I have had the privilege of serving as the Chair of the Board of GBSN over the last four years. One of the important tasks of the Chair and the Board is to recruit new members to the Board, a task that we take very seriously. I am delighted to share that in the meeting of the GBSN board held last week, we were fortunate to welcome four excellent new colleagues to the GBSN Board.
Universidad de los Andes School of Management
President and Dean
Asian Institute of Management
Vice President of Social Impact
Visa Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa
United Arab Emirates
Director, Global Initiatives
Amazon Transportation Services
Our new Board members join an excellent group of current Board members – who are listed on the Board of Director page. You can read about the backgrounds and varied interests of our Board members on the above link. You will note that the current GBSN board is very diverse across gender, geography, race and the academic-corporate dimension. I expect that the Board will grow by 3 to 4 additional members over the next year.
GBSN’s strategic priorities are guided by the Board of Directors. More specifically, the Board of Directors is responsible for the supervision, control, and direction of the affairs of GBSN. The Board determines GBSN policies and actively pursues GBSN’s objectives and supervises the disbursement of its funds. Board members serve as ambassadors for GBSN, and promote the mission of the organization by reinforcing and growing the network of members and program partners.
I had written a blog note earlier in February of this year (soon after I was re-elected to a second term as Chair) about how the Board had guided the growth of GBSN over the last three years and how the Board viewed the strategic challenges during the first year of the Covid crisis. In our last meeting the Board expressed it’s great satisfaction with the leadership of Dan LeClair, CEO and its gratefulness for the dedication of each member of the GBSN team over the duration of the Covid pandemic. The Board also noted that the organization had weathered the Covid crisis well and had also pushed boundaries by innovating in key areas such as the very successful digital GBSN Beyond conference of 2020. Many of these novel practices will continue to shape GBSN for the better in 2021 and in the future.
GBSN is indeed a very special community and we have the opportunity to act together to create a positive impact on the world. As I was speaking to our newly elected Board members, I often asked them about what made GBSN special to them and what their hopes for the organization were. I think that it is interesting to share some of their perspectives with you.
Dean Veneta Andonova believes that GBSN is special in being a diverse community where the value of solidarity connects with strong global networks, sound managerial skills and entrepreneurial knowledge. She hopes that by leveraging technology, business networks and locally-relevant knowledge GBSN has the potential to help organizations, businesses and entrepreneurs in the developing world to leapfrog over the general economic and institutional conditions in their local contexts. GBSN can be an important catalyzer of human development.
Carl Manlan sees GBSN as a network with knowledge and expertise to transform communities. His hope is that GBSN galvanizes knowledge and human resources to help solve the world’s pressing problems such as financial education and management for small and medium sized businesses.
Rebecca Salt hopes that by supporting future leaders in all economies around the world, GBSN will develop a stronger business community which includes multiple diverse and varied voices who are able to come together and focus on some of the biggest challenges we are facing such as climate change, the pandemic and the need for technological advancement – to name a few.
The hope of Enase Okonedo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Pan-Atlantic University (Nigeria) and a recent addition to GBSN’s board herself, is that GBSN becomes a strong, vibrant community of business schools, leaders in academia and business, and students committed to creating, sharing and learning innovative practices from one another to develop talent for a better world. She believes that GBSN is special because of the diversity of the membership which enriches the learning that occurs through the various programs and activities.
Finally, let me end this note with the views of Guy Pfeffermann, the founder of GBSN about what makes the GBSN community special. Guy notes that, bad management has never helped anyone, including particularly those in poverty. Improving the quality of management is a key driver of prosperity.
GBSN is the only global organization whose mission is to improve access to locally-relevant leadership, management and entrepreneurship education for the developing world. It now spans 50 countries, and by virtue of being a networked organization is very well equipped to expand its reach further in coming years. Perhaps most important, members of the GBSN community join by free choice and not because they are required for accreditation or other reasons. Rather, they are shared a common passion and mission.
Soumitra Dutta is a Professor of Management at Cornell University and the Chair of the Board of Directors for GBSN. Previously he was the Founding Dean of the SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell and Chair of AACSB Intl. He is also the President and Co-Founder of the Portulans Institute.