The A(ACSB) List

AACSB recognizes the achievements of its 2015 Influential Leaders, who have used their business educations to inspire positive social change.

BUSINESS SCHOOLS: Which of your graduates have made the most positive and lasting impact on business and society? In anticipation of its centennial anniversary in 2016, AACSB invited schools to answer that question for its “Influential Leaders from AACSB Business Schools” challenge. Schools from around the world submitted their nominees, from which AACSB chose its 2015 list of 100 Influential Leaders.

This unranked list honors individuals ranging from CEOs and world leaders to young entrepreneurs and nonprofit pioneers. Their common bond? All have “made significant business impact or engendered dramatic community or social change.” Moreover, the list celebrates the role that accredited business schools have played in their development.

Maria Pacheco, nominated by INCAE Business School, views the role of business as transformational: “What we are doing is connecting worlds,” she says. “When you connect communities with the business sector ... you create a space where the transformation of people is possible.” In the following pages, we share stories of ten Influential Leaders, including Pacheco, who’ve done great things after—and with—their business educations. We also list the other 90 and their nominating schools. Read all 100 bios at


Sabeen Ali
CEO, Angel Hack
San Francisco, California
M.S. in Organizational Development ’09
The University of San Francisco School of Management

In a 2013 TEDxOrangeCoast talk, Ali says that she was inspired to be an entrepreneur by her mother, who had to support her three children after being suddenly widowed at 21. In two decades, her mother went from working at a fast food restaurant to running and selling two small businesses. As a child, Ali says, “I was dazzled by the fact that she was able to create something out of seemingly nothing. … I wanted to do the same thing for myself.”

That entrepreneurial spirit inspired Ali to attend business school—her business education culminated in her founding of AngelHack in 2011. Each year, her company organizes more than 100 global “hackathons” where programmers come together to learn new tools and test startup ideas. They also compete for a spot at the AngelHack Accelerator, where winning developers hone their ideas over 12 weeks before heading to Silicon Valley to raise funding.

Ali also founded Code for a Cause, a nonprofit that teaches women and teen girls to code. She hopes to expand its model worldwide to girls in disadvantaged communities. “The world needs more female coders,” Ali says. “My hope for my two girls is the same hope I have for girls all over the world—to change the world through code. There isn’t a more powerful tool out there that can help us solve every single problem we’re experiencing.”


Beth Brooke-Marciniak
Global Vice Chair–Public Policy, EY
Bachelor’s in Industrial Management ’81
Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management

As a teenager, Brooke-Marciniak overcame a degenerative hip condition to eventually become an elite college athlete. She was among the first women to earn a basketball scholarship to Purdue under Title IX, 1970s legislation that barred discrimination against women in federally funded school sports. In 2014, she was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame for her accomplishments—and fearlessness—in sports and business. Included on Forbes’ list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women seven times, Brooke-Marciniak has worked at EY since 1981. Today, she manages policy issues in the 150 countries where EY operates. During the Clinton Administration, she spent two years in the U.S. Department of Treasury working on healthcare reform and the Superfund effort to clean up toxic waste.

In a speech at the 2013 Aspen Ideas Festival, Brooke-Marciniak noted that “women are the largest emerging market in the world”—and she wants to unleash that market’s potential. She is co-chair of the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership and has served on several nonprofit boards, including The White House Project, which promotes women’s representation in public leadership, and the Committee of 200, which advances women’s leadership in business. Concern Worldwide named her its 2009 Woman of the Year for her efforts to lift communities in Africa and Central America out of poverty through entrepreneurship.

In 2014, Brooke-Marciniak also was ranked No. 3 in the OUTstanding Professional Network’s list of top 100 LGBT leaders, and she is proud of that honor. “People want to succeed by being who they are,” she noted in an interview this year with ESPN. “Difference matters. As a society, we have to be inclusive of different perspectives. It’s what makes the world so creative.”


Jeff Clarke
CEO, Eastman Kodak Corporation
Rochester, New York
B.S. in Economics ’83, SUNY Geneseo School of Business
MBA ’85, Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business

It’s not often that a CEO is asked to bring a once-revered brand back to life. But that’s just what 131-year-old former photography giant Kodak asked of Jeff Clarke when it asked him to become its next CEO in 2014, just one year after it had emerged from bankruptcy.

Kodak’s choice was based on Clarke’s experience in technology and innovation. Out of college, Clarke advanced through several corporate leadership positions, including CFO at Digital Equipment Corporation (which would become Compaq) and executive vice president of global operations at Hewlett-Packard. He next took on senior-level positions at several startups, before becoming a managing partner for the private investment firm Augusta Columbia Capital.

Eager to take on the challenge at Kodak, Clarke first moved to protect the company’s legacy product by negotiating agreements with Hollywood filmmakers to buy Kodak movie film. The company is now developing touchscreen technology, as well as third-party partnerships to provide digitally printed personalized packaging. “I’m mining the history of this company for its underlying technologies,” Clarke told The New York Times in March. At the same time, he’s working to revive Kodak’s cycle of innovation. Clarke has dedicated 30 percent of the company’s research budget to the development of next-generation technologies. That strategy, he says, is designed to build a foundation of innovation for years to come.


Elisabet (Eli) de los Pinos
Founder and CEO
Aura Biosciences Inc.
Boston, Massachusetts
MBA ’02, IE Business School

De los Pinos has an audacious goal: to cure cancer. And many believe she’ll be the one to do it. She already held a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Barcelona before going to IE Business School to earn her MBA. She then spent several years as a pharmaceutical research scientist before moving to Boston, home to a cluster of biotech firms and startups. There, she completed an entrepreneurship fellowship at the MIT Sloan School of Management in 2008. In 2009, she secured first-round funding to found Aura Biosciences, which is developing a type of nanotechnology that can deliver cancer-destroying treatment directly to metastacized tumors without harming healthy tissue or introducing toxic therapies to the body. Aura Biosciences is testing the technology on ocular melanoma, a rare, aggressive, and hard-to-treat cancer that develops in the eye.

In 2010, the World Economic Forum recognized de los Pinos as a Technology Pioneer for realizing that a cure for cancer could stem from reinventing existing treatments rather than inventing new ones. The healthcare industry also sees the vast potential of her work—in March of this year, Aura Biosciences secured US$21 million in second-round funding, which will further support its pursuit of safer, more effective treatments for all cancer patients.

“I heard someone ask once, "What are you, a creator or a user?’” says de los Pinos in “Disruptive Heroes,” a 2012 video series on YouTube. “You have to give back in a way that you create as much as you receive from other creators.”


Diego de la Torre
President, La Viga SA
Lima, Peru
B.S. in Business ’89
Universidad del Pacifico’s School of Business Sciences
MBA ’95, London Business School

Since co-founding La Viga, Peru’s largest construction materials distributor, in 1988, de la Torre has worked to lower costs related to housing construction. In the process, he has promoted the urbanization of Lima’s struggling neighborhoods and helped increase the size of Peru’s middle class. De la Torre co-founded Peru Capital Network, the country’s first network of angel investors, in 2009; he also directs Endeavor Peru, an international network of angel investors, where he hopes to support ten companies and generate 3,000 new jobs.

De la Torre is a prominent advocate for corporate social responsibility. As president of the United Nations Global Compact for Peru, he has convinced 100 firms to commit to the UN Global Compact’s principles in areas such as human rights and environmental responsibility. He also serves as president of Peru 2021, where he has promoted more than 400 corporate social responsibility initiatives. These include an initiative to help companies prepare sustainability reports and the launch of a social responsibility certification that has been awarded to 69 companies to date. In 2013, he received the Integral Entrepreneur prize from the Latin American Business Council.

De la Torre is proud of his efforts to contribute to Peru’s economic growth, and he is convinced that Peru can become a First World country in 30 years. “Peru has the conditions to do so,” he writes in a 2008 essay for, “if leadership and a clear vision of where we want to go are in place.”


Mingzhu Dong
President and Chair, Gree Electric Appliances Inc.
Zhuhai, China
CEO Programme ’06, China Europe International Business School, Shanghai

In 1990, as a recent widow and mother of a young son, Dong moved to Zhuhai and joined Gree Electric to sell air conditioning units. Despite being assigned the poor territory of Anhui, she and her team achieved US$2.8 million in sales—about 12 percent of Gree’s annual revenues—largely due to her skill as a marketer. Dong soon became director of sales, and by 2012, she was leading the world’s largest residential air conditioner manufacturer.

Dong has been a strong advocate for transparency and responsible business practices among China’s electronics manufacturers. Under her leadership, the company has built five recycling centers and recently introduced a solar-powered air conditioner. She appeared on Forbes’ 2015 list of Asia’s Most Powerful Women; and in 2014, the United Nations Development Program named her a Global Messenger of Sustainable Urban Development. Dong also serves as a visiting professor at Chinese universities and works to advance literacy and economic development in rural communities, including donating funds to build primary schools in low-income areas.

Dong’s take-charge approach has earned her some critics in China, but it also has been key to her success, she told The New York Times in 2011. She had this advice for women who want to succeed in business: “You must be a thinker. Be decisive, have good judgment, [and] organizational ability. More importantly, you have to be able to take control.”


Angel Gurría
Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Paris, France
M.A. in Development Economics ’74, Leeds University Business School

Gurría has had a long career in public service. As Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1994 to 1998, he restructured the country’s foreign debt and negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement. As its Minister of Finance and Public Credit from 1998 to 2000, he helped the country avoid financial crisis while it transitioned to a new administration. Since he became the OECD’s Secretary-General in 2006, Gurría has applied those same skills on a global scale—he has expanded the OECD’s membership to include Chile, Estonia, Israel, and Slovenia, and started the path to membership for Colombia, Costa Rica, Latvia, and Lithuania. He is developing a global agenda to promote sustainable economic growth, which he is presenting to all industrialized nations, including those in the Group of 20 (G20).

Gurría has served as chair for the International Task Force on Financing Water for All, and he is a member of World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Water Security, the United Nations Secretary General Advisory Board, and the Canada-based International Advisory Board of Governors of the Centre for International Governance Innovation. Since 2010, Gurría has been a commissioner of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, which sees a direct connection between opening broadband access and promoting economic development.

In May, the OECD reappointed Gurría for a third term, which lasts until 2021. He is sure to call on the world’s nations to implement bold solutions to large global problems. “Policies count. Policies matter. And good policies give good results if sustained over time,” Gurría said at the G20 summit in 2011. “The only way for leaders to show that they are leading, rather than following the signals of the market … is to get ahead of the game.”


Lester J. Owens
Managing Director, J.P. Morgan
New York City
EMBA ’91, Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Silberman College of Business

Before coming to J.P. Morgan in 2007, Owens learned the financial services industry first as a site director at Citibank, then as a managing director of transaction banking operations at Deutsche Bank. Today, Owens oversees approximately 6,000 employees across 25 locations to run one of the world’s largest payment operations. Owens has embraced innovation—from implementing a “follow-the-sun” 24-hour workflow model in which locations pass client service seamlessly across time zones, to launching an innovation program that invites frontline employees to recommend ideas for improving service and reducing costs.

As co-chair of the company’s Corporate and Investment Bank’s Black Leadership Forum, Owens works to promote diversity and develop employees at all levels. He also sits on the board of the Futures in Education Foundation—in 2014, he helped the foundation raise US$2.2 million in tuition assistance to help low-income families in NewYork City send their children to private Catholic schools. In 2013, the Harlem YMCA presented Owens with its Elaine Edmonds award in recognition of his efforts to unite business with community service.


Maria Pacheco
Founder and President, Kiej de los Bosques
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Management Program ’04 and Central America Leadership Initiative Program ’08, INCAE Business School

A trained biologist with a master’s in agriculture from Cornell University, Pacheco began working with ten farmers in the Guatemala highlands in 1993 to help them cultivate their crops. When famine struck in 2002, she showed them how to generate income by creating artistan products from local materials. By 2004, that effort had evolved into Kiej de los Bosques (“Protector of the Forests”), a nonprofit that exports jewelry made by Guatemalan women to 14 countries. The jewelry is sold under the brand name “Wakami,” a Mayan word that means “it already is.” Says Pacheco in a video about her company, “For us, it means this world is already ideal. We just have to find a way … to make it come to life.”

Growing up in Guatemala during a time of war, Pacheco was often struck by how many Guatemalans were unaware of the poverty and struggle occurring beyond the city centers—when she was younger she worked in refugee camps, where she learned firsthand the effects of war. Her desire to change that reality, through the success of Kiej de los Bosques, was what led her to seek management training.

Through Wakami, she hopes to connect rural communities to global commerce—that hope even inspired her to write a children’s book, Wakami’s Gate, about an interconnected world. “I’m doing the best I can to create the world I dream, and that’s one of my life’s greatest satisfactions,” Pacheco says. “No more poverty in our countries, in our region. We want prosperity. How can we reach it?”


Milton Wilson
Dean Emeritus, Howard University
Washington, D.C.
B.S. in Business ’37, West Virginia State College
MSc in Business ’45 and DBA ’51, Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business

In 1952, Milton Wilson became the first African American to become a certified public accountant in Texas and among the first 100 African American CPAs in the U.S. In spite of that achievement, he was denied membership to the Texas State Society of CPAs until 1969.

His career included teaching and leadership roles at the Hampton Institute, Dillard University, and Indiana University. In 1949, he started and led the School of Business at Texas Southern University; in 1970, he launched the School of Business and Public Administration at Howard University and served as its first dean. Wilson became the first dean to lead two business schools at historically black colleges and universities through AACSB accreditation. Under his leadership, Howard’s faculty grew from eight to 80, and its student body increased from 200 to 1,800. Wilson retired in 1990; he passed away on September 2, 2003.

On October 2, 2003, his friend Ruben Hinojosa, the U.S. Representative from Texas’ 15th district, honored Wilson on the floor of Congress. “He embodied a giving, sharing spirit and made a lasting contribution to our nation through education,” said Hinojosa. “Milton Wilson was a true American pioneer. His efforts and his accomplishments will long be remembered.”

To read the biographies of the remaining 90 Influential Leaders listed below, visit

Mohamed Ali Alabbar
Founder, EMAAR Properties
Seattle University (Albers)

Paul Allison
Chairman & CEO, Raymond James
McMaster University (DeGroote)

Daniel Amos
University of Georgia (Terry)

Steve Appleton
CEO, Micron
Boise State University

Subha Barry
VP & General Manager, Working Mother Media
Rice University (Jones)

Felipe Larraín Bascuñán
Director, Latin American Center for Economic and Social Policies
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Philip Berber
Chairman, A Glimmer of Hope
University College Dublin (Smurfit/Quinn)

Gary Brinson
Founder, Brinson Partners
Seattle University (Albers)

Robert Burke
Founder, LadderUp
University of Notre Dame (Mendoza)

Jonathan Coles
Director, Renaissance Growth Advisory (R.G.A.) and C.A. Ron Santa Teresa
Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración

David Cooperrider
Professor of Appreciative Inquiry, Case Western Reserve University
Case Western Reserve University (Weatherhead)

Mitchell Cohen
Vice Chairman & Partner, PwC
The Pennsylvania State University (Smeal)

Peter Corbett
Founder and CEO, iStrategyLabs
Emory University (Goizueta)

Greg Creed
CEO, Yum! Brands
Queensland University of Technology

Emily Cummins
Leeds University Business School

Susan DeVore
President & CEO, Premier Inc.
UNC-Charlotte (Belk)

Walter Dods Jr.
Chairman, Matson Inc.
University of Hawaii at Manoa (Shidler)

Virginia Donohue
Founder & Executive Director, On Point for College
SUNY Oswego

Tim DuBois
Adjunct Professor, Vanderbilt University
Oklahoma State University (Spears)

Kaushal Dugar
Founder, Teabox
Singapore Management University (Lee)

Fiza Farhan
CEO, Buksh Foundation
Warwick Business School

Tommy Franks
General, United States Army
University of Texas at Arlington

Max Fuller
Chairman & CEO, U.S. Xpress
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

David Gaus
Founder & Executive Director, Andean Health & Development
University of Notre Dame (Mendoza)

Katie Gilstrap
Co-Founder, Lift Caregiving
University of Richmond (Robins)

William Goldring
Chairman, Sazerac Co.
Tulane University (Freeman)

Andrés Simón González-Silén
CEO, Grupo Venemergencia
Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración

John Goolsby
Retired President & CEO, Howard Hughes Corporation
University of Texas at Arlington

Andy Gourley
Founder & CEO, Red Frogs Australia
Queensland University of Technology

Francis Greenburger
Founder, Chairman & CEO, Time Equities Inc.
Baruch College–CUNY (Zicklin)

Barry Griswell
Retired CEO, Principal Financial Group
Berry College (Campbell)

Monique Hamaty-Simmonds
President & CEO/Entrepreneur, Tortuga International Holdings
Florida International University

Derek Handley
Entrepreneur, The B Team
Victoria Business School

Maya Helbaoui
Communication Head, Roche Lebanon
IE Business School

Charles T. Horngren
Professor of Accounting, Stanford University
Marquette University

Sir Tom Hunter
Founder, West Coast Capital & Hunter Foundation
Strathclyde Business School

Garrett Ilg
Senior VP, Adobe Systems Inc.
University of New Hampshire (Paul)

Jerry Kent
President & CEO, Cequel III
Washington University in St. Louis (Olin)

Jørgen Vig Knudstorp
President & CEO of the LEGO Group
Aarhus University

José Koechlin
President, Inkaterra
Universidad del Pacifico

Gary Kovacs
CEO & Managing Director, AVG Technologies
University of Calgary (Haskayne)

Lawrence Landry
Chairman & CEO, Masterpiece Living LLC
Clark University

Jerry Lee
CEO, Newton Running
Bradley University (Foster)

Stewart Leonard Jr.
President & CEO, Stew Leonard’s Supermarkets
Ithaca College

Qiangdong Liu
Founder & CEO, Inc.
China Europe International Business School

Robert Luddy
President & CEO, CaptiveAire
La Salle University

Marshall Lytle
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard
U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Beatriz Manetta
President & CEO, Argent Associates
Seton Hall University (Stillman)

Mark Mason
CEO, Citi Private Bank
Howard University

Tammy Miller
CEO & Board Chair, Border States Electric
Minnesota State University, Moorhead

Don Mohanlal
Executive Director, National 4-H Council
Indian School of Business

Bob Moritz
Chairman & Senior Partner, PwC
SUNY Oswego

Ted Mosler
President & Chief Technical Officer, GILERO Biomedical
North Carolina State University (Poole)

Martin Mucci
President and CEO, Paychex Inc.
St. John Fisher College

James Owens
Chairman & CEO emeritus, Caterpillar
North Carolina State University (Poole)

Javier Palomarez
President & CEO, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Neal Patterson
Chairman & CEO, Cerner
Oklahoma State University (Spears)

Tom Pike
CEO, Quintiles
University of Delaware (Lerner)

Paul Pohlman
CEO, Unilever
University of Cincinnati (Lindner)

Colin Powell
Former U.S. Secretary of State
The George Washington University

Meiny Prins
CEO, Priva BV
Erasmus University (Rotterdam)

Madhavan (M.R.) Rangaswami
Co-Founder & CEO, Sand Hill Group
Kent State University

Punit Renjen
Global CEO, Deloitte
Willamette University (Atkinson)

Ann Rhoades
President & Founder, People Ink
University of New Mexico (Anderson)

Rick Rieder
Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer, Fundamental Fixed Income, BlackRock
Emory University (Goizueta)

Stephane Roques
General Manager, Médecins Sans Frontières
NEOMA Business School

Robert Rudnick
Founder & Executive Director, Coffee Circle
University of Mannheim

Ricardo Sagrera
President, Hilasal Group & Superate Project
INCAE Business School

Keith Schroeder
CEO, High Road Craft Ice Cream
Kennesaw State University (Coles)

Jay Shidler
Founder & Managing Partner, The Shidler Group
University of Hawaii at Manoa (Shidler)

Paul Shrivastava
Executive Director, Future Earth
University of Pittsburgh (Katz)

James Sinegal
Co-founder & former CEO, Costco
San Diego State University

Rex Sinquefield
Founder & President, ShowMe Institute
Saint Louis University (Cook)

Brenda Smith
Co-Owner, Garden of the Gods Club
University of Colorado–Colorado Springs

John Stumpf
President, CEO & Chairman, Wells Fargo
University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Dato’ Tajuddin Atan
CEO, Bursa Malaysia
Universiti Putra Malaysia

Glen Taylor
Chairman of the Board & CEO, Taylor Corporation
Minnesota State University, Mankato

James Terry
Lieutenant General, U.S. Army
University of North Georgia (Cottrell)

Amanda Tincknell
CEO, The Cranfield Trust
Cranfield School of Management

Nancy Tumavick
Consultant/Specialist, USAID
Saint Louis University (Cook)

James Turley
Retired Chairman & CEO, Ernst & Young
Rice University (Jones)

Sarah Turse
Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, Naval Special Warfare Command
Naval Postgraduate School

Juan Francisco Beckmann Vidal
Chairman, José Cuervo
Tecnológico de Monterrey (EGADE)

Sam Walton
Founder, Walmart and Sam’s Club
University of Missouri (Trulaske)

Martin Whitman
Founder & Chairman, Third Avenue Management LLC
Syracuse University (Whitman)

David Williams
President & CEO, Make-A-Wish America
University of Houston (Bauer)

Patricia Woertz
Chairman, Archer Daniels Midland Company
The Pennsylvania State University (Smeal)

Carolyn Woo
President & CEO, Catholic Relief Services
Purdue University (Krannert)

Dongsheng Yan
President, Bohai Commodity Exchange
Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Antai)

Larry Zicklin
Member of the Board, Neuberger Berman
Baruch College–CUNY (Zicklin)