McDonough Will Be Driven by Distinctiveness, Exploration, Innovation

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Distinctiveness, exploration, and innovation will be the forces that drive Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business forward, according to Paul Almeida, the new dean of the school. He shared his vision with faculty and staff at the annual State of the School event, Sept. 6. [View the video.]

Almeida, who has been a professor and administrator at McDonough for more than two decades, discussed how the business of business education is rapidly changing – from increased competition for students to rising tuition costs to advances in technology – and how schools must adapt in a maturing marketplace.

“For us, I believe the future holds great promise,” he said. What will success look like in five years or more? “This is how I see it: Georgetown McDonough will have a reputation for academic excellence manifested by distinctive and global programs, scholarship, and activities that leverage the rich fabric of Washington, D.C., reflect our Georgetown expertise and identity, and are guided by our Jesuit values.”

He added, “This journey to distinctiveness will be characterized by continuous exploration and innovation.”

Exploration and innovation are nothing new to the school’s former deputy dean for executive education and innovation and professor of strategy. During his tenure, Almeida has created new programs like the Global Executive MBA, which offers four of its six modules outside of the United States, and the Master of Science in Finance, a premium blended learning experience.

And, they are not new to the school. During his speech, he cited McDonough’s “great history of innovation” – with the birth of the global residencies and consulting projects that are now emulated by schools around the world.

Keeping to the school’s roots, Almedia explained further how McDonough can recognize its niche and embrace its distinctive strengths – its D.C. location, Georgetown identity, and Jesuit values, which together provide opportunities for uniqueness.

He talked about how Georgetown is a member of Washington’s policy, business, and diplomacy circles, with faculty working on research with organizations like the IMF and NASA, the school’s centers conducting regular policy briefings on Capitol Hill, or students collaborating on studies or completing internships with the World Bank, the U.S. Trade Representative, or the White House.

Almeida also said that McDonough will increasingly collaborate with Georgetown University’s other highly regarded schools to find interdisciplinary solutions to the world’s challenges.

“Many big issues of our time, including globalization, privacy, cybersecurity, and healthcare are discussed, developed, and executed in this city,” he said. “The problems are often those of management and leadership, and many of their solutions lie at the intersection of business, policy, international relations, and law – areas where Georgetown has well-placed schools.”

The dean’s commitment to Georgetown’s Jesuit values is both personal and professional. Having attended Catholic and Jesuit primary and secondary schools, Almeida said that many of the important lessons he has learned in life come from Jesuit teachings. And, he sees the relevance of moral leadership and values to today’s business world.

“Imagine a world led by Georgetown grads who not only understand the big issues facing mankind, but have the tools, expertise, and relationships to solve them, and who are inspired by the Jesuit mission to continuously serve humanity,” he said. “Colleagues, I want us to live in that world.”

What’s next for the school? Almeida and the school’s Innovation Initiative are working to implement recommendations from task forces on organizational excellence, further embedding Jesuit values into the student experience, technology-enhanced learning and programs, and leveraging the school’s D.C. location.

“Of course, we will need to make adjustments,” he said, “but as long as we are guided by what’s best for our students and scholarship, we will build a stronger school, and I believe, have fun doing it.”