launch initiatives in venture capital, real estate and AI, and an institute for lifelong learning; hire 50 faculty; build a Collaboratory with the School of Data Science; boost faculty research support 400%; deliver record global diversity; and achieve record student excellence and financial aid. He gained approval from UVA’s board for a new campus masterplan and led ─ from vision to completion ─ the opening of UVA Darden DC Metro, a Washington, D.C-area campus enabling new EMBA, MSBA and Part-Time MBA offerings; a $150 million Darden hotel and conference center with adjacent Tahija Arboretum and LaCross Botanical Gardens; and alumni hall.

During his tenure, Darden has achieved record MBA rankings, including top five overall in The Economist and Bloomberg Businessweek and No. 1 for: MBA in the U.S. (The Princeton Review, Bloomberg Businessweek (public)), faculty (The Princeton Review, The Economist), educational experience (The Economist, seven times) and general management (Financial Times, four times). Poets & Quants named Beardsley “Dean of the Year” in December 2020.

Until 2015, he was a senior partner and elected global board member at McKinsey & Co. During his 26 years with the firm ─ 24 based in Belgium ─ he was among the fastest to rise to senior partner. He held some of the firm’s most senior roles: leader of the strategy practice; the leader of all professionals’ global talent learning and leadership development; co-chair of the global committees that elect partners and senior partners; and leader of global initiatives in broadband technologies and emerging markets telecom. A global technology and telecom expert, he helped decision makers of large, complex organizations around the world innovate, grow and transform. An electrical engineer by training, he also worked in the semiconductor industry for AMD and Analog Devices and as a physics teaching assistant at Tufts.

Beardsley’s transition to higher education follows his passion for scholarship and for helping people and organizations achieve their full potential. He wrote about the rise of nontraditional leaders in academia in his 2017 book, Higher Calling (UVA Press). He was an editor of MIT Sloan Management Review, has published widely in publications such as Stanford Innovation Review, McKinsey Quarterly and WSJ, and presented at the World Economic Forum, Concordia, Financial Times and OECD. An expert in strategy, stakeholder management, regulation, and leadership development, he now researches and teaches on maximizing human potential; CEO leadership; and technology and AI regulation.

Beardsley holds a doctorate in Higher Education Management with distinction from The University of Pennsylvania, which awarded him the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award. He earned an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School with highest honors as the Henry S. Dupont III Scholar and a B.S. in electrical engineering magna cum laude, Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu from Tufts University as the Eastman Kodak Scholar. He is currently pursuing research toward a Master in Practical Ethics degree (part-time) in the Department of Philosophy at University of Oxford’s Pembroke College.

He serves or has served on multiple boards, including McKinsey & Company; Focused Ultrasound Foundation; as lead director at Sands Capital (growth equity, PE/VC); a large private company; and as Chair of the American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium. A competitive tennis player, he supports the UVA Men’s Tennis national championship team in various capacities.

Originally from a family of educators and dairy farmers, Beardsley was born in Maine and grew up in Vermont and Alaska. He is a French and U.S. citizen, is bilingual in English and French, and resides in Charlottesville on the Lawn at the center of the University of Virginia’s Academical Village, a UNESCO World Heritage site. He and his wife Claire Dufournet of Annecy, France, have three sons.


Selected Publications

Higher Calling: The Rise of Nontraditional Leaders in Academia (UVA Press, September 2017) 

Beardsley, Scott et al. (2014). Building Trust: The Role of Regulation in Unlocking the Value of Big Data. The Global Information Technology Report 2014. World Economic Forum. 

Beardsley, Scott et al. (2014). From Urgency to Opportunity: Priorities for a Prosperous Belgium. American Chamber of Commerce, Belgium.

Beardsley, Scott et al. "Re-Establishing the European Union's Competitiveness with the Next Wave of Investment in Telecommunications." The Global Information Technology Report 2013. World Economic Forum.

Beardsley, Scott et al. (2013). "Time to Act: Priorities for a Prosperous Belgium." American Chamber of Commerce, Belgium. 

Beardsley, Scott. Balancing Act. ING Expat Time. Spring 2013. 

Beardsley, Scott et al. Network Neutrality: An Opportunity to Create a Sustainable Industry Model.Global Information Technology Report, World Economic Forum, 2012. 

Beardsley, Scott; Enriquez, Luis; Guvendi, Mehmet; and Sandoval, Sergio. Creating a Fiber Future, the Regulatory ChallengeGlobal Information Technology Report, World Economic Forum 2011 (page 99). 

Beardsley, S.; Enriquez, L.; Bonini, S.; Sandoval, S.; & Brun, N. (2010). Fostering the Economic and Social Benefits of ICTGlobal Information Technology Report, World Economic Forum 2010.  

Beardsley, Scott et al. (2009).  Unshackled: How Regulation Can Amplify Mobile Service Benefits in Emerging MarketsGlobal Information Technology Report 2009. World Economic Forum.  

Beardsley, Scott et al. (2008). "Rethinking Regulation in Emerging Markets." Global Information Technology Report 2008. World Economic Forum. 

Beardsley, Scott; Enriquez, Luis; and Nuttall, Robin. "Managing Regulation in a New Era." The McKinsey Quarterly 1 (2008): 90-7

Beardsley, Scott; Stephenson, Tom; and Yee, Lareina. Innovation Can Be ScaledCRM Magazine, 2008 

Beardsley, S. C.; Bonini, S.; Mendonca, L.; & Oppenheim, J. (2007). "A New Era for Business."  Stanford Social Innovation Review, 5 (3), 56-63.

Beardsley, Scott et al. (2007). Opportunities and Challenges of Next-Generation Networks in TelecommunicationsGlobal Information Technology Report 2007. World Economic Forum. 

Beardsley, Scott; Bonini, Sheila; Mendonca, Lenny; Oppenheim, Jeremy. "Bringing Society into Strategy." McKinsey Staff Paper (Nov. 5, 2006).

Beardsley, Scott et al. (2006). "The Infrastructure Challenge in Telecommunications: A Role for Regulation." The Global Information Technology Report. World Economic Forum. (Vol. 2006, pp. 25-37).

Beardsley, Scott C.; Bradford C. Johnson; and James M. Manyika. "Competitive Advantage From Better Interactions." McKinsey Quarterly 2 (2006).

Beardsley, Scott C.; Bugrov, Denis; and Enriquez, Luis. "The Role of Regulation in Strategy." The McKinsey Quarterly 4.21 (2005).

Beardsley, Scott et al. (2005). "Is a New Regulatory Framework Needed for the Twenty-first Century?"Global Information Technology Report. World Economic Forum. 

Beardsley, Scott, and Farrell, Diana. "Regulation That's Good for Competition." The McKinsey Quarterly 2 (2005).

Beardsley, Scott C.; Manyika, J.M.; and Roberts, R.P. "The Next Revolution in Interactions: An Introductory Note." The McKinsey Quarterly (2005).

Beardsley, Scott; Enriquez, Luis; and Garcia, Jon C. "A New Route for Telecom Deregulation." McKinsey Quarterly (2004).

Beardsley, Scott and Hundt, Reed. "Only Joined Up Policy Will Bring Broadband to All." Financial Times, 2004. 

Beardsley, Scott et al. (2004). "Towards a New Regulatory Compact." Global Information Technology Report. World Economic Forum.

Beardsley, Scott and Enriquez, Luis. "New EU Telecom Rules Already Out of Date." Wall Street Journal, Dec. 2003.

Beardsley, Scott et al. (2003). "ICT: A Critical Enabler of Management Innovation." The Global Information Technology Report. World Economic Forum. (Vol. 2003, pp. 58-73)

Beardsley, Scott; Doman, Andrew; and Edin, Pär. "Making Sense of Broadband." McKinsey Quarterly 2 (2003): 78-87.

Beardsley, Scott; de Boeck, Pedro; and Poswiata, Jacek. "What's Next for Eastern European Telcos."McKinsey Quarterly 4 (2002).

Beardsley, Scott.  Assessing and Managing the Impact of Telecom Deregulation. OECD Conference Dubai 2002. 

Beardsley, Scott et al. (2002). "Telecom Sector Reform: A Prerequisite for Networked Readiness." The Global Information Technology Report. World Economic Forum. (Vol. 2002, pp. 118-139)

Beardsley, Scott and Enriquez, Luis. "A Regulatory Remedy for European Telecoms." Wall Street Journal, Nov. 2001. 

Beardsley, Scott C.; R. Raghunath; and Wilshire, Michael J. "The Emergence of Broadband in Europe."McKinsey Quarterly 2 (2001).

Beardsley, Scott C., et al. "Europe's High Speed Mosaic." The McKinsey Quarterly 1 (2001).

Beardsley, Scott and Balsinde, Rolando. "Dial M for Merger." Wall Street Journal, April 1999.

Beardsley, Scott. "Full Telecom Competition in Europe Is Years Away," Wall Street Journal, May 1998.

Beardsley, Scott, and Evans, Andy. "Who Will Connect You?" The McKinsey Quarterly  (Nov. 1998).

Beardsley, Scott; Miles, Allen; and Rose, John. "A Bouquet of Choices: The Future of Direct-to-Home Television." The McKinsey Quarterly (Feb. 1997).

Beardsley, Scott, and Patsalos-Fox, Michael. "Getting Telecoms Privatization Right." McKinsey Quarterly 1 (1995).

Beardsley, Scott C.; Bray, Warwick D.; and Van Rooijen, Marc CW. "The Great European Multimedia Gamble." McKinsey Quarterly (1995).