UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Donna L. Rhode

Donna Rhodes

Donna serves as Program Director at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School. Prior to this role, Donna spent 27 years in the high-tech industry in various capacities. Her most recent role was Vice President of Global Sales Operations for Cisco Systems where she led multiple teams to drive, design, and implement innovative global programs and processes to accelerate sales growth and maximize business opportunities. In her 17 years at Cisco, Donna held leadership roles in Sales Strategy & Operations, Sales Enablement, Product Strategy & Marketing, Government Affairs, Systems Engineering, and Field Marketing. Prior to joining Cisco, Donna spent 10 years with IBM in the areas of Systems Engineering, Sales, and Brand Management.

Donna excels at understanding business requirements in complex environments, shaping strategies to meet those needs, executing to drive results, and measuring success. She has designed and built several global, diverse organizations “from scratch” and has effectively led teams through transformation.

In 2001, in the wake of 9-11, Donna built and led Cisco’s Homeland Security Support Team. In partnership with Federal, State, and Local governments, this team utilized and leveraged Cisco research and development to drive the application of technology in homeland security efforts.

Donna has been called upon to engage in multiple leadership development programs, acting as speaker, panelist, and a coach to dozens of professionals. She served as Executive Sponsor for the North Carolina Connected Women organization, with a focus on providing networking opportunities and developing personal and professional skills among women in the workplace.

In addition to her career accomplishments, Donna is committed to her community.  In 2011, she joined North Carolina Governor Perdue’s trade mission to China as part of a business delegation. She has served as Chair of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Education Committee and has been a board member and volunteer for the American Red Cross for many years. In 2010, Donna was inducted into the YWCA of the Greater Triangle Academy of Women in the area of Community Service

Donna received her B.A. in Economics and M.B.A with concentration in Information Systems from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

Donna and her husband Dave reside in Cary, North Carolina and have two sons and a daughter.

Donna has authored the following UNC Executive Development white paper:

Email: 

Phone:  919.962.3119