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Dean of Georgetown McDonagh: 4 ambitious goals for the next 5 years

Paul Almeida has been at Georgetown’s McDonough Business School since 1995.Pictures of Georgetown

Paul Almeida wasn’t sure if he wanted a second term as dean of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

In fact, he says he wasn’t even sure he wanted the first one.

But as Georgetown grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, something has changed. Almeida, who was promoted to dean in 2017 after more than 20 years of teaching strategy and innovation, has begun to think differently about what her school of business can achieve.At the center of political power in Washington DC

He saw a world of possibilities.

Almeida, who will begin his second term as president on August 1, said: and program. It was really helpful for me. I’ve always believed in a fairly flat structure and I think that worked well during Covid where there’s so much going on in so many different places that people are empowered Be responsible and good things will happen.

“Covid has been challenging, especially for undergraduates, but to some extent it hasn’t been a bad experience because we learned a lot too. We learned a lot about how technology works and how it doesn’t work. And I learned a lot about limits and possibilities.”

Business as a force for good: ‘part of our DNA’

Georgetown McDonagh’s Paul Almeida.Pictures of McDonough

Paul Almeida joined Georgetown McDonagh in 1996 after completing his PhD. He is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Professor of Strategy and International Business and at Georgetown University he has taught undergraduate, MBA and executive students for over 20 years. In 2010, he assumed oversight of the McDonagh School of Innovation He Initiative as Associate Dean of Executive Education and Innovation. The initiative prioritized the integration of Georgetown’s Catholic and Jesuit values ​​into the school.

As dean, Almeida has seen McDonough School become a leader in embracing one of the most important movements in graduate business education: sustainability. The school is focusing on environmental sustainability in the context of business, from its Sustainable Business Fellows program for undergraduates to its new Masters and MBA Certificate in Environmental and Sustainability Management welcoming its first students this fall. We offer a long list of courses and degree programs focused on Sustainable Business. Last year, the school launched a Business of Sustainability initiative. This is a coursework focused on sustainability “in the context of business” by leveraging the school’s location to bring together stakeholders from the learning, sorting, leadership, business, policy and academic communities. Umbrella.

“Now everyone talks about purpose and talks about business being a force for good,” says Almeida. “But it is part of our DNA, it is an idea of ​​our values, an idea of ​​a business that serves the common good. I truly believe — not just economic issues, but social issues as well.

“Especially given our position, especially given our relationships, we are making a real impact and making approaches and policies, not just in the United States, but in the Middle East and South America, and perhaps more than any other school in the world. There is an opportunity to change. It makes people think.”

Q&A with Georgetown McDonough Dean Paul Almeida

McDonough School’s leadership is not limited to sustainability, it is an important area. As Dean, Almeida has overseen the launch of several new degree programs. These include a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Global Affairs. This is Georgetown’s first bachelor’s degree to be co-administered with the Department of Foreign Affairs. McDonough also earned a master’s degree in business administration and an online master’s degree in business analytics, creating her STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) path with the MBA program. He manages major undertakings such as AI, analytics and future work initiatives, and has launched many other diversity-related initiatives, as well as the school’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Appointed the first standing committee. He also collaborates with alumni, parents, and other friends in Georgetown on alumni reunions designed to bring real-world experiences and learning opportunities to the classroom through guest speakers, case studies, events, mentorships, and more. Launched a mentoring program, PILLARS.

It’s been a busy five years. What will the next six months look like for Georgetown McDonough under Almeida’s leadership?

Three days before his second round as dean officially began, he shared his vision for the future over lunch in the meeting room of the B School’s Rafik B. Hariri Building in the heart of the Georgetown campus. did. This includes, among many other projects, the possibility of a new degree program and a new international campus. The bottom line is that he didn’t take anything off the table. “Maybe I’m trying to fulfill a dream I had when I joined in ’96, but what the hell? They can’t stop me now!” he says with his characteristic humor.

Below is a transcription of P&Q‘s interview. Edited for length and clarity.

Poets&Quants: Congratulations on your second term.

Paul Almeida: I wasn’t sure if I wanted a second term. I didn’t even know if I wanted the first term! But it’s not. But despite Covid, and I think I’m mostly grateful to our team — I really want to say, I know that’s what people say it’s like — me I think we are a unique school where people try to support each other. Take care of each other and try not to complain too much. This is quite the thing during Covid.

It was a very fulfilling five years. i really mean it. We have a very good vice dean who actually does a lot of the internal work especially related to departments and programs. It was really helpful for me. I’ve always believed in a fairly flat structure and I think that worked well during Covid where there’s so much going on in so many different places that people are empowered To some extent Covid was not a bad experience, although it was challenging, especially for an undergraduate. Because we learned a lot too. We’ve learned a lot about how technology works and doesn’t work, as well as its limitations and possibilities.

P&Q: Do you think it helped accelerate things like hybridizing the program?

absolutely. Come to think of it, eight years ago he started his Master of Science in Finance online, so he was one of the online leaders, at least within the university. I think this was probably his first premium online program. For each credit, we charged as much as, and actually more than, an in-person program, so we promised to deliver a rich learning experience and a rich, interactive experience, and we delivered. here for a week, and in South Africa he takes him for a week.

When I pitched the idea to the then dean, he said, “No, because what we are trying to do is effectively use technology to enhance the learning experience, not replace part of it,” I said. i think we did it. Some of that he then put into his MBA program and so on, but when you think about it, what percentage of professors, or what percentage of courses, actually used technology effectively in a hybrid way? There weren’t many answers, maybe he was 30%. Covid has forced everyone to get at least a basic level. I wouldn’t say it reached that level of sophistication. For that you need to prepare well in advance and know what material will be asynchronous and what will be synchronous. That’s a whole other matter. But everyone was at least able to dig into this remote learning environment.

P&Q: Even the most reluctant faculty.

Even those over 80!