Culture club: Top scholars and execs meet at Haas to discuss why culture counts

University of Maryland Prof. Michele Gelfand_Berkeley Haas Culture Conference
Michele Gelfand, a University of Maryland psychology professor, presents on her work examining “tight” vs “loose” cultures at the inaugural Berkeley Haas Culture Conference.

More than 100 senior business leaders and top scholars from around the world gathered at the Haas School last week to kick off the Berkeley Haas Culture Initiative, which will explore the role of culture and its impact in and across organizations.

The inaugural event was a two-day conference that brought together executives from Facebook, Netflix, Zappos, Pixar Animation Studios, Deloitte, Maersk, and other “culture-aware” companies with academics from a wide range of disciplines, including economics, anthropology, sociology, and psychology.

Jennifer Chatman and Sameer Srivastava
Jennifer Chatman and Sameer Srivastava

The initiative is the brainchild of Prof. Jennifer Chatman and Assoc. Prof. Sameer Srivastava of the Haas Management of Organizations Group, who aim to build a community of researchers and practitioners interested in how culture affects everything from hiring to promoting to the bottom line of corporate performance and strategic success.

“We invited a set of organizations that are already devoted to thinking about culture and asked them to explain the problems they are having on the ground, and we invited top academics to offer up a set of approaches to studying culture,” said Chatman. “What we are interested in is developing a shared research agenda to address some of the challenges we haven’t yet been able to solve.”

Launching the Berkeley Haas Culture Initiative

The Berkeley Haas Culture Conference was the first in what Chatman and Srivastava say will be an ongoing series of events, interdisciplinary research collaborations and industry partnerships, as well as communication exchanges on best practices. The idea was to start by taking stock of a field that has become increasing fragmented as it has expanded, Srivastava said.

“Economists study culture, psychologists study culture, and sociologists study culture—all in different ways,” Srivastava said. “At the same time, companies are developing innovative practices related to culture, and it’s often hard to disentangle what works and what doesn’t. We wanted to bring everyone together to start a conversation.”

Berkeley Haas Dean Ann Harrison
Berkeley Haas Dean Ann Harrison

Haas Dean Ann Harrison welcomed conference attendees by highlighting the school’s commitment to its own distinctive culture.

“You don’t have to be here very long to realize that we at Haas believe that our culture is what really sets us apart,” she said. “If we ask our students why they chose to come here, most say ‘We came here because of the culture.’ And they all refer to our Defining Leadership Principles.”

UC Berkeley at the center of organizational culture research

Attendees noted that UC Berkeley has long been a leader in the study of organizational culture. “It’s really appropriate to have a conference like this here at Berkeley,” said Michael Morris, a cross-cultural psychologist and professor of management at Columbia University. Much of the classic work on organizational culture and cultural sociology came out of the university, he said.

Chatman and Charles O’Reilly, a Haas professor emeritus now at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, are pioneers in the field (both are Haas PhD alumni). Influential work has also come out of Berkeley’s anthropology, sociology, and psychology departments. More than two dozen Berkeley faculty members—including a dozen from Haas—were among those in attendance at the conference.

Prof. Chatman presenting her work.
Prof. Chatman presented on how to measure culture.

New data, new methods

Over two days, more than 100 invited attendees tackled a breadth of issues around organizational culture. Academics described their latest research with an emphasis on how data and new research methods, such as using computational approaches and unobtrusive culture measures of culture, are opening up opportunities for companies to better understand how their overall culture—and subcultures within departments or teams—affect their organizations.

For example, researchers are analyzing words used in employee emails for signs of cultural fit among individuals. They can use apps to unobtrusively capture group conversations or obtain video from body cameras. They’re also looking at historical data, such as folklore in pre-industrial countries, to better understand modern social norms. Social media platforms such as Glassdoor, too, have become a rich source of data.

“What is amazing about the papers presented here—and what is very different from 20 years ago—is the quality of the research, the use of lab and field studies, the use of archival data and ethnographies, and the use of sophisticated measurement techniques,” O’Reilly said.

Challenges on the ground

Bethany Brodsky of Netflix
Bethany Brodsky of Netflix discussed the company’s distinctive culture.

For their part, company speakers spoke candidly about the challenges around culture they are confronting as their businesses evolve, whether through mass hiring, mergers, new business strategies, or changes in leadership.

“Every time we add employees or a group of employees, our culture shifts,” said Inyong Kim, the vice president of employee experience at Adobe, who described how and why the company abolished formal performance reviews in favor of the “ongoing check-in.”

Ever-changing cultures was a theme echoed by others. For Deloitte, the question of how to transition a 150-year-old company for the future meant embracing “courage” as a key cultural value and embedding the attribute throughout the firm, said Jen Steinmann, Deloitte’s chief transformation officer. “Our three tenets of culture are the need to speak openly, support one another, and act boldly,” she said.

Bethany Brodsky, VP of talent for Netflix, talked about the enormous challenges that came with the company’s massive hiring spree after it launched simultaneously in more than 130 countries three years ago.

Grail CEO Jennifer Cook
Grail CEO Jennifer Cook

“When you have all these new people, how do you transmit [your] culture?” asked Brodsky. A word like “feedback,” she noted, doesn’t always translate. “It Russian, it translates closest to ‘criticism,’” she said.

Jennifer Cook, MBA 98 and the CEO of cancer detection startup Grail, said her experiences at six companies of varying sizes over 15 years have taught her that culture is a key leadership tool. “What I’ve realized in looking back is that there were any number of organizational themes and challenges that I had faced, and our teams had faced, for which culture was the relevant solution,” she said.

Seeds of a shared agenda

Bob Gibbons, a professor of organizational economics at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, said he is pleased that the culture initiative’s goals match his own agenda of nudging his field in an applied direction. In his case, that means addressing the question of “How can an economist help a fixed set of people collaborate better together?”

“People in the world know that culture is a thing and that it matters, and they are looking to us for help,” he said. “There’s an enormous academic opportunity, and it’s super important to do it across a whole bunch of disciplines that are represented in this room. I loved hearing that part.”

Founding sponsors of the Berkeley Haas Culture Initiative include Goldman Sachs, Adobe, Deloitte, Maersk, Spencer Stuart, and the UC Investments Office.

Assoc. Prof. Sameer Srivastava
Assoc. Prof. Sameer Srivastava


Top 10 Haas stories of 2018

It was a year of milestones, of changes, and of new beginnings here at Haas. As we prepare to welcome our new Dean Ann Harrison next month, here’s a look back at the Top 10 stories of 2018.

1. Dean Rich Lyons wraps up his term; Laura Tyson steps in as interim dean

(L) Former Dean Lyons, (R) Prof. Laura Tyson

After Rich Lyons wrapped up his 11-year tenure as dean with a guitar-powered “Berkeley Leader: Live!” worldwide tour, Laura Tyson stepped in as interim dean July 1. Having served as dean of the Haas School from 1998 to 2001 and on the Haas faculty since 1990, Tyson is a steady hand at the helm.

2. Renowned Wharton economist Ann E. Harrison named as dean

Photo: Noah Berger
Photo: Noah Berger

Ann E. Harrison, a renowned Wharton economist and Berkeley alumna, will begin her term on January 1, 2019. Harrison, the William H. Wurster Professor of Multinational Management and Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, has deep Berkeley roots. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley with a double major in economics and history in 1982. She also served as a professor of Berkeley’s Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics from 2001 to 2011. Her initial priorities: Grow the faculty in key areas, increase the number of cross-school programs, and increase the diversity of the student body and faculty.

3. Chou Hall is dedicated, on track to be nation’s first “zero waste” academic building

Chou Hall dedication ceremony

UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ and University of California President Janet Napolitano came out to help dedicate Chou Hall, the newest campus addition, in March. The $63 million building, which opened last August, was funded entirely by donations from alumni and friends. Chou Hall is currently on track to become the first TRUE Zero Waste certified academic building in the U.S.

4. Haas adopts a new diversity, equity & inclusion plan; hires new director of inclusion and diversity 

Haas adopted a new diversity & inclusion action plan

Hired last January from UCSF, where she directed the Multicultural Clinical Training Program, Élida Bautista is charged with setting school-wide strategy for inclusion, diversity, and equity efforts focused on students. This past October, Bautista helped senior Haas leaders deliver its first Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Action Plan, which provides concrete ways to bolster enrollment of underrepresented minorities at Haas and to develop a more inclusive environment school-wide. The plan is a direct response to a decline in the number of African-American students enrolled in the Full-time Berkeley MBA Program over the last two years.

5. 8th anniversary celebration for the Defining Leadership Principles

Rich Lyons and the Defining Leadership Principles

It’s been eight years since Rich Lyons codified the school’s culture in four Defining Leadership Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Beyond Yourself, and Students Always. The school celebrated with its first annual Berkeley Haas Culture Day in February. To commemorate how deeply they’ve been embedded in school culture, the four DLP’s were carved into the walls along the Piedmont Avenue entrance.

6. Janet Yellen leaves the Fed after achieving “near perfection”

Professor Emeritus Janet Yellen

Professor Emeritus Janet Yellen, who taught generations of Haas students from 1980 to 2004, retired in early February after a four-year term as the first woman to serve in what’s been called the world’s most powerful economic job. Under Yellen’s guiding hand, unemployment fell steadily, inflation stayed low even as the economy built up a head of steam, and, to add icing to the cake, financial markets went on a tear.

“Yellen is on a glide path to near perfection, as she will probably end her term achieving the Fed’s dual mandate better than any other chair in history,” George wrote Mason University economist Scott Sumner as Yellen ended her term.

7. Faculty rack up a stream of honors

Faculty award winners

Members of the Haas faculty racked up a host of awards for their teaching, research, and service throughout the year. Assoc. Prof. Panos Patatoukas won Berkeley’s most prestigious teaching award, and Sr. Lecturer Sara Beckman was honored with a graduate student mentoring award. Outgoing Dean Rich Lyons received the Berkeley Citation for his outstanding service to the campus community, while Prof. Andrew Rose was honored with the Williamson Award for his service at Haas. Assoc. Prof. Jonathan Kolstad was named as a top health economics researcher under 40 and a top business leader under 40, and Asst. Prof. Juliana Schroeder was recognized as a “rising star” by the Association for Psychological Science. Prof. Laura Kray’s article on women as negotiators garnered an outstanding paper award, and a paper by professors Nancy Wallace and Rick Stanton won a prize for best paper in financial management.

8. Rankings recognition

The year brought a few rankings highlights for the Full-time MBA program, which rose to #6 in Businessweek’s Best B-Schools ranking. The Evening & Weekend program ranked #1 (again!) and our undergraduate program tied for #2 among US schools, both in the US News ranking. The Economist ranked our Berkeley MBA for Executives (EMBA) program #4 in the world.

9. Haas welcomed three rising academic stars

Three new assistant professors joined the Haas faculty

Three new assistant professors joined the Berkeley Haas faculty, with research interests that range from how financial news influences markets to the unintended consequences of mortgage market regulations to developing more accurate ways to predict consumer behavior. Left to right: Anastassia Fedyk and Matteo Benetton will join the Finance Group, while Giovanni Compiani will be part of the Marketing Group.

10. Milestones in sustainability and social impact

<em>Cleantech-to-Market student Jahon Amir practices his presentation for his team, Opcondys.</em>
Cleantech-to-Market student Jahon Amir practices his presentation for his team, Opcondys.

Haas had long led the way on incorporating social impact and sustainability into business education. Twenty years ago this fall, five Haas MBA students founded the Global Social Venture Competition, which has helped 6,500 teams from 65 countries move closer to their vision for a better world (the 20th annual competition will take place in the spring). Also this fall the Center for Responsible Business celebrated its 15th anniversary, and the the Cleantech to Market (C2M) Program marked its 10th year of pairing student teams with scientists to push promising technologies to market.



A Berkeley homecoming: Q&A with incoming Dean Ann Harrison

Incoming Haas Dean Ann E. Harrison
Incoming Haas Dean Ann E. Harrison has deep Berkeley roots.

Renowned Wharton Economist and Berkeley Alumna Ann E. Harrison, BA 82 (economics and history), will begin her tenure as new Haas dean on Jan. 1, 2019.

Harrison is the William H. Wurster Professor of Multinational Management and Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Before joining the Wharton School in 2012, Harrison served as director of development policy at the World Bank.

Harrison has deep Berkeley roots. She’s been both student and teacher here, serving as a professor in Agricultural Resource Economics from 2001 to 2011. She joins an esteemed group of female economists who have made their impact on Haas, including Interim and former Dean Laura Tyson and Prof. Emeritus Janet Yellen, the former head of the Federal Reserve and now a distinguished fellow at the Brookings Institute.

In recent weeks, Harrison has been meeting with Haas faculty and staff, developing her priorities and vision for the school. She recently sat with Berkeley Haas News for an interview.

Haas: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

Ann Harrison:  I was born in France, and I came to the U.S. when I was 2 years old, grew up in the Bay Area in California, and went to UC Berkeley as an undergraduate. I am married to another economist who I met in graduate school. He’s originally from the Philippines, so we were married in Manila. We have two daughters: Alice goes to UC Santa Barbara, and Emily is a graduate student in art history.

In my free time, I love to hike all over California—in Point Reyes, at Inspiration Point in the Berkeley hills behind the university, and in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Could you share a few career highlights? What award or research project are you most proud of?

One of my most precious moments was when I received a phone call from Berkeley asking me if I would be interested in a tenured professorship. I just remember how thrilled I was when I received that phone call. More recently, one of my happiest moments was when I received the Sun Yefang Prize, which is awarded by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences for the best research in economics on China.

Tell us a little more about your experience at the World Bank and what you did there.

I started at the World Bank right after my PhD, and have spent time going back and forth between the World Bank and different academic positions I’ve held over the years. In my most recent role there, I served as director of development policy. The World Bank’s mission is to try to free the world from poverty.  I have also worked with other organizations such as the United Nations on similar goals.

What do you think are some of the Haas School’s greatest strengths?

The school has a number of really important strengths. It’s defined by its unique culture and the four Defining Leadership Principles, which are helping to create students who care about becoming great business leaders, who go beyond themselves, who are confident without having an attitude, and who question the status quo. Berkeley is a phenomenal institution, and its location brings with it a tremendous entrepreneurial culture.

What do you see as some of its challenges?

As a public institution, we have a much more limited budget than many private universities, and that continues to be a challenge for the students, the staff, and the faculty. But we are so enriched by the generosity of all of our donors, including those alumni who made enormous contributions to create our new building, Chou Hall. Berkeley has a very loyal set of donors and alumni, and I really look forward to working with them in the years to come.

What will your key priorities be as you begin your deanship?

I am very honored to have been asked to serve as dean of Berkeley Haas. This is a dream come true for me. It is also my good fortune to succeed outstanding deans—such as Rich Lyons and Laura Tyson—who have done an amazing job in strengthening our school and placing it at the forefront of business education. I plan to build on their successes to make this great school even better.

As I begin my deanship, I have three priorities: One is to grow the faculty in certain key areas, which include entrepreneurship, data analytics, and green business. I also want to further integrate Haas into the Berkeley community by increasing the number of cross-school programs that we have. My third priority is increasing the diversity of the student body and the faculty. As you know, we have put together a new action plan, which will allow us to increase the diversity of our full-time MBA program. But the role of diversity and the importance of inclusion is something that permeates all our degree programs, and that is very important to all us.

Why did you decide to move to a dean’s role versus teaching and research?

All my life, I have enjoyed research and learning and writing, but I’ve also really enjoyed making a difference. Working at the World Bank was an important opportunity for me to be in the real world and to see governments change—such as lending the Indian government a billion dollars to help them clean up its rivers. As a dean, one is able to combine the joy of research and teaching with actually making change, so that’s an incredibly exciting opportunity for me.

VIDEO: Veterans Day 2018—Student vets reflect on going beyond yourself

This Veterans Day, we thank our Berkeley Haas student veterans for their service and for all they they contribute to our campus community.

“We’re delighted to have one of our largest classes of veterans studying at Haas this year,” said Interim Dean Laura Tyson. “Those who volunteer to serve their country feel a calling to do something beyond themselves. It makes veterans a perfect fit for Berkeley Haas since they embody our Defining Leadership Principle ‘Beyond Yourself.’ We are grateful for the leadership skills and the global perspectives our veterans bring to the Haas community, and we thank them for their service.”

We asked four student veterans to share what “Beyond Yourself” means to them:

  • Poga Ahn, EMBA 18, former U.S. Army captain
  • Rodrigo Flores, EWMBA 21, former U.S. Navy submarine officer
  • Cassidy Nolan, BS 19, former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence chief
  • Katie Rentz, FTMBA 20, former U.S. Navy unmanned underwater vehicles department head

Here’s what they had to say:


More Resources

Haas Veterans Club

Veterans in the Full-time Berkeley MBA Program

Veterans in the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program

Veterans in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program

Haas Undergraduate Program

More videos about veterans at Berkeley Haas

Cal athletes soar at Haas

Cal soccer forward Jordyn Elliott
Cal soccer forward Jordyn Elliott. Photo: Cal Athletics.

When Cal Women’s Soccer forward Jordyn Elliott returned to the field this fall after recovering from a hip injury, she did it in style, scoring one of three goals that helped the team defeat Utah Valley at the season’s opening game.

Elliott believes that the same grit that brought her back strong to the field also played a part in getting her admitted this year to Berkeley Haas.

“There are skills required on athletic teams that are required to get into one of the top business schools,” said Elliott, BS 20. “I’m forever grateful for that because when you want to play in college, those skills transfer right through.” Elliott, a native of Hollywood, Fla., is one among the growing ranks of Cal athletes enrolling in the Haas Undergraduate Program.

This year, a total of 32 athletes are enrolled, up from 24 five years ago. And for the past two years, business administration was the top declared major among Cal athletes, up from the #7 slot in 2016 and #14 in 2009, according to the UC Berkeley Student-Athlete Academic Performance Summary.

Class of 2020 Haas student-athletes: L-R Andy Song (swimming), Branndon Marion (track & field), Emma DeSilva (track & field) Jordyn Elliott (soccer) Claire McDowell (water polo) Asst. Admissions Director Mary Balingit, Makayla Ward (lacrosse), Cubbie Kile (crew), Kayla Fong (soccer), Kyte Crigger (gymnastics) Lila Adler (track and field) and Paramveer Chohan (track & field).
Class of 2020 Haas student-athletes: L-R Andy Song, Branndon Marion, Emma DeSilva, Jordyn Elliott, Claire McDowell, Asst. Admissions Director Mary Balingit, Makayla Ward, Cubbie Kile, Kayla Fong, Kyte Crigger, Lila Adler, and Paramveer Chohan.

The undergraduate Class of 2020 alone includes lacrosse goalkeeper Makayla Ward, hurdler Paramveer Chohan, water polo goalie Claire McDowell, track and field sprinter and hurdler Branndon Marion, gymnast Kyte Crigger, water polo player Johnny Hooper, and crew coxswain Cubbie Kile. (The class also includes retired football player Russ Ude and former rugby player Robert Paylor, who is recovering from an injury that partially paralyzed him during a May 2017 national championship rugby game.) They join a senior class that includes rugby player Fawzi Kawash, crew coxswain Riley Brown, football players Patrick Laird and Henry Bazakas, and Collin Morikawa, who is ranked third among amateur golfers in the world.

So why the draw to business?

First off, the undergraduate program is highly competitive; only 13.5% of applicants get in, which makes it a logical program for naturally competitive athletes. “They’re drawn to the competition,” said Bobby Thompson, interim director of Cal student-athlete development. “There’s a low percentage of people who get into Haas, but guess what? There’s a low percentage who make it on to Division 1 teams, too.”

Collin Morikawa
Collin Morikawa (photo: Cal Athletics)

Thompson works closely with Mary Balingit, the undergraduate program’s assistant admissions director, to encourage student athletes—particularly those from underrepresented minority groups (URMs)—to apply to Haas, and overcome their fears that it might be too difficult to get in.

But Sojourner Blair, director of undergraduate admissions, says athletes share many of the characteristics the school seeks in applicants. “They’re extremely dedicated and hardworking team players,” she said. “Many are spending 20 hours a week or more with their sport and balancing that job with a full course load of units.”

Athletes are also drawn to the school’s leadership culture, says Erika Walker, assistant dean of the Haas Undergraduate Program.

“I think our Defining Leadership Principles (Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself), make a difference,” she said. “They’re easy to transfer from the field to class, and that attracts student-athletes. That connection is natural for them—they think, ‘There might be a place for me there.'”

Another force at work: Steve Etter

Walker said there’s another force at work, too: Haas Lecturer Stephen Etter, who for years has worked closely with student athletes. “He’s a connection,” she said. “He has presence. The students think: ‘There’s someone who is cool, who understands my experience.’ ”

Steve Etter, the secret sauce for Cal athletes.
“They’re time management gurus,” said Steve Etter,  who advises student athletes on how to get into Haas. Photo: Jim Block.

Each fall, Etter, BS 83, and a founding partner at Greyrock Capital Group, hosts “getting into Haas” information sessions to a packed room of Cal athletes. While Etter never played at the varsity level as a student, he said he was inspired to do this work by his Cal mentors and coaches.

“I grew up in a single parent family; just my mom and me,” he said. “Teachers and coaches had a huge impact on my life.”

Etter believes athletes make perfect Haas students: they’re time-management gurus and natural leaders with self-discipline, who have developed great resilience and worked on diverse teams.

“They come to Haas with so many skills built in,” said Etter, who has worked with Olympians like swimmer Missy Franklin, and stars like Laird, BS 18, in independent studies focused on money management, in addition to teaching undergraduate classes in corporate finance. Student-athletes are also valuable assets to the school, Etter added.

“A person sees Patrick Laird and they’re going to be interested in business,” he said. “He’s such a leader and a role model. Jordyn Elliott lights up a room. She’s a phenomenal soccer player. We have such high-caliber people in the program.”

Cal football player Patrick Laird, who has launched a reading challenge for kids.
Cal football player Patrick Laird, who has launched a summer reading challenge for kids.

Elliott, who is the daughter of retired San Antonio Spurs All Star and champion Sean Elliott, said after she met Etter freshman year, she started taking prerequisite business courses and joined the Sports Business Group, formed by student athletes across campus who are interested in a career in business.

Etter advised Elliott on the Haas application, encouraging her to open up and tell her personal story. “They want to know who you are,” she said. “I went to a predominantly white high school as a black and quarter-Asian girl. He was a huge help to me in getting me to open up about my background, and mentoring me through the entire process.”

After graduation, Elliott said she’s considering a career in sports entertainment or sports management.  “I definitely want to work for a pro sports team,” said Elliott, the youngest of three siblings. “I grew up in a sports-oriented family. I feel like I’ve been behind the scenes at so many sporting events. I’d love to have that as my job.”

Mentors lead the way

Having a critical mass of student-athletes at Haas has helped to build momentum—and older mentors help, too.

Coxswain Riley Brown, BS 19:
Coxswain Riley Brown, BS 19:  (front) the boss on the boat.

Crew coxswain Riley Brown, BS 19, remembers when her teammate Hannah Christopher, BS 18, found out she had been accepted to Haas mid-way through a practice in 2016. “I always looked up to Hannah,” Brown said. “We went to the bathroom to check her phone and she screamed bloody murder when she got in.”

Last year, when it was Brown’s turn to check on acceptance day, Christopher looked over Brown’s shoulder and tackled her to the ground over the happy news. “Everyone at practice was like: What the heck is going on?” Brown said.

While Christopher and her Haas crew teammates provided inspiration and advice, Brown said Etter helped her figure out what set her apart.

Senior Riley Brown (right) and her crew team mentor Hannah Christopher, BS 18
Senior Riley Brown (right) and her crew team mentor Hannah Christopher, BS 18.

Spending so many hours on the crew boat, Brown felt she lacked the internships and the career background of other applicants. But by then, Brown had won two NCAA championship titles, both in her individual boat as well as contributing to the overall team championship. That success freshman year as a crew coxswain led her to believe she could do anything. On the boat, after all, she was already the boss.

“The team is going down this skinny, straight race-course blind,” she said. “We might be two seats from being in the lead of a 2,000-meter race that takes seven minutes. I’ll say ‘Here comes our move!’ and it’s something we’ve planned and I tell them how we are going to accomplish it.”

Business, as it turns out, was not Brown’s childhood dream major. As a child she decided she would be a doctor, a goal strengthened after an accident left her father visually impaired. She also had her own medical challenges due to a very rare hormone deficiency that impacted her growth and organ development. When the drug company that made her medication went out of business, she was devastated. “That was huge in my life,” said Brown, who said she celebrated when she reached 5-feet, which is the perfect coxswain height. “I wanted to know: How do we fix this? How do we get drugs to people who need them and people who can’t afford it when they’re facing diseases like diabetes? How do we get them cheaper medicine?”

At Cal, she pivoted her major of choice from pre-med to business, where she has decided to focus on improving the healthcare system. “Business is about making an impact,” she said. “I could put my leadership skills to use.” Brown is also now mentoring younger students who are looking to apply to Haas.

Dreaming of business—and pies.

Claire McDowell started making pies in second grade.
Water polo player Claire McDowell: “Business is about what problems need to be solved.”

Claire McDowell, a Cal water polo player, from Miami, Fla., knew she wanted to study business by second grade, when she made her first ice cream pie.

“I made flyers advertising the pies and put them around my elementary school,” she said. “I kept doing it in middle school, and in high school I started an Instagram account for it.” The Instagram account helped expand her business, and by sophomore year she was selling a pie a week, with a graham cracker, Oreo cookie, or chocolate chip cookie crust.

McDowell was initially reluctant to charge for the pies, but her parents grew wary of the supermarket bills and told her that her hobby was getting too expensive.

Claire McDowell's ice cream pies are Instagram standouts
Claire McDowell’s ice cream pies are Instagram standouts.

Last year, when McDowell applied to Haas, she reflected on her pie business, deciding that it was never about the money for her. “For me, business is about what problems need to be solved, how can I help others?” she said. “With the tools you get from going through Haas I’ll be able to solve problems better. I tried to get that across during my interview. Even with my pies, it wasn’t my idea to start the business. I just gave the pies to my friends and teachers. Anyone who wanted a pie got one. I wanted to make my friends and everyone around me happy.”

Today, as a Cal athlete, McDowell makes time to make an occasional celebratory pie for friends and teammates. She says her schedule is exhausting, but it’s something she’s adjusted to—because it’s always been demanding.

“Learning to work hard is something that you gain by being a Division 1 athlete,” she said. “All of us go to practice every day and, you know, it’s not always fun, but we put in 100, 110 percent all the time to get the results. Athletes have already been through hard, exhausting schedules since the beginning. We can deal with the huge workload or pressure. We’re not slackers.”


Renowned economist and Berkeley alumna Ann Harrison named new Haas dean

Renowned Wharton economist and Berkeley alumna Ann E. Harrison has been named the next dean of the Haas School of Business.

New Haas Dean Ann Harrison
New Haas Dean Ann Harrison

Harrison will begin her term on January 1, 2019.

Harrison, the William H. Wurster Professor of Multinational Management and Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, has deep Berkeley roots. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley with a double major in economics and history in 1982. She also served as a professor of Berkeley’s Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics from 2001 to 2011.

“Professor Harrison is an accomplished administrator as well as a world-class economist who has dedicated her career to creating forward-looking policies in development economics, international trade, and global labor markets,” said Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ, who announced the news today. “It is a great honor to welcome her back to Berkeley to become the dean of Haas, and I have no doubt that she will be a wonderful leader for the institution.”

Returning to Berkeley

Harrison said she is thrilled to return to Berkeley to join its top-ranked business school, and is looking forward to meeting Haas students and alumni, as well as working with the distinguished faculty and staff.

“This opportunity is a dream come true,” she said. “Berkeley Haas is truly exceptional because it combines intellectual rigor with a commitment to creating a better world. Former Haas dean Rich Lyons worked with the Haas community to articulate its spirit and culture through the four defining leadership principles. These principles, such as going ‘beyond yourself’ and ‘questioning the status quo,’ make Haas a true standout among its peers.”

Harrison said that she is also passionate about being a part of Berkeley itself, and is excited to continue building the relationships between Haas and the rest of campus. “Haas is part of the world’s greatest research university and is located in one of the most exciting innovation hubs anywhere,” she said.

A Global Focus

Born in France to an American father and a French mother, she came to the United States when she was very young. She credits her bilingual upbringing with sparking her later research interests in global firms and international trade.

“Ann has a remarkable track record of pioneering research on trade and development, including influential studies of globalization’s effects on jobs and inequality,” said Berkeley economics Prof. Maurice Obstfeld, who serves as chief economist at the International Monetary Fund and collaborated with Harrison at Berkeley’s Agricultural & Resource Economics department. “Her work has demonstrated the degree to which American workers’ wages have suffered from globalization—especially workers in routine jobs. I’m really looking forward to the intellectual leadership she will bring to Haas and to the entire campus.”

Before joining the Wharton School in 2012, Harrison served as Director of Development Policy at the World Bank. There, she co-managed a team of 300 researchers and staff, reformed the World Bank’s process for allocating research funds, and oversaw the institution’s most important flagship publications, including its annual World Development Report. During her tenure, she convinced the World Bank’s president to release all historical records on project loans, a milestone in increasing transparency.

“Based on Ann’s experience at the World Bank, she will be an effective and much-loved manager,” said Professor Sir Angus Deaton, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs Emeritus at Princeton University who has known Harrison since she was a graduate student. He also is the 2015 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare. “She is an excellent economist and also an extraordinary person.”

Harrison said she’ll start out by taking the time to listen carefully to faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

“I’m incredibly lucky that Former Dean Lyons and Interim (as well as former) Dean Laura Tyson are both at Haas and can share their insights with me,” she said. “Berkeley Haas has tremendous opportunities in the areas of fundraising and revenue growth, which will be a primary focus of my deanship. In addition to garnering increased philanthropic support for our students and programs, I believe it is critical for Berkeley Haas to secure funding for new faculty positions.”

Thought Leader

In addition to her years at Berkeley and Wharton, Harrison held teaching positions at Columbia Business School, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and the University of Paris. She has lectured widely, including at most major U.S. universities, and in India, China, Latin America, Europe, the Philippines, and North Africa.

Harrison earned a PhD in economics from Princeton University and a diplôme d’études universitaires générales from the University of Paris. She is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a member of the United Nations Committee for Development Policy.

Harrison is one of the most highly cited scholars globally on foreign investment and multinational firms. She is the author and editor of three books, including Globalization and Poverty and The Factory-Free Economy. In 2017, Harrison and her co-authors were awarded the prestigious Sun Yefang Prize by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The prize, given every two years, is considered one of China’s most important honors in economics.

Harrison was selected after an extensive national search. She will succeed Interim Dean Laura D’Andrea Tyson, who will remain in her post through the end of 2018. Rich Lyons, who served as dean for 11 years prior to Tyson, will return to the Haas finance faculty after a sabbatical.

Download a high-resolution photo of Ann Harrison.

Haas welcomes a record number of MBA students

A collage of photos of new MBA students during Week Zero.Berkeley Haas welcomed the two largest MBA classes in the school’s history this semester: 291 full-time students and 276 evening & weekend students, all with outstanding academic credentials.

“We’ve always had the demand and now we’re so happy to have the space to accommodate more students,” said Jamie Breen, the assistant dean of MBA Programs for Working Professionals at Haas. The extra space comes thanks to Connie & Kevin Chou Hall, the student-centered building that opened last fall.

“Haas is a truly unique and special community, and top students from around the world continue to choose us for the quality of our programs and our distinctive culture,” said Morgan Bernstein, executive director of Full-time MBA Admissions. “These students are already coming together as a class, preparing for what we know will be a rewarding time here.”

Full-time MBA Week Zero

The new full-time MBA students arrived last week for an orientation that included tackling a business case, hours of volunteer work at Alameda Point Collaborative, a rousing cohort Olympics, and a session on diversity and inclusion.

“Week Zero has been a great experience—just jam-packed with information and networking, so it was both exhausting and fun,” said Tiffany Tran, MBA 20, who is from Long Beach, CA., and most recently worked at Annie’s (now part of General Mills) as a senior sustainability analyst.

Full-time MBA students competing in the cohort Olympics.
Full-time MBA students cheering on their team competing in the cohort Olympics. All photos: Jim Block.

The cohort Olympics for the Class of 2020 was a highlight, she added. “My cohort, Oski, won the championships,” she said. “We’re quite proud of that!”

The class of 291 students—up from 284 last year—is comprised of 43 percent women, and 34 percent international students. As a group, they are academically exceptional, with average GMAT scores of 726 and average GPAs of 3.66.

About one quarter of the new students worked in consulting; 20 are from banking/financial services; 10 percent from high tech; 9 percent from nonprofits; and 7 percent from healthcare/pharma/biotech. The group includes 14 U.S. military veterans, representing the Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy.

Interim Dean Laura Tyson welcomed the students, noting that the MBA program has transformed thousands of students lives in meaningful ways over the years. “Many, many people come to business school to transform, to make a change in their career path and their goals or their sector or their role in an organization, and that’s what we give people: the skills to do the transformation you want to do, and stay authentic to yourself,” she said.

Interim Dean Laura Tyson addresses the new class of full-time MBA students.
Interim Dean Laura Tyson addresses the new class of full-time MBA students.

The MBA program continues to select students who show leadership skills that reflect the school’s Defining Leadership Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Beyond Yourself, and Students Always.

Oriol Pi Miloro, who arrived at Haas from Barcelona, said all of the students he’s encountered so far share a common awareness of the world beyond themselves. “Every single classmate I have met demonstrated a genuine interest on the most pressing issues of our society,” he said. “And they came to Haas to tackle these issues.”

Miloro said he’s looking forward to joining the Haas Finance Club, the Haas Impact Investing Network and Q@Haas, the LGBTQ club.

“This class is just an amazing group with such an interesting and diverse array of career and life experiences—and an enthusiasm for our school’s mission and Defining Leadership Principles,” said Peter Johnson, assistant dean for the full-time MBA program and admissions.

The class includes a ski instructor who worked with disabled people at Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra; a student who speaks seven languages, including German, French, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, and Spanish; a student who already holds a master’s in public administration and a juris doctorate and was admitted to the state bar in both New York and Washington, DC; a student who introduced a rural micro-flush toilet to schools in Ghana; and a Black Hawk helicopter pilot.

A surprise visit from Wes Selke, MBA 07, and managing director of Better Ventures.
A surprise visit from Wes Selke, MBA 07, and managing director of Better Ventures.

Each day of “Week Zero”—which was co-chaired by second-year students Annie Sept, Elaine Hsu, and Antoine Orard—centered around one of the Defining Leadership Principles.

Sept said her first impression of the new class is that they are both extremely thoughtful and participatory and that they are “having a blast.”

“I’ve already seen a lot of cohesion and friendship,” she said. “People are comfortable saying vulnerable things to each other. There’s general support from classmates. They’re excited to be here for sure, and that makes us feel good.”

Entrepreneur Heather Hiles
Entrepreneur Heather Hiles

During the week, Heather Hiles, CEO and managing partner of Imminent Equity, spoke to the students about showing up as their authentic selves. Hiles, who was recently named among Vanity Fair’s “26 women of color diversifying entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley, media and beyond,” spoke to the theme of questioning the status quo and highlighted a diverse career.

Hiles has founded non-profit organizations, written public policy, managed a large portfolio at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and raised the most money of any African American woman for her e-portfolio startup, Pathbrite, which helps students document their achievements. Most recently she founded the first women-led private equity fund: Imminent Equities, focused on emerging technologies.

Wes Selke, MBA 07, also joined the class for a debrief on a case they were asked to read about his company, Oakland-based Better Ventures, which is focused on social investments. Better Ventures invests in companies that measure their success not only by revenue and profitability, but also by their products’ quantified, positive social or environmental impact. Other alumni speakers included Tom Kelley, partner at IDEO and founder & chairman of VC firm Design for Ventures in Tokyo, and Manuel Bronstein, vice president of product for Google Assistant.

Evening & Weekend students stand strong with the "We are one Haas" message of inclusiveness.
Evening & Weekend students stand strong with the school’s “We are one Haas” message of inclusiveness.

Evening & weekend class arrives

Last month, a record number of Evening & Weekend students arrived for orientation, called WE Launch, July 27-29. With 276 students, this is the largest class in the program’s history. The class is 33 percent women and 39 percent international.

Evening & Weekend MBA students arrive on campus for WE Launch.
Evening & Weekend MBA students in the Ax cohort arrive on campus for WE Launch.

“Our orientation was such a strong bonding experience for our students, who are all starting to come together as a group,” Breen said. “The study teams plunged right in.”

The Evening & Weekend program has been ranked the #1 part-time MBA program in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report for the past six years.

Chancellor Christ Honors Dean Lyons with Berkeley Citation

Dean Rich Lyons accepts the Berkeley Citation award from Chancellor Carol Christ.
Dean Rich Lyons accepts the Berkeley Citation award from Chancellor Carol Christ.

Dean Rich Lyons was awarded the Berkeley Citation, among the highest honors the campus bestows on its community, in a surprise announcement at the Alumni Reunion Conference on Saturday.

Chancellor Carol Christ, who had just opened the conference with a joint keynote with Lyons about culture and leadership styles, paused the program to bestow the award. “It is my distinct privilege to present to Rich a Berkeley Citation for his distinguished achievements and notable service to the university,” said Christ, who was herself honored with the Citation in 2002.

“A set of core values and a sense of purpose”

The dean was visibly moved by the honor, as 600+ alumni gave a standing ovation.

Christ read from the Citation: “Rich Lyons believed business schools had both the responsibility and opportunity to instill a set of core values and a sense of purpose. The first step to realizing their mission was to create a new kind of business school culture.”

Haas colleagues nominated the dean with letters that paid homage to his authentic style as “a servant, leader, and a role model.” The letters cited his caring support for his direct team, active engagement with students, and his rock-star musical talents.

When Lyons became dean, it marked the beginning of one of the most transformative periods in Haas’ 120-year history—including an 18-month soul-searching exercise to determine the true values of the school. The exercise culminated in the codification of four Defining Leadership Principles, which rolled out in February 2010: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself.

Over the years, students and alumni have rallied around the principles as guiding leadership values.

About 1,400 alumni flocked to Haas last weekend for the largest-ever annual conference and reunion for MBA classes ending in the numbers 3 and 9, as well as the Class of 2017. The weekend featured career education “booster shots” from faculty on topics including fintech, design thinking, and equity and inclusion, as well as “HaasX” talks by alumni and plenty of social events.

Lyons also didn’t disappoint in the rock-star department, treating the audience to an acoustic guitar and vocal version of a favorite song: Green Day’s “Time of Your Life.”

Campus dignitaries dedicate Chou Hall, newest addition to campus

UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ at the Chou Hall dedication.
UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ at the Chou Hall dedication. All photos: Noah Berger

The Cal Band marched.  Dignitaries spoke. A beloved donor inspired a standing ovation.

It was all in honor of Chou Hall, the newest campus addition, which was dedicated last Friday in a standing-room-only ceremony.

“A lot of people have truly gone beyond themselves to make Chou Hall possible, and the culture of giving back has never been stronger,” said Haas Dean Rich Lyons, who was joined by UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ and University of California President Janet Napolitano in Chou Hall’s Spieker Forum.

Chou Hall, which opened last August and was 10 years in the making, was funded entirely by $63 million raised from alumni and friends. The building, which is used solely as student classroom space, opens at a critical time. Over the past 20 years, enrollment at Berkeley Haas has nearly doubled.

“We knew that the building would allow us to not just draw more students and grow, but to grow strategically,” Lyons said. “But I don’t think we could have imagined launching (the new undergraduate) M.E.T. program.. and launching all these new wonderful programs, and that’s part of what we’re all doing here together.”

A call to give

Perhaps the event’s most heartfelt words came from Kevin Chou, BS 02, who with his wife, Dr. Connie Chen, gave a gift of up to $25 million. The building is named to honor the couple.

Left to right: Building donor Kevin Chou, UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ, Dean Rich Lyons, University of California President Janet Napolitano, building donor Ned Spieker, project manager Walter Hallanan.

Chou spoke of a love for Cal that’s deepened since he first stepped on campus as an undergrad. He reflected on how sharing a panel with entrepreneurship Prof. Toby Stuart in April 2015 at The Battery club in San Francisco kindled his philanthropic plan.

“It was that night that I learned about the need for the community to rally to make this project possible,” Chou said. “Toby’s love for teaching, research, and bringing students together with the technology community through Silicon Valley Immersion Week was a great reminder of love and inspired me to find out more about this project and how I could get involved.”

Chou, who introduced his wife and baby daughter, then gave a nod to “the love that Dean Lyons exudes through his leadership,”

“Dean Lyons, it is your leadership that this community of alumni love and believe in,” he said. “This space we are now in is a testament to your incredible work that has spanned over a decade.”

UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ (second from right) and University of California President Janet Napolitano (right) celebrate Chou Hall.

Spieker Forum is named for building donor Ned Spieker, BS 66, who helped lead the funding effort by establishing a nonprofit entity to manage design and construction of the building. Lyons said Spieker’s efforts were “a fundamental part of what made this project go.”

Lyons also lauded building project manager Walter Hallanan, BS 72, as “the person who had to sweat every detail.”

“Walter and Ned made this work, while saving on time and cost,” Lyons said.

It takes a village

Napolitano said that Chou Hall embodies the Berkeley Haas Defining Leadership Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always and Beyond Yourself. She added that the building is “an unprecedented testament to the generosity of the Berkeley Haas alumni.”

Chancellor Christ said that Haas students are “at the center of this building.”  She noted its natural beauty—the light pouring in from the windows, the sustainable materials used in construction, and the slick classroom technology that makes Chou Hall a state-of-the-art hub for student learning.

“It takes a village to build a building,” she said. “There are many, many partners who have joined together in making Chou Hall a reality.”

Sharifa Dunn, MBA 18 and the class president, expressed gratitude for the building and all that it’s done to enhance the learning experience at Haas for all students.

“I’ve had the unique experience of not having and having the building, so I know what it’s like to not have something as beautiful as this,” she said. “Up here…the view that this offers. This is why I moved to California!”

The Cal Band closes the Chou Hall dedication ceremony.
The Cal Band closes the Chou Hall dedication ceremony.

Chou Hall is the first academic building in the US designed to be both WELL and LEED Platinum certified, meaning it promotes the health and well-being of its occupants and is highly energy efficient and sustainably built. The building is also on track to become the first Zero-Waste building on campus by summer.

A plaque honoring Kevin Chou and Connie Chen hangs inside the building, inscribed with the following words: “We hope in this building students from all walks of life, experiences, and disciplines will come together to build a brighter future.”

After Chou read the words, the audience stood in applause. Then the Cal Band made a surprise appearance to close the ceremony, marching on stage in straw hats with cymbals and drums and singing the Cal fight song.

Celebrating the distinct culture of Haas

It’s the 8th birthday of the Berkeley Haas Defining Leadership Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always and Beyond Yourself, four succinct phrases that have come to be widely associated with the school and Dean Rich Lyons.

“Leaders set culture,” Lyons said last week at Haas Culture Day, a community celebration of the Defining Leadership Principles (DLPs). “This is an important part of what leaders do. You can’t think about leadership without thinking about setting norms and values.”

That leadership has paid off. A recent Poets & Quants article described Haas as “the archetype for a values-driven MBA program.”

Seventy-five percent of students from all three MBA programs and the undergraduate program cite the DLPs as a strong reason for choosing Haas, while more than 90 percent of alumni surveyed from the past decade said they were familiar with the principles and use them when navigating both their careers and their personal lives.

In this video, we asked members of the Haas community: What’s your favorite Defining Leadership Principle?

To sustain and expand the school’s culture efforts under the current and future deans, the school has launched the new Haas Culture and Leadership Fund. Money from the fund will be applied to, among other things, strengthening the culture content in the curriculum, providing financial aid and awards to students who exemplify the DLPs, giving research support to faculty who exemplify the DLPs, and supporting the existing institutes and centers that represent the culture and Defining Leadership Principles.

The Haas community added culture goals to the board for the new year.
The Haas community came together for Culture Day, adding goals to the culture board.

As he prepares to complete his tenure June 30 and return to his faculty role, we asked Lyons to take a moment to reflect on what has changed since he launched the culture initiative. Lyons recently co-wrote a case with Prof. Jennifer Chatman tracking the history of the DLPs and how the culture was codified at Haas. A second case is forthcoming

You’ve said the principles did not come out of nowhere, but rather codified a culture that has been here for many years. ​Does this make you more hopeful that we will be able to hold on to them after you complete your tenure as dean​?

Yes, it definitely does. Nobody was surprised by those principles. And only very rarely—and rather inconsistently—has anyone suggested that we missed one that is as fundamental as the four we harmonized around.

How has ​the environment at Haas changed since we ​launched the Defining Leadership Principles eight years ago?

I’d say that we are seeing stronger data every year that the DLPs are affecting what we really care about. For example, we have clear data on how the Defining Leadership Principles are helping us win yield battles (i.e., when students choose Haas over other schools they’ve been admitted to). The DLPs are also motivating our donors. Alumni awareness of the principles is way up, and their engagement based on them is way up. We are also bringing in more executive education clients who tell us that they chose us because of the clear culture fit.

Cupcakes at Culture Day
Cupcakes at Culture Day spelled out each of the Defining Leadership Principles.

Can you give a few examples of how alumni, staff, and students are living the principles in their lives and workplaces?

One alum told us that the DLPs have been important for him in thinking about the best way to raise his children. Another named a new company CWA for Confidence Without Attitude. Alums in great numbers nominate other alums as exemplars of one or more of the principles—in fact, the act of nominating is itself quite “beyond yourself.” Staff are increasingly leaning into the professional development opportunities we are providing, an indicator of Students Always. And many tell their colleagues, and potential staff recruits, that they came here because of the DLPs—and that they see them in the people around them. The students are taking notes on readings and sending those notes to their classmates—again an example of Beyond Yourself. They are designing ways to have deeper, more difficult conversations about race and gender and hot political topics (Question the Status Quo). They are using the DLPs to motivate importance advances in the student community, e.g., the ally movement.

Which principle is resonating most with you now?

It has always been hard for me to look at them as anything but a “system” taken all together. The one principle that still seems like it sets us apart the most externally versus our top competition is Confidence Without Attitude. But for me personally, the one resonating the most right now is Beyond Yourself. There’s so much in that one that it’s inexhaustible.

Prof. Andrew Rose receives Williamson Award—highest faculty honor

Prof. Andrew Rose, Williamson Award winnerProf. Andrew Rose, an international finance scholar who has taught macroeconomics to three decades of Berkeley Haas students, has received the Haas School’s highest faculty honor: the Williamson Award.

The award is named after Nobel Laureate and Haas Prof. Emeritus Oliver Williamson, and honors Haas faculty members who exemplify the attitudes and behaviors that differentiate our school. Rose is the fourth recipient of the award.

“Andy is not only a groundbreaking scholar whose economic insights have guided countries around the world; he is also an outstanding teacher and tireless supporter of Haas—both in his formal role as associate dean and chair of the faculty and in his work mentoring rising scholars,” said Dean Rich Lyons. “Indeed, his six years of service as our associate dean are arguably the greatest beyond-yourself service any faculty member has given the school in the last ten years.”

Rose, the Bernard T. Rocca, Jr. Chair in International Business & Trade, has taught and conducted research at Haas since 1986. He served as associate dean of academic affairs and chair of the faculty from 2010 to 2016, and previously as chair of the Economic Analysis & Policy Group and founding director of the Clausen Center for International Business & Policy.

“Only three Haas faculty have received this reward and each, in my opinion, is among the very highest caliber faculty at Haas; the elite of the elite,” said Rose. “Truly, I am both honored and humbled to join their ranks.”

Prolific scholar & frequent advisor

Rose is a prolific and highly cited scholar whose research addresses international trade, finance, currency and exchange rates, and economic crises. Over the course of his career, he has published more than 150 papers, including 90 articles in refereed economics journals; organized over 50 conferences on four continents; edited 15 books and symposia; and served as a visiting scholar at 12 universities.

A native of Canada who holds triple citizenship in his home country, the US, and the UK, Rose has worked as an advisor to a multitude of economic agencies, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, as well as central banks in a dozen countries, including the US.

Berkeley Haas Prof. Andrew Rose teaching

Mentor and teacher

Yet amid all that activity, Rose has gone beyond himself to mentor colleagues and give back to the school, according to the award nomination. Rose, who won the Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1999 and 2011, has been generous in sharing teaching tips through the former Haas Center for Teaching Excellence (now the Compendium for Teaching Excellence). He has also used his research expertise to provide detailed feedback to more junior faculty members, a nominator wrote: “In the way he approaches research, he questions the status quo. I recall every single comment and suggestion that he gave me.”

Award honors Oliver Williamson

Prior winners of the Williamson award are Prof. John Morgan, Prof. Teck Ho, and Prof. Toby Stuart. Winners are selected annually by a committee made up of Williamson, prior winners, and the dean. Rose was named the winner for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Williamson is the winner of the 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and a beloved teacher and leader at Berkeley Haas. Williamson embodies the spirit of the Haas School articulated in the Defining Leadership Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude; Beyond Yourself; and Students Always.

Haas research on leadership featured in 60th anniversary journal

California Management Review 60th Anniversary editionNational Energy Finance CompetitionA special 60th anniversary issue of California Management Review features seven articles by Berkeley Haas faculty exploring different aspects of leadership—from incentives for innovation to recognizing women’s unique qualities as negotiators.

The articles in the Fall 2017 journal issue not only show the breadth of Haas faculty research, but also reflect the school’s increasing focus on leadership, writes editor and Prof. Emeritus David Vogel, in the introduction. Haas culture is codified in four defining leadership principles: Question the Status Quo; Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always and Beyond Yourself.

“Each of the Haas School’s four defining principles are essentially about dimensions of leadership,” Vogel said.

As the Haas School’s quarterly peer-reviewed journal, California Management Review serves as bridge of communication between those who study management and those who practice it.

The journal opens with research by Prof. Don Moore pointing out that decades of research on hiring indicates that face-to-face job interviews are terrible at predicting future performance—yet companies continue to use them. In “How to Improve the Accuracy and Reduce the Cost of Personnel Selection,” Moore shows that there more effective and efficient alternatives, including structuring interviews around tests of key skills and abilities.

In “Creating Incentives for Innovation,” Prof. Gustavo Manso presents research demonstrating how employees can be encouraged to experiment by creating incentive systems that both tolerate early failures and reward long-term performance.

Prof. Laura Kray, who has long studied gender differences, writes that women possess unique advantages as negotiators—including stronger ethics and higher levels of cooperation. Yet women still face stereotypes of being poor advocates for themselves. “Changing the Narrative: Women as Negotiators—and Leaders,” co-authored by Jessica A. Kennedy of Vanderbilt University, presents practical strategies for managers and negotiators to change the narrative and close performance gaps.

In “Who’s Really Doing the Work? The Impact of Group Size on Over-Claiming of Responsibility,” Asst. Prof. Juliana Schroeder explores a pervasive phenomenon in today’s workplaces: people believing that they’ve done more than their fair share of work. The article looks at predictors of “over-claiming,” and presents practical steps that managers can use to reduce the damaging effects.

Other articles in the special issue also include a bottom-up look at the relationship between language and corporate culture by Prof. Sameer Srivastava and Amir Goldberg of Stanford; a piece by adj. profs Nora Silver and Paul Jansen on multisector careers; and an article by Center for Responsible Business Exec. Director Robert Strand and Dara O’Rourke, an associate environmental science professor, on the tensions Patagonia has faced in pursuing sustainability and quality products that may have environmental impacts.

Two Berkeley MBA Alumnae Take Top University Leadership Roles

Beginning with the new year, two Berkeley MBA alumnae and senior Haas leaders are moving into new leadership posts.

Haas Chief Strategy & Operating Officer Jo Mackness, MBA 04, will take the top human resources role on the UC Berkeley campus, serving as Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources. Taking her place on an interim basis at Haas is Courtney Chandler, MBA 96 and Assistant Dean for the Evening & Weekend MBA Program.

Mackness and Chandler took a few moments to answer some questions on their new roles.

Jo Mackness, MBA 04

Why were you interested in taking on the role of Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources?

I’m a product of the UC system (my undergrad degree is from UCLA, my MBA is from Berkeley-Haas), and I’m both passionate about and dedicated to supporting the institution that has given me and so many others a rich springboard for professional and personal growth. I’ve always been committed to using my career to create positive social change, and because UC Berkeley is such a powerful social mobility engine, moving into a role that more directly supports the entire university was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

What will be your top priorities in your new role?

My first priority will be to lean on the Haas Defining Principles and do a great deal of listening (Students Always) and gathering of data (Confidence Without Attitude). While I have a bias toward action, and I plan to move forward on time-sensitive/urgent issues, I’ll be setting strategic priorities only after I get a better sense for the unique assets, areas of opportunity, and any gaps that may exist within the HR organization—and in the places where HR touches other parts of the university.

You’re a full-time Berkeley MBA alumna. How did Haas prepare you for this leadership role? What are some of the skills you gained from the program that you bring to the job?

The most important thing I learned at Haas is that culture matters, and working with people who share your values is the most important thing to look for in a company or organization. Even way back when I was admitted to Berkeley-Haas, before our Defining Principles were codified, Pete Johnson and his admissions team were looking for people who exhibited confidence, without any attitude, and they welcomed my unique voice (I wrote about my electric-blue wig—a “most prized possession”—in one of my essays!). I, and many of my classmates, sought and landed a Beyond-Yourself, social-impact role upon graduation. Haas, back then and today, reinforces that while we are all different, it’s that diversity of thought, cultural context, and experience that brings a richness to our community. It’s our shared values that create a safe place for people to show up as themselves—as Berkeley Leaders—to thrive as individuals, collaborate within and across teams, and contribute their very best to our organization. This is what I learned at Haas, and it underpins how I approach leadership and the type of organizational climate I try to create.

Courtney Chandler, MBA 96

Why were you interested in taking the Interim Chief Strategy & Operating Officer/Senior Assistant Dean role?

I am deeply connected to this school and believe wholeheartedly in what we do here. So, when (Dean Rich Lyons) presented the opportunity to me, I jumped at the chance to touch areas of the school in new and different ways. I am particularly interested in being part of the decision-making process school-wide, as well as problem-solving and generating big ideas for areas that need it. Finally, I am looking forward to working closely with our campus partners as UC Berkeley goes through this transitional period.

What will be your top priorities?

I am sure my priorities will change as I get further into my role, but a top priority now is to continue the momentum around our Strategic Business Plan. Jo has done amazing work on this and my goal is to continue to execute on our strategies. We still have many great things to accomplish as a school and I am excited to help make them happen.

Beyond that, I plan to be a student first and learn as much as possible. One thing that energizes me is bringing people together, whether in groups or across organizations. Having worked at all levels of the school in staff roles and having worked closely with faculty while running the EWMBA program, and having experienced Haas as student and an alum, I hope to bring a unique perspective to the dean’s office.

What are some of the skills you gained from the Berkeley MBA program that you bring to the job?

As an MBA student at Haas, I was incredibly fortunate to have amazing professors (Rich Lyons, Andy Rose, Jenny Chatman, Ben Hermalin, Richard Stanton, and David Vogel, to name a few), and extraordinary classmates (go Class of 1996!). So, my time as a student had a profound impact on me. I think most importantly it provided me the opportunity to gain new perspectives. My classmates and I were some of the first students to inhabit what we now know as our Berkeley-Haas campus, and having this wonderful space contributed to our strong community and culture. I know our new building will do something similar for our students today. While our Defining Principles hadn’t yet been articulated when I was a student, they were still very much a part of my experience and would absolutely describe the culture we had back then. This culture prepared me to take on new challenges confidently and tackle difficult situations by learning and listening.  Additionally, it helped me hone my creativity and fascination with new ideas while being able to create connections between seemingly disparate circumstances. My hope is to bring all of what I learned as a student and since graduating to my new role as Chief Strategy & Operating Officer.

MBA Students Question the Status Quo on Diversity & Inclusion

This is the first in a series of articles covering diversity and inclusion at Berkeley-Haas. Part 1 looks at the growing number of student-led inclusion initiatives in the full-time MBA program.

Race Inclusion Initiative leaders from the full-time MBA classes of 2016 and 2017

When a group of full-time Berkeley MBA students surveyed classmates on attitudes about race and diversity, they found a marked incongruity: almost 90 percent said understanding racial dynamics is critical to being an effective leader, but less than half said they are comfortable talking about race.

Not so for a group of students who decided to address issues around race and ethnicity in their program head on, launching the research-based Race Inclusion Initiative last spring. They enlisted faculty mentors, scoured admissions and demographic data, and conducted interviews, surveys, and focus groups to pinpoint areas in need of change.

“The Race Inclusion Initiative seeks to understand and improve the Haas experience for full-time MBA students as it relates to underrepresented minorities—African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans,” said Lauren Dugard, MBA/MPH 17, vice president of diversity for the MBA Association and one of the initiative leaders.

Inspired in part by the successful Gender Equity Initiative, which has helped boost the number of women in the program and continues under a third generation of leaders, the RII is among an increasing number of efforts by students to drive a more inclusive culture at Haas.

Haas Gender Equity Initiative leaders after a meeting with Dean Rich Lyons in May

They reflect a generation of students who say they chose the school for its culture, and are determined to make sure it lives up to expectations—and leave it even stronger than when they came in.

“People came in with a heightened awareness of how they want our culture to be, and we all want it to be really inclusive and balanced,” said Neha Kumar, MBA 17 and vice president of social for the MBA Association—which set its three guiding principles for the year as transparency, collaboration, and an inclusive culture. “Everyone’s eyes are very open to these conversations.”

Over the past several years, students have not shied away from confronting issues that can be uncomfortable to talk about—and which they will likely face as managers. Among the activities they’ve started are Hot Topics, a discussion series focused on hot-button issues such as accessibility to firearms; Story Salons, where students can share their personal stories; a Diversity Digest newsletter; a Haas Perspectives Blog, and a Humans of Haas podcast (a recent episode covers the politics of hair).

Affinity groups like Q@Haas, a club for LGBTQ students and allies, host talks such as “Sex, Gender, and the Tax on Being Different”; the Women in Leadership Club has an active group of “manbassadors,” who are leading initiatives to get men to stop seeing gender equity as a “women’s issue” and get comfortable talking about gender dynamics.

2nd-year students at a full-time MBA diversity session during orientation week

While some of the efforts are based around specific groups, students are also talking about “intersectionality”—the concept that race, class, gender, and other aspects of identity are interconnected and can’t be looked at in isolation. At a diversity session during MBA orientation in August, 2nd-year students spoke about parts of their identities that are both visible and unseen: one spoke about growing up gay in Texas with Vietnamese immigrant parents; a Chilean student spoke his split identity as both Jewish and Catholic, and of the assumptions people make about him since an accident in his 20s left him confined to a wheelchair.

“There is plenty of fertile soil, we just need to plant more in it,” said Dugard (left), who led the session. “Learning how to have open conversations about the diversity we bring to Haas each day is important to foster empathy, build deep relationships with individuals from different backgrounds and perspectives, and prepare us to lead diverse teams.”

Even so, it’s clear from the research done by the Race Inclusion Initiative that there are still topics that are hard to talk about for many—and race is at the top of the list. In one of the surveys the group conducted, students said they feel more comfortable talking about gender or sexual identity issues than race. Many international students said they feel like they didn’t have the right tools to approach the debate.

“Eager to learn, yet uncomfortable to discuss—bridging the gap between those perspectives around diversity is critical to our success as a top public institution in one of the most diverse states in the country,” said Monica Stevens, MBA 96, a senior vice president at Wells Fargo Bank who chairs the Haas Alumni Diversity Council.

And while non-minority students say Haas does a better job of talking about race than the business world at large, underrepresented minorities feel there are still too few discussions about racial diversity at the school. Perhaps not for long, as students continue to lead the charge on conversations about diversity and inclusion. This week, for example, the Black Business Students Association—which recently organized a Black Lives Matter demonstration that attracted more than 200 students, staff and faculty—is hosting a lunchtime session called “Ask Me Anything: An Open Discussion with the BBSA.”







Questioning the Status Quo for People with Special Needs

If there ever was a dynamic duo, recent Haas grad Stanford Stickney and his younger brother, Daniel, are it. Together, they collaborated with the team that won the Big Ideas@Berkeley prize this past May in the Information Technology for Society category.

Led by UC Berkeley undergraduate students Tomás Vega and Pierre Karashchuk, with Stephen Frey, Kelly Peng, and John Naulty, the team won first place for creating a Brain Computer Interface (BCAPI).  Stanford, BS 15, lent his business development skills as a team member, and Daniel, 21, who has cerebral palsy and is visually impaired, tested the technology and provided feedback.

(l-r: Stanford and Daniel Stickney, with Tomas Vega, Pierre Karashchuk, and Stephen Fry. Photo: Roman Decca)

“Growing up, both Daniel and I had a belief that you can do anything,” says Stanford, a Los Gatos native, one of four children raised by a single dad. “Technology is one platform that’s enabling us to do that together. My mission in life is to help my brother and I am with him every step of the way.”

For their project, the Big Ideas team – whose members have backgrounds in software engineering, cognitive neuroscience, signal processing, and machine learning – equipped a helmet with electrodes that combine electroencephalography and computer algorithms. The device, which connects to a laptop in Daniel’s backpack, enables his thoughts to interact with a computer to move his wheelchair to the left or right.

A Perfect Match

Stanford met Vega, now a senior studying computer and cognitive science, last semester in a New Media graduate level class taught by electrical engineering and computer science Professor Eric Paulos. The class focused on rapid prototyping at the CITRIS Invention Lab at UC Berkeley.

The two became friends and Stanford shared background on the work he and his brother were doing to help Silicon Valley companies improve technology for people with disabilities. Vega, who was on the team that won Cal Hacks last year for building a MindDrone, a flying drone maneuvered by neurological signals, described his BCAPI project to Stanford and his interest in human-computer interfaces. Suddenly, everything clicked. “It was very exciting,” Stanford says. “I said ‘This is a perfect match’ and we were able to put the two together.”

They set up a meeting at Karashcuk’s apartment, where Daniel tried on the helmet for the first time (photo below). Trouble was, the program was designed for someone in a wheelchair who could see a computer screen. Stanford instead touched Daniel’s right or left arm to trigger him to think “left” or “right.”

(Photo: Daniel tries on the helmet, which is connected to the team’s laptop.)

Observing Daniel, the team decided to change the design of its prototype. In its next upgrade, they will add arm vibrations to alert a visually impaired person to think “left” or “right.”

The $13,000 Big Ideas grant the team won will be used to improve the BCAPI technology and to conduct a long-term study of its effectiveness.

Daniel currently measures 40 percent accuracy with the brain-computer interface in controlling the functions of his chair.  As he continues his work with the device, the neuroplasticity — or the pathways to his brain — is expected to strengthen. “Learning to use the device is like learning a new language, and as Daniel gets more proficient, it gets easier,” Stanford says.

The team’s vision is to provide an open-source platform that enables the creation of a community of technology software and product developers who contribute to the independence of millions of disabled technology users.

“It’s been so exciting to be one of Daniel’s advocates in this journey,” Stanford said. “I hope that we’ll be questioning the status quo for a long time to come.”

By Kate Madden Yee and Kim Girard

Q&A: Five Years of the Haas Defining Principles

When Dean Rich Lyons partnered with faculty, students, alumni, and staff to articulate Berkeley-Haas culture, the aim was to capture the school’s essence.

What emerged were our four Defining Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself.

Launched in February 2010, the Defining Principles culture initiative has touched all aspects of Haas: admissions, curriculum, staff hiring and reviews, alumni relations, and day-to-day operations. We asked our chief culture evangelist, Dean Rich Lyons, to reflect on some the shifts that have taken place over these five years, and what lies ahead.

Q: Can you share an example of how the environment at Haas feels different than it did five years ago?

A: One of the things that we’ve had to get used to is what I will call the discomfort in the Defining Principles. Let’s take Question the Status Quo. It’s easy to say we all appreciate it and embrace it, but it’s hard to do. It’s especially hard when somebody questions a status quo that you put in place. Many of us—including me—have asked: “Are we fully ready for this?”

Some people have said that if you go back five or 10 years, we were so consensus-oriented that it was hard to voice a contrarian view. That can lead to groupthink, and to stasis. If we want to be really dynamic, constructive disagreement is part of it. In senior leadership team meetings, I’ve seen more of a willingness to put somebody’s idea out there and say, “Wait a minute. I have a different view.”

This also maps into our interactions with the broader campus. Intellectually, we are very good at questioning the status quo at Berkeley. But operationally, the university can be a pretty bureaucratic place. I think people at Haas are really taking up the challenge and asking the kinds of questions that we talk to our students all the time. Questions like, “Isn’t there a better way to do it?” The campus sees it too. They see us changing the rules by which we’re governed.

Q: Haas now has five years worth of graduates who grew up with the Defining Principles. How are you seeing this reflect back on the school?

A:  I see it all the time. Here’s an example: we hand out our “culture cards” that list the Defining Principles. When I go to see a donor or alum I always ask, “Do you know about the culture work we’ve been doing?”

Many, many of them say, “I’ve got the culture card on my desk.” Or they have it in their wallet or purse. It’s not just that they’re aware of it—they are using it, and they have an appetite to be guided by it. They’re proud of it.

Another example: I was at lunch recently with some venture capitalists who don’t know the school very well, and I handed a culture card to them. They said, “This describes the kind of people we like to fund.”

Questioning the status quo is the first principle on the list, and most entrepreneurs are very good at that. But these VCs also know that if you can’t build a team as an entrepreneur, you won’t be successful. Confidence Without Attitude—they said that’s exactly what they’d like to see more need of. Students Always and Beyond Yourself fit in as well.

Q:  You’ve said the DPs codified a culture that was already here, and also that they are aspirational. Thinking ahead, what’s next?

A: We’ve got a very strong culture, it serves us, we’re proud of it. The question is to what end? If our value proposition is producing a distinctive type of leader, how is our culture driving that outcome?

If the culture is driving what we’re doing at the highest level to produce a distinctive type of leader, it’s a different value proposition. We’re only part of the way there to really linking culture to the leadership profile or leadership archetype that we’re standing by as a school. That’s part of the aspiration for us.

Q:  What’s your top advice for other institutions working on cultural change?

A: There are three bits of advice I give to everybody.

Number one: Culture is a long-cycle project. We are five years in and we are maybe 60 percent of the way to achieving the full benefits.

Number two: You need urgency. Change management efforts founder because there isn’t a sense of urgency or a clear case for why it’s important. You need to establish the case, and maintain that urgency over a long period.

Number three: Who owns it? If somebody senior—preferably the most senior person—isn’t 100 percent committed, you probably won’t get there.

Alumni Weekend in London to Offer Innovative Perspectives on Leadership

Members of the Haas community will gather in London May 31 to June 2 for events with alumni, business and thought leaders, and Haas faculty who will provide new insights into successful leadership. The highlight of the weekend is a daylong symposium: “Reframe. Redefine. Rethink: Perspectives on Leadership & the Business World” on June 1 at Club Quarters, St. Paul’s.

To learn more about the London events and register, visit

Connson Chou Locke, PhD 08, a lecturer in management at the London School of Economics and Political Science and developer of the school’s organizational behavior core course, will discuss her research using social and cognitive psychology to analyze the complex power dynamic between managers and employees. She examines how communication styles, such as nonverbal behavior, affect perception, judgment, and conduct in workplace situations.

Paul Tiffany, PhD 83, a senior lecturer who’s taught strategic management at Haas since 1993, will present “Strategic Management in Transition: A New Paradigm?” He’ll discuss limitations of current models and offer a new approach to how leaders can best achieve competitive advantage. His work is based on the concept of Dynamic Capabilities pioneered by Haas Professor David Teece 15 years ago. The two are collaborating on a new book aimed at expanding the influence of Dynamic Capabilities.

Lecturer Rajiv Ball, who teaches in the Berkeley MBA for Executives and Executive Education programs, will lead an interactive session in which participants practice using empathy to build stronger professional and personal relationships.

Dean Rich Lyons, BS 82, will share how the Haas School’s mission and four Defining Principles differentiate Berkeley-Haas leaders and moderate a conversation with alumni from the fields of finance, consulting, and entertainment who are redefining how we do business.

Three gatherings will be highlights of the London weekend: a welcome reception on Friday, May 31, at Frog Capital near King’s Cross station; a networking dinner overlooking the Thames and the Tower of London on Saturday evening; and an intimate Sunday breakfast June 2 with Dean Rich Lyons at Club Quarters, St. Paul’s.

Silicon Valley Veteran Heidi Roizen to Headline Women in Leadership Conference, April 6

Silicon Valley venture capitalist Heidi Roizen, the subject of a popular case study on networking, will give the final keynote address at the 17th annual Women in Leadership Conference April 6 at the Haas School of Business.

With a focus on pathbending leadership and the four Berkeley-Haas Defining Principles, this year’s conference will explore the type of leaders that help drive business towards a more sustainable, healthy, and just future.

In addition to Roizen, the event will feature a keynote with Haas alumna Joy Chen (pictured left), BS 87, CEO of Yes To, a global natural skin care company. Earlier this year, Chen was among the 15 winners of the San Francisco Business Times 2012 Most-admired CEOs Award. A third keynote will feature a conversation between Sue Gardner, executive director of Wikimedia Foundation, and Haas Professor Jenny Chatman.

Roizen, a venture partner with Draper Fisher Jurvetson, will participate in a conversation with Haas Adjust Assistant Professor Kellie McElhaney, faculty director of the Center for Responsible Business. Roizen has spent her career immersed in the Silicon Valley ecosystem—as an entrepreneur, corporate executive, educator, and board member of private and public companies and nonprofits. She founded an early personal computer software company in 1983, which she led as CEO until its acquisition in 1994. In 1996, she joined Apple as vice president of worldwide developer relations. She left Apple three years later to become a venture capitalist, first at Mobius and then at Draper.

Roizen teaches an entrepreneurship course to engineering students at Stanford and serves on the board of several companies, including TiVo. She is so well connected that she became the subject of a Harvard Business Case study on the role of networking in building a successful career, although she has said she hates the term “networking.”

In addition to Roizen’s keynote, the conference will incorporate a new format in the afternoon, with interactive workshops based around the four Haas principles: Question the Status Quo; Confidence Without Attitude; Students Always; and Beyond Yourself. The Students Always workshop, for example, will feature an interactive, role-playing exercise to teach about the “The 10 People You Need on Your Personal Advisory Board” in order to be a Student Always in your career and life.

Similar to previous years, the conference will feature three keynotes (two to be announced) industry panels in the morning on everything from financial services to retail to technology.

The event, the longest-running student-organized conference at Haas, is expected to attract 500 attendees.

Early-bird tickets are available until March 6. For more information, visit To register, visit

Undergrads Launch Competition to Build Confidence Without Attitude

More than 100 undergraduates have signed up to compete in a new cohort finance case competition launched by the Haas Business School Association as part of its year-long effort to foster the school’s four Defining Principles and culture.

The case competition, which attracted 27 teams of four members each, requires each team to include at least two students without any previous case competition experience. It’s designed to give more students Confidence Without Attitude, one of the school’s defining principles.

“With so many students participating, this is an amazing learning experience,” says HBSA President Tyler Wishnoff, BS 13. “We get to help develop our students professionally and give them the self confidence to go after more cases.”

Each month, HBSA is planning to host an activity or event related to one of the school’s four Defining Principles. In addition to the case competition in September designed to build Confidence Without Attitude, the events this fall will include :

  • October, Question the Status Quo: Working with the university’s Operational Excellence team to look at change within institutions.
  • November, Students Always: A fun trivia night with questions about business and Haas.
  • December, Beyond Yourself: A food drive.

The case competition will include an information session on the case and mixer with alumni Sept. 14, when students will be able to ask alumni for guidance and coaching. Cases will be due Sept. 16. The best team from each of the six undergraduate cohorts will be chosen to compete in a final round Sept. 19.

“The structure is designed for students without case competition experience to learn from students who have experience, which also gives those with experience the opportunity to apply leadership skills,” says Wishnoff. “And the competition will provide students with a chance to build relationships with alumni.”

Alumni involved in the competition include Tara Kramlich, BS 03, of Imprint Investments; Sam Snyder, MBA 11, who just left Goldman Sachs to join alumnus and lecturer Steve Etter, BS 83, MBA 89, at Greyrock Capital; and Aaron Schwartz, MBA 10, CEO of Modify Watches.

Etter, who teaches Corporate Finance to undergrads, helped develop the case and is organizing the grand prize: a dinner with Dean Rich Lyons and three alumni. The HBSA also will award smaller prizes along with $500 to be split amongst the top two teams.


Defining the New Business Leader from Corporate to Community

Watch Nora Silver talk about the research.

Business schools are churning out a new breed of MBA graduates who want to use their leadership skills toward effecting social good. The University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business is the first business school studying “multi-sector leadership,” according to Nora Silver, adjunct professor and director of the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership at Berkeley-Haas.

“Multi-sector leadership is the degree to which leaders work beyond their own sectors. Corporate leaders are active in non-profit and public life. Public officials serve on nonprofit boards. It’s that kind of activity that we believe is the future of leadership,” says Silver.

The research will eventually help the Haas School develop new courses focused on teaching students to successfully operate and contribute in the corporate, public and nonprofit/philanthropic environments simultaneously. The study, says Silver, answers a pressing need for business schools to prepare students for the future demands of cross-sector leadership.

The working paper, Multi-Sector Leadership, is co-authored by Silver and Haas faculty member Paul Jansen, director emeritus of McKinsey & Company. Student contributors to the research include Christina Shibue, MBA 10, Chris Grape, MBA 11, Levi Goertz, MBA 11, and Kate Zimmerman, MBA 11.

The core of the research focuses on the extent to which current leaders work across these sectors and how they do so. The sample includes 1500 leaders in Fortune 200 companies, 300 public sector leaders (such as cabinet members, senators, and mayors), and 200 nonprofit leaders from the country’s largest non-profit and philanthropic organizations.

Questions include :

o Is working across sectors beneficial for their careers and their organizations?

o What skills and knowledge do they need to be effective in one sector versus another?

o What skills and knowledge do we need to develop in our business students so they can be effective multi-sector leaders in the future?

“Corporate executives deal with strategy, partnerships and relationships, talent development, functional areas such as marketing and finance – all of those are translatable to creating affordable housing, economic development, or the kind of issues the public and non-profit sectors face,” says Silver. ”Research seems to indicate as people move up to the CEO level they have more affiliations within their sector and across sectors. In fact, some of the leaders have never been asked about the connection before and what it means for their professional lives and institutions they lead.”

The researchers hope leaders will not only become more effective across sectors but organizations in all sectors will increase their effectiveness by gaining multi sector leaders who can give the organizations a broader view of how its strategy fits into the market and creates impact. Silver says the key is engagement and developing partnerships such as those created by Haas alum and Bank of America President of Home Loans Barbara Desoer, who sits on several nonprofit boards in her community.

Silver says Berkeley-Haas’ defining principles – Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself – inspired the research.

“It makes sense to me that Haas would be the first to look at this because our students really push us and we’re interested in creating leaders who would develop these kinds of values, knowledge and skills as multi-sector leaders.”

Business schools are churning out a new breed of MBA graduates who want to use their leadership skills toward effecting social good. The University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business is the first business school studying “multi-sector leadership,” according to Nora Silver, adjunct professor and director of the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership at Berkeley-Haas.