Program Overview

Business school deans and directors face similar challenges when first assuming their positions: setting strategy, managing risks, supporting faculty, and leading a diverse group of stakeholders. For institutions in the developing world, these tasks require resourceful leadership that combines international best practice with locally relevant solutions.

GBSN’s Developing Deans Program takes a unique approach to prepare, support and connect new and aspiring deans and directors from business schools with operations in developing countries. The program showcases best practices in running a business school from world-class institutions while also taking a regional approach to understand how leading business operate effectively in their local context. Participants will develop projects addressing their school’s priorities and receive mentoring from experienced colleagues from around the world.

Program Partners:

These GBSN Member Schools are leading the Developing Deans program design and delivery, sharing their experience, insight and networks to strengthen new business school leaders in the developing world.

This program will help you to:

  • Understand the role and responsibilities of administrative and academic leadership within a business school
  • Be exposed to best practices in business school administration
  • Address a priority or challenge within the business school through the Applied Leadership Project

5 high-value benefits this program provides include:

  • Access to Expertise

    Academic leadership from world-class business schools lead workshops and discussions to demonstrate how Deans and Directors operate within their contexts

  • Become a Better Leader

    Increase your confidence to set strategy and support your faculty by gaining the knowledge, skills and resources to better lead at your institution

  • Join an Influential Global Network

    By joining this program, you will be a part of a cohort of international Deans and Directors who provide ongoing support to each other and can act as resources in future endeavors

  • Receive High-Touch, Personal Mentoring

    You will be assigned an experienced mentor who will advise and support you throughout the program

  • Focus on Developing Country Context

    Developing Deans understands that the context in which developing country business schools operate in poses unique challenges, and the curriculum is designed to show best practices through a local lens and through project-based learning

Program Format


During the application phase, applicants will be required to submit an institutional priority or challenge around which they can design a plan to implement once the program concludes. Throughout the residential and mentoring sessions, participants will refine their projects and present the project plan at the end of the program.


Location: Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, New York, USA

The first session covers the myriad areas of responsibility of deans and highlights practices at a world-class institution. This session will provide knowledge and tools on business school administration for participants to apply immediately at their own institutions.


The cohort will split into regional groups for these 3-day visits focused on a 360 degree look at leading a business school in a developing country context, highlighting innovations in teaching and administration, as well as approaches to responding to unique operating environments in various regions. Participants will shadow Deans/Director, observe classes, interact with students, and meet with other campus leaders to discuss various topics such as internationalization, accreditation, faculty performance assessment and student recruitment.

Location: ESCA Ecole de Management, Casablanca, Morocco

Location: IPADE Business School, Mexico City, Mexico

Location: University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, Cape Town, South Africa


As the last of the residential sessions, participants will present their Applied Leadership Projects and receive certificates of completion at the GBSN Annual Conference.


Participants will be supported and guided by an experienced mentor throughout the duration of the program.

Detailed Information on Program Format and Timeline

Who Should Attend?

A cohort of 10 participants will be chosen through an application process. To be considered for the program, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Must be a Dean/Director or Associate Dean/Associate Director or the equivalent for less than 5 years or have recently transitioned to a new school
  • If an aspiring Dean/Director, you must be a senior faculty with aspirations to become a Dean/Director within the next 5 years
  • Must be employed at a degree-granting business school 

Business school deans or directors based in any developing country globally are encouraged to apply. Applicants will be considered with the goal of a geographically diverse cohort.


For any questions and inqueries, please contact Rob Vember

Check out the Frequently Asked Questions page

Click the shortlinks for more program information