TU forum on leadership to feature Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, Flowers Foods’ Chief General Counsel

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Thomas University’s Division of Business will hold a business forum focusing on leadership at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, in the Flowers Foods Executive Classroom inside Smith-Bonvillian Hall on TU’s Forbes Campus.

With the title “Leadership: Learn from the Experts,” the event will include Rodney Bent, Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, and Stephanie Tillman, Chief General Counsel for Flowers Foods, sharing their insights about leadership.

Former Director of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Office, Rodney Bent also served as a senior executive advisor in the U.S. Department of State and at Booz Allen Hamilton. He was the Deputy Chief Executive Officer and acting CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation from 2006 to 2009. Bent was a professional staff member at the House Appropriations Committee, where he worked on international affairs, including assistance to the Middle East and in response to the Asian tsunami.

From 2003 to 2004, Bent served as the Senior Advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of Finance and the Iraqi Ministry of Planning for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, Iraq. For his work in Iraq, he received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service. 

Bent spent 20 years at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, where his final position was Deputy Associate Director for the International Affairs Division. Bent was also an Assistant Vice President in project finance at Bankers Trust Company and an international economist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. As a member of the Senior Executive Service at OMB, he was awarded a Presidential Rank Award as a Distinguished Executive in 2001 and a Presidential Rank Award as a Meritorious Executive in 1997.

Bent holds a Master of Business Administration from Cornell University, a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a bachelor’s degree in History from Cornell University.

A native of Thomasville, Tillman became Chief Legal Counsel for Flowers Foods, Inc. in January 2020. In this role she is responsible for Flowers Foods’ legal, corporate governance, compliance, and governmental affairs. She joined the company in 1995 as a corporate attorney. Tillman went on to serve at Flowers Foods in various roles, including vice president and associate general counsel; vice president of compliance and assistant general counsel; and, most recently, vice president, chief compliance officer and deputy general counsel.

Tillman graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in 1992 and from the UGA’s School of Law in 1995.  She earned a Master of Business Administration Degree from Thomas University in 2002. A licensed attorney, Tillman is a member of the State Bar of Georgia.

The Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program, which is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) in Washington, D.C., brings prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders and other professionals to campuses across the United States for a week-long residential program of classes, seminars, workshops, lectures, and informal discussions. For more than 45 years, Visiting Fellows have been introducing students and faculty members at liberal arts colleges to a wide range of perspectives on life, society, community and achievement. The Visiting Fellows program is available to all four-year colleges and universities.

The Feb. 24 event is open to the public. For more information, email mpiller@thomasu.edu or thagan@thomasu.edu.

Rodney Bent
Stephanie Tillman

Thomas University

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