McDonough Alumni Strengthen Global Management

January 12, 2009

In the latest issue of McDonough Business, the business school's alumni magazine, seven graduates from around the world tell about the contributions they are making to the field of management. Their work enriches both the corporate world and the worlds of politics, conservation, health and education.

Risha Hess, a strong believer in the power of social marketing, has taken her passion to India as the director of research and communication for Population Services International. Using a model she learned about in her MBA program at Georgetown, she has instituted a branding campaign for HIV clinics and doctors. More people than ever have been treated.

Carlos Zalles is dedicated to helping middle market companies in Latin America find more and better funding sources. Asset-based lending is his specialty, and he's excited about the possibilities of mining and natural resource plays. "We are bringing [smaller companies] something they've lacked," he says, "nontraditional investment banking resources."

Brett Jenks left the 17-hour days of the television business in 1991 to take on something really challenging: changing human behavior toward the environment. As CEO of Rare, a Virginia-based conservation organization, Jenks is proving that strategic marketing techniques can make the conservation movement more effective.

Eriko Takahata didn't want to be CEO of Political Marketing Laboratory in Tokyo. All she wanted was to analyze data, but she was the only one in the company with marketing and management training. Having graduated with a Georgetown MBA last year, she is eager to help the company bring a scientific marketing approach to Japanese politics.

Dan Karches wants to make the beauty dreams of women around the world come true. A brand manager for Max Factor and Cover Girl cosmetics at Procter & Gamble, he oversees worldwide marketing teams. "I realize that women are transformed every morning through cosmetics," he says, "and they look to us to help transform them. This is a real energy booster for me."

Aparna Verma runs a growing group of private K-12 schools in the Middle East, and she's determined to help students learn how to navigate the global world of higher education. Her Georgetown business degree has enabled her to provide some financial security for the venture, but her interest is broader than finance. "We are trying to do something different, give back to children," she says. "I pride myself on being different."

Michael Graziano watched the recent financial storm wash over his desk, but it hasn't changed his focus. A Managing Director of Goldman Sachs and co-head of its real estate department, he remains intent on helping clients weather the storm and position themselves for new international growth at the right time. "Markets are adjusting," he says, "but liquidity will return to the system."

Joseph Baratta, a senior managing director with The Blackstone Group, is dedicating to finding "unloved" businesses and providing the capital they need "to make strategic acquisitions and grow." He is proud to say he has helped both his clients and Blackstone to strengthen their reputations. "Some of our companies have turned into industry leaders," he says. And he has helped Blackstone itself grow to an industry leader in private equity.

See McDonough Business, p. 4 for the full series of profiles.

About the Robert Emmett McDonough School of Business
Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business is a premier business school
located in the nation's capital. Founded in 1957 to educate undergraduate business
students through the integration of liberal arts and professional education, the
McDonough School today welcomes approximately 1,300 undergraduates, 620 MBA
students, and more than 500 participants in its executive education programs annually.
For more information about the McDonough School, visit

About Georgetown University
Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in America, founded
in 1789 by Archbishop John Carroll. Georgetown today is a major student-centered,
international, research university offering respected undergraduate, graduate and
professional programs on its three campuses. For more information about Georgetown
University, visit