Delivering on what we are talking about: Reflecting on the pandemic and ongoing racial inequities – How can MBA programs change and do better in the future


   Session Overview

Delivering on what we are talking about: Reflecting on the pandemic and ongoing racial inequities – How can MBA programs change and do better in the future


Nancy McGaw

Deputy Director of the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program
Nancy McGaw is Deputy Director of the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program whose mission is to align business decisions with the long-term health of society. Ms. McGaw is an expert in values-based leadership development, social innovation in business and the emerging phenomenon of corporate social intrapreneurship. In 2009 she founded the Aspen First Movers Fellowship Program which has become the leading global network and professional development program for corporate social intrapreneurs - innovative business professionals and change agents who are creating new products, services, business models and management practices that deliver business value and lasting, positive social and environmental impacts. She also leads the Aspen Leaders Forum, an invitation-only, cross-industry network of senior sustainability and corporate responsibility strategists working at the cutting-edge of practice. For over a decade Nancy managed Beyond Grey Pinstripes, a database and ranking of global MBA programs that assessed how well business schools prepare graduates for social and environmental stewardship. Her work continues to be informed by the work of innovative scholars who are reimagining business education.  Ms. McGaw joined the Aspen Institute in 2000 from a career in corporate banking. She is based in New York.

Maryam Alavi

Dean and Stephen P. Zelnak, Jr. Chair; Professor of IT Management, Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology
As an expert in digital innovations and strategic IT applications, Dr. Alavi has authored numerous published papers and served on the editorial boards of several prestigious business and technology journals. She is a recognized educator and advisor with extensive experience in leadership development and organizational capability building for a digital age. Dr. Alavi is a sought-after speaker at national and international forums and conferences and has taught in executive programs at some of the world’s most prestigious business schools. She has advised and taught executives on topics of IT and digital strategies and transformations in organizations including Bank of America, The Coca-Cola Company, KIA Motors, Lockheed Martin, Marriott, Sodexo, Southern Company, and the World Bank. In recognition of her professional achievements, Dr. Alavi received the prestigious Association of Information Systems Fellows Award; an award given by peers in recognition of the recipient as a role model and inspiration to colleagues and students within the discipline. She was also awarded the distinguished Marvin Bower Faculty Fellowship at Harvard Business School and has received a Citation of Excellence Award from Emerald Publishing for her highly-cited paper based on novelty, interdisciplinary interest, and relevancy in today’s world. Dr. Alavi was selected as the Woman of the Year for mid-size organizations by the Women in Technology of Georgia. This award celebrates women in their visionary efforts to transform the world of business and technology, and recognizes Dr. Alavi’s accomplishments as mentor, role model, and facilitator of women and men pursuing careers in STEM fields. She has been the recipient of the prestigious Georgia Tech Diversity Champion Faculty Award in recognition of her many contributions toward creating a diverse and inclusive community at Scheller College and Georgia Tech. Dr. Alavi served on the advisory board of the Center for Knowledge-based Enterprise at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, and was twice appointed by the Governor of the State of Georgia to the Georgia Technology Authority Board. She is a member of the Atlanta Rotary, and serves on the Board of Trustees of Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta and the International Advisory Board of the Politecnico di Milano School of Management in Italy. Dr. Alavi holds a B.A. in mathematics and computer science from State University of New York at Buffalo, and both an M.S. in computer and information sciences and a Ph.D. in management information systems from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

James M. Danko

President, Butler University
James Danko became Butler’s 21st president in 2011. Through Butler Beyond, the University’s new strategic plan and comprehensive fundraising campaign, President Danko and Butler community members are strengthening the University’s traditional, liberal-arts based approach to undergraduate education, adding options to meet the needs of learners at every career and life stage, and striving to ensure that all deserving students may attend Butler—regardless of their financial circumstances. Throughout his Butler tenure, President Danko has fostered a culture of innovation and collaboration, advanced community-wide inclusivity, increased the level of financial aid provided to Butler students and their families, and improved the learning, residential, athletic, and performance spaces on campus. He also successfully advocated for Butler’s membership in the BIG EAST Athletic Conference, positioning the University in the company of outstanding peers both in the classroom and in athletic competition. In the 2020 U.S. News & World Report rankings, Butler achieved the #1 spot among Midwest Regional Universities for the second consecutive year and was named the Most Innovative School among Midwest Regional Universities for the fifth consecutive year. Prior to Butler, President Danko served as dean of the Villanova School of Business and as associate dean at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, where he oversaw Tuck Diversity Business Programs, which are widely regarded among the best in the nation. He also served in leadership roles and taught entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Babson College, and the University of Michigan. An innovator at heart and in experience, President Danko was an entrepreneur in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, for nearly two decades before beginning his academic career. He earned his MBA from the University of Michigan and is an alumnus of St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland and John Carroll University, where he earned a degree in Religious Studies. President Danko is the father of two grown daughters, both of whom reside in the Indianapolis area. He and his wife Bethanie live on campus and frequently open their home to campus and community guests.

Peter Rodriquez

Dean and Professor of Strategic Management, Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice University
Peter Rodriguez is dean of the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University. He is also an economist and professor of strategic management and teaches classes on global macroeconomics and economic growth and development. He comes to Rice from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business where he was a professor, senior associate dean for MBA Programs and chief diversity officer. Academics are an intellectually curious breed, but Peter’s goes well beyond his research interests of corruption, globalization, economic development, and social institutions. To start with, he has a self-described tinkerer’s mindset and would’ve been an engineer if he hadn’t been an economist. His fascination with social media is evident in his twitter, Instagram and snapchat accounts. He loves photography, both technically and artistically, and lately, drone photography. He is also a native Texan, hailing from Kilgore. With his family, Peter has enjoyed taking Houston by storm – sports teams, food and culture. A recipient of numerous teaching awards from Princeton, Texas A&M and the University of Virginia, Peter taught short courses on global economics to the Canadian Heads of Ministries and as part of executive education teaching teams to the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy and to multinationals such as Rolls Royce, Harris Corporation, Lockton and AES. He has developed video and audio courses on globalization and growth for The Great Courses and served on the faculty of Semester at Sea. Peter holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University and a B.S. in economics from Texas A&M University. He worked for several years as an associate in the Global Energy Group at JP Morgan Chase, here in Houston and in New York. Peter and his wife Kathleen have three children, Gabriella, Sam and Michael. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter.