The George Washington University

School of Business: GWSB News

May 7, 2010

Alumni, Friends Honor Dean Susan Phillips

GW President Steven Knapp (left) and Chairman of the GWSB Board of Advisors Mitch Blaser (right) present Dean Phillips with a check for the Dean’s Legacy Campaign.

More than 100 alumni, donors, faculty and friends of the GWSB paid tribute April 30 to Dean Susan M. Phillips and the work that she did to advance the School during her 12 years at its helm. Phillips, who is retiring in June, was presented with a check for $609,500 from more than 60 donors to the Dean’s Legacy Campaign, a philanthropic effort designed to honor Dean Phillips’ accomplishments at the School. The campaign supports two areas identified as personally significant and representative of the dean’s legacy at GWSB. The Campaign will support the new Phillips Undergraduate Investment Portfolio and Duquès Hall and Funger Hall art collection, two priorities tied closely to Phillips’ legacy.

The program featured tributes to Dean Phillips from speakers including George Washington University President Steven Knapp; Mitch Blaser, BBA, ’73, chairman of the Dean’s Board of Advisors; GWSB Board of Advisors member Clifford “Cliff” Kendall, MBA ’65; W. Russ Ramsey, GWSB BBA ’81; chairman, GW Board of Trustees; and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairperson Mary Schapiro. Schapiro served on GW’s Global Advisory Board in 2003, and received a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award in 1999. She and Dean Phillips were colleagues at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The fundraising goal for the legacy campaign is $715,000. To makes a gift, please contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 202-994-8157 or give online.

CLAI Conference: Haiti After the Earthquake

Speakers a GWSB-hosted conference on Haiti discuss the path toward long-term growth and development for Haiti.

Haiti could emerge with a better government, more dynamic economy and improved public services—but only if it is rebuilt with a long-term outlook in mind, according to experts assembled at The George Washington University for a half-day discussion of post-earthquake progress in the Caribbean nation.

Panelists at “Rethinking Haiti: Illuminating a Path Toward Sustainable Growth and Development” on April 29 said the international community will need to provide critical resources to the country for as long as 15 years. But they added a caveat: the Haitian government must set priorities and execute the reconstruction.

“We should look at the opportunities that Haiti provides, rather than the things that are going bad.” Whatever we do in regard to Haiti… we always have to keep in mind that the process should be left to Haitians themselves,” said Albert Ramdin, assistant secretary general of the Organization of American States and its chief coordinator on Haitian issues. “For too long, it has been directed from outside.”

Ramdin provided an overview at the gathering sponsored by the Center for Latin American Issues (CLAI) at GWSB. The event drew more than 110 attendees from international development agencies, the U.S. government, nongovernmental organizations and businesses, as well as students and GW faculty. Economist Eugenio Diaz-Bonilla, the Inter-American Development Bank’s executive director for Haiti, moderated the discussion.

Panelists included Cristina Barrios Almazor, the ambassador at large for the reconstruction of Haiti within Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation; Geraldine Dufort, development counselor to the European Community’s Washington, D.C., delegation; Guy Saint-Jacques, the deputy head of mission at the Canadian Embassy in Washington; Philip Michael Gary, a senior Foreign Service officer at the United States Agency for International Development; François Rivasseau, deputy chief of mission at the French Embassy in the United States; Joseph Baptiste, chairman of the National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians; and Samuel Worthington, CEO of InterAction, an alliance of relief and nongovernmental development organizations.

Dean Susan M. Phillips called the discussion an opportunity for public and private sector players “to keep the momentum and dialogue on Haiti alive.” She said the University is working closely with Haiti’s first lady, Elisabeth Delatour Préval, GWSB MBA, ’88, to strengthen the education system in the struggling country. Haitian President Rene Préval told a United Nations meeting in March that, prior to the earthquake, 38 percent of Haitians older than 15 were illiterate, and 25 percent of children were not enrolled in school.

CLAI panelists repeatedly stressed the need to improve Haiti’s school system.

The wide-ranging discussion also detailed the value of trade and greater integration in the Caribbean; the importance of holding elections every five years, despite the estimated $50 million price tag; the serious shortfalls facing Haiti’s health care system; and the need for constitutional reform, transparency and stronger state institutions. Job creation and dual citizenship, not currently permitted in Haiti, were also touched upon.

Panelists said Haiti must retain and build on advances seen prior to the earthquake. Those included its relative political stability since the 2006 presidential elections. Before the earthquake, the government had drafted a development plan, instituted a formal system of accounting, passed a new procurement law and required public employees to declare their incomes.

“We have also seen much more civil engagement in Haiti than every before,” said Ramdin. “We may not see the value of that today, but in the future we will see that it is important to mobilize … all stakeholders in society, in Haiti and outside of Haiti, and to look in the same direction.”

Panelists noted that Haiti’s massive death toll of as many as 300,000 people included many government officials and said rebuilding of the government is critical.

Philip Michael Gary at USAID and France’s François Rivasseau said their countries want to see a Haitian government able to meet the basic needs of its citizens.

Rivasseau ticked off a wish list, including professionally trained police officers and earthquake- and hurricane-proof housing. He called for Haiti to earmark a greater percentage of its GDP for education and health care.

Haiti’s economy depends upon the nearly $2 billion in annual remittances from Haitian immigrants in the United States. Baptiste, whose organization represents Haitians living outside their home country, said the Diaspora community is willing to expand its commitment beyond remittances.

When asked to identify issues key to Haiti’s economic development, the panelists found common ground: sustainable agriculture, regional trade, microfinance and improved infrastructure, including roads, ports and water treatment facilities. Participants also said the country must decentralize so that Port-au-Prince is not the sole beneficiary of economic growth.

The rights of women, children and people with disabilities received extended attention when panelists addressed social development issues. The overburdened health care system was also discussed in detail.

“Medical care needs have tripled. There is health care in Haiti, but it is in crisis,” Baptiste said. “Professionals in health care are leaving the country, hospitals are closing because there is no money to support them. “If you’re not healthy, you will not be able to work,” he said.

Participants cautioned against unrealistic expectations, especially as support shifts from emergency assistance to development aid.

“There are institutional, political, social, and economic [developments] happening at one time,” Ramdin said. “So if you expect things to happen overnight, to happen in a couple of years, they will not. We have to keep ourselves motivated to keep supporting Haiti.”

Alumnus Mitch Blaser Awarded for Service to GW

GWSB Board of Advisors Chair Mitch Blaser, BBA ’73, is one of six people to receive the University’s Alumni Outstanding Service Award. The award is given to graduates who advance the mission of GW through volunteering their time to ensure the university’s impact on its community and future generations of students. Blaser has served on GWSB’s Board of Advisors since 1996.

“His enthusiasm, I’d say, is contagious,” said Susan Phillips, dean of the business school.

Blaser has played an integral role in expanding GWSB’s F. David Fowler Career Center to include both undergraduate and graduate counseling. He developed a mentoring program that has matched more than 100 second-year MBA students with Board of Advisors members. He has recruited local alumni to proofread student resumes and conduct mock interviews. And he has hired at least a dozen students at Swiss Re’s Americas Division, where he worked from 2001 to 2005, and to his current employer, property and casualty insurance specialist Ironshore.

When his oldest daughter, Ali Blaser, BBA ’07, decided to come to GW in 2002, Blaser was asked to launch and chair the Parents Council, which he is still a member of today. His youngest daughter, Heather Blaser, will be graduating next week with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in business.

International Experts Discuss Challenges to Economic Recovery

Dr. José De Gregorio, governor of the Central Bank of Chile, discusses the global financial crisis.

Leading international experts discussed the challenges of moving from economic recovery to sustained growth in changing economic times at an April 26 panel discussion hosted by GWSB, the Institute for International Economic Policy and the Commission on Growth and Development.

Panelists explored what new financial regulations, higher unemployment, and damaged personal and corporate balance sheets mean for future economic growth. Panelists included Sir Dwight Venner, governor of the Central Bank of the Eastern Caribbean; Mahmoud Mohieldin, minister of investment for the Arab Republic of Egypt; and Dr. José De Gregorio, governor of the Central Bank of Chile. The discussion was moderated by Danny Leipziger, GWSB professor of International Business, and vice chair, Commission on Growth and Development.

GWSB Partners with National Society of Hispanic MBAs for Scholarship

GWSB and the National Society of Hispanic MBAs have partnered to offer a full or partial scholarship for a full-time MBA student to attend the GW School of Business. The scholarship will be awarded to a qualified student who is admitted to the full-time MBA program.

“We are please to partner with NSHMBA and provide students an opportunity to gain a world-class education in business and management,” said Judith Stockmon, executive director of admissions at the GW School of Business.

“Our alliance with George Washington University School of Business through the NSHMBA University Partnership Program offers excellent opportunities for Hispanics to pursue a Masters in Business Administration, and in turn, improve their chances of securing competitive positions with top companies and achieving promotion to the leadership ranks,” said Steve Ramos, NSHMBA Interim CEO.

Applicants for the program should complete the online application at and notify admissions staff to be considered for The George Washington University NSHMBA MBA Scholarship. Scholarships are merit based and awarded in various amounts.

Experts Discuss Dynamics of Organizations

Top researchers and doctoral students from around the nation gathered last month to discuss the future of research on organizational work teams during the 2010 DC Area Teams Conference, hosted by the GWSB Department of Management.

Amy Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School; Paul Tesluk, Tyser Professor of Organizational Behavior at the University of Maryland; and John Mathieu, Cizik Chair in Management at the University of Connecticut were among those who made presentations at a conference organized by Tjai Nielsen and Sharon Hill, GWSB assistant professors of management.

“We really wanted to organize a conference that wasn’t simply comprised of research descriptions, but rather, consisted of provocative predictions of what will be essential in future research on this topic,” Hill said. “One of our goals was to facilitate in-depth discussions with some of the leading scholars in our field and I think we were successful in achieving that goal,” said Nielsen.

The first conference was organized by Paul Tesluk and held at the University of Maryland last year. Sharon and Tjai hope that GWSB’s role in hosting this year’s conference helps maintain this new tradition.

Getting to Know: Rebecca Wanek

Name: Rebecca B. Wanek

Job title: Director of Development, GW School of Business

Job duties: Working with donors and alumni to raise major gifts for the School. My focus in the School will be with the International Business and Information Systems & Technology Management Departments, and externally I will be working with alumni in the D.C. metro area and in Florida.

Time at GW: 7 weeks

Best part of working at GWSB: Getting to know the faculty, staff and students at the School, and being part of the overall university experience. It is great working with alumni and connecting them back to their experience at GWSB.

What co-workers do not know about me: Having grown up in Green Bay, I am a die-hard Packers fan. We’ve had season tickets in my family for 50 years.

Family: My husband, Mark, and I live between Dupont Circle and U Street. We met as undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and moved to DC about four years ago, after living abroad. Our immediate families still reside in Wisconsin.

Favorite things to do on the weekend: Mark and I enjoy doing things in the city such as going to museums, the movies and concerts, as well as going out with friends. We love how pedestrian friendly the city is, and we frequently walk anywhere we are going, which gives us the chance to experience different neighborhoods.

Favorite vacation spots: We like to try to balance beach holidays with city vacations. We especially like to visit new places abroad, and we are planning a trip to Morocco over Thanksgiving.

Favorite book: The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen


Phone: (202) 994-2492


Housing and the Credit Crunch

The George Washington University School of Business’ Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis and the Center for Real Estate Management at George Mason University will host an academic symposium on the housing downturn and the sharp increase in defaults.

Wednesday, May 26
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Marvin Center Ballroom
21st & H Streets, NW

3rd Floor

For more information, visit

Green Innovation in Business Network: Solutions Lab 2010

GW will host Green Innovation in Business Network: Solutions Lab 2010. The Solutions Lab is presented by the Environmental Defense Fund’s Innovation Exchange and Ashoka, a global organization that identifies and invests in leading social entrepreneurs. The meeting provides an unparalleled opportunity to learn from and with colleagues about how to advance environmentally sound practices in business while saving money and increasing profits.

Thursday, May 27
8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Elliott School City View Room

George Washington University 

1957 E Street, NW
Washington, D.C.

For more information, please visit:


Scheherazade Rehman, professor of international business, will present June 2 at the Brookings Institute’s annual “Center on the United States and Europe” conference on “From the Lisbon Treaty to the Eurozone Crisis: A New Beginning or the Unraveling of Europe?“

William E. Halal, professor emeritus of ISTM, this March made a speaking tour of South East Asia. He keynoted the International Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning Symposium in Singapore, spoke to students and faculty at Tamkang University and the National Chengchi University in Taiwan, and gave several talks to CEOs and government officials in Seoul and Gimcheon, South Korea.

Tjai Nielsen, assistant professor of management, presented a paper entitled “Complimentarily, Congruence, and Team Performance: A Field Study” at the 2010 Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Conference in Atlanta. Patrick McHugh, GWSB associate professor of management, and Daniel G. Bachrach from the University of Alabama co-authored the paper.

Getting Ink

Scheherazade Rehman, professor of international business, spoke with National Public Radio’s On Point on April 29 about the Greek debt crisis and the global response.

Chandru Rajam, visiting associate professor of international business, was quoted in the April 30 Toronto Star, about his company, EduMetry Inc., which provides assignment-grading services.

Dean Susan Phillips was profiled in GW Today, which described her time at the University, her accomplishments and her advice to students. “Globalization has happened. The world is really more connected than we thought,” she told GW Today. “Don’t pigeonhole yourself. There’s not one straightforward path.”

Robert Van Order, professor of finance and Oliver T. Carr Professor of Real Estate, was quoted by SmartMoney on April 27 about the real estate market in various cities. “D.C. didn’t have a strong subprime market or a strong bubble,” Van Order told SmartMoney.

Lisa Delpy Neirotti, associate professor of sport management, was quoted in Baltimore’s Daily Record about the Baltimore Raven’s one-year sponsorship deal with OptionIt, a ticket broker that sells the rights to buy tickets. She was quoted in another Daily Record story about plans for a $30 million tennis and sports complex in Howard County that could generate up to $69 million in spending in its first three years.

Forbes ran a press release on the $5,000 award from the MS&LGroup North America and the Institute for Corporate Responsibility to help students build a deeper understanding of the connection between management strategies and preventing climate change. The award is for a graduate-level student group that presents the best analysis of how management systems can contribute to leadership that positively impacts climate change.


Congratulations to the 2010 Institute for Corporate Responsibility’s research grant award recipients. More than a dozen GWSB faculty members received multi-year and one-year awards. A complete list of winners can be found here.

Class Notes

Roslyn M. Brock, MS ’89 has been selected as the new national leader of the NAACP. Brock is also a vice president of the Bon Secours Health System in Marriottsville, Md. She is the chief spokeswoman for Bon Secours on government relations, advocacy and public policy. Prior to working at Bon Secours, she worked 10 years in health programs at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Mich.

Gregg Melanson, MBA ‘03 has joined Catapult as Director of Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWAC) Programs. In this role, Gregg serves as program officer for Catapult’s GWACs, which account for a significant portion of the company’s revenue. Prior to joining Catapult, Gregg was General Manager of Global Opportunity Engagement for Sprint, and was a core member of the leadership team charged with redesigning the company as part of an in-depth analysis of the corporate budget.

Damon D. Williams, BBA ’99 has been selected as one of the “40 Under Forty” honorees for 2010 by The Network Journal for his outstanding achievement, contribution, leadership and influence in the corporate, non-profit, public or entrepreneurial arenas, along with his service to the African-American community. He currently serves as the Communications Manager for the Executive Leadership Council.

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