Wired for Innovation

Leo Bodden (Executive MBA ‘15), Chief Technology Officer, New York-Presbyterian Hospital

Information technology professional Leo Bodden knows it’s not just the data that’s important, it’s what you do with it. Take his experience in his first job, as an unloader for UPS: “It was the most physically demanding job I’ve ever had,” he recalls. “I knew I was going to finish college after my first day at work!”

As an undergraduate computer science major, Bodden knew he’d benefit from having real-world experience on his résumé, so he decided to volunteer in the IT department at what was then Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. “They welcomed me with open arms and invested heavily in my growth and development,” he says. “Thirteen positions and more than two decades later, I am the first Chief Technology Officer in the organization.”

Bodden’s decision to pursue an Executive MBA at Zicklin (which he received in 2015) was also based on sound data. The program offered the opportunity to broaden his management skills and knowledge base, as well as to learn how things are done outside the healthcare industry and explore approaches that might translate to his own organization. “A number of senior leaders at my organization, whom I respect greatly, received their MBAs from Zicklin,” Bodden notes, adding, “I did a cost/benefit analysis and the Zicklin program won hands down.”

The Puerto Rico–born executive, who spent his early years in the Dominican Republic, sees diversity as the school’s greatest strength. “Having people from all walks of life made for very interesting and engaging class discussions,” he says. Bodden also lauds the course content and instructors, especially Professor Cynthia Thompson, whose perspective on people management, leadership, and data-driven decision making he calls “a game-changer for me. Thanks to the program, not only do I lead all core technology and IT operations at NYP, but I also lead all HR-related activities within IT, all IT capital planning, and many major process improvement initiatives.”