Morehouse School of Medicine's "Danforth Dialogues" Features Southern Company CEO Chris Womack

MSM President and CEO Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice speaks with
Southern Company CEO Chris Womack about equity and diversity in modern leadership.

Danforth Dialogues

ATLANTA – JULY 12, 2023 – Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) today published the latest edition of its "Danforth Dialogues" podcast, featuring a conversation between MSM’s President and CEO Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice and Chris Womack, President and CEO of Southern Company, in which the two leaders discussed Womack’s rise to CEO along with equity and diversity in modern leadership.

Dr. Montgomery Rice, and Womack, the first African American named President and CEO of Southern Company, the nation's third largest utility company, discussed his formative years, family life, and mentors who helped to shape his unique world view, and set him on the path to career success.

“Chris brings a great deal of insight to the table including his humility, along with a willingness to listen and learn, supporting his tremendous strides for equity in leadership throughout his career,” said Dr. Montgomery Rice. “We were thrilled to be able to gain his perspective on such influential topics."

Womack began his career in public service with former Congressman Leon Panetta, but had the opportunity to join the Southern Company organization early in 1988. “Because I didn't care about business, I didn't care about money, I didn't care about those things, I said, let me diversify my resume for just a little bit,” Womack said. “I think the foundation that I developed, working on Capitol Hill dealing with different subject matters, afforded me the ability to pick up different responsibilities at the power company.”

Womack attributed his rise to CEO to his collaborative leadership approach. “I believe in teams. I believe in bringing people together. I believe in people collaborating. I believe in us doing it with an incredible degree of enthusiasm and excitement and enjoying the work that we do in terms of how that lifts up the team.”

Both Womack and Dr. Montgomery Rice also expressed the need for more diversity in leadership, giving people a wide range of opportunities to broaden their skills and abilities.  “Leaders have to do that, particularly with people of diverse backgrounds and diverse experiences, whether it's race or gender,” Womack said.

Launched earlier this year, Danforth Dialogues focuses on the leadership lessons from the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and their broader implication for society. Named after the historic Danforth Chapel on the Morehouse College campus, the podcast series features a cross-section of guests and topics.

To hear this edition of the podcast, click here. For more information about the Danforth Dialogues leadership series, click here.

To listen and subscribe to the Danforth Dialogues podcast, click here.

For more information about Morehouse School of Medicine, please visit

About Morehouse School of Medicine

Founded in 1975, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is among the nation's leading educators of primary care physicians, biomedical scientists, and public health professionals. An independent and private historically-Black medical school, MSM was recognized by the Annals of Internal Medicine as the nation's number one medical school in fulfilling a social mission—the creation and advancement of health equity. Morehouse School of Medicine's faculty and alumni are noted for excellence in teaching, research, and public policy, as well as exceptional patient care. MSM is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctoral and master's degrees. To learn more about programs and donate today, please visit or call 404-752-1500.


Jamille Bradfield
Morehouse School of Medicine