John Pepper & Ursula Burns’ Conversation on Race & Understanding


Manage episode 339171197 series 2733249
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“Making improvements is challenging. But we can't give up and we've got to learn how to do it better.”

“Speak, engage, help, be helped. Be part of society. Be an optimist towards the fact that people can change, that people can learn.”

John Pepper, P&G’s former CEO, and Ursula Burns, Xerox’s former CEO, sit down for a candid conversation on race, understanding and our discourse with each other. This is a conversation the two longtime friends have been having for years - alongside many of us. While John needs no introduction to many, Ursula’s impressive career is worth sharing...

Ursula M. Burns is the Retired Chairman and CEO of Xerox Corporation and VEON Limited — and among the first Black women to become CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Ursula is also a founding partner of Integrum Holdings, Non-Executive Chairman of Teneo Holdings LLC, and the Executive Chairman of Plum Acquisition Corp. At Xerox, Ursula served from 2009-2017, having joined as a summer intern in 1980, after which she rose through the ranks across corporate services, manufacturing and product development. Ursula also serves on several corporate boards, including Uber Technologies, Exxon Mobil, Endeavor Group Holdings, Waystar and Ursula’s also involved in leadership counsel for the Ford Foundation, MIT, the Cornell Tech Board, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Mayo Clinic, among others.

From 2009-2016, President Barack Obama appointed Ursula to lead the White House national program on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Ursula also led the President’s Export Council from 2010 - 2016. In February 2022, Burns joined the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Advisory Council on Supply Chain Competitiveness. Ursula is a mechanical engineering alumni of Columbia University and NYU - and she’s a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the G7 Gender Equity Advisory Council.

Originally recorded on February 25, 2022 - this is an important conversation we hope will make many think and feel more deeply. While each of our guests are part of some great organizations who support the sharing of our views, these are the views of our guests alone. Got ideas for future deep dive topics with past and future guests? Reach out to

155 episodes