Harvard President Drew Faust announced today that Krishna G. Palepu, Ross Graham Walker Professor of Business Administration and senior associate dean for international development at Harvard Business School (HBS), has been named senior adviser to the president for global strategy. Palepu assumes his new position immediately.
“Harvard has a rich tradition of global engagement,” said Faust. “And the intellectual and cultural activities of our students and faculty across the globe will continue to grow as we head deeper into the 21st century.
“Professor Palepu brings a global background and perspective to his research and teaching at the Business School, and he played a key role in the work of the University-wide International Strategy Working Group convened last year to consider how to strengthen Harvard’s international approach at the institutional level,” Faust added. “I am delighted that Professor Palepu has agreed to bring his insight, energy, and experience to this new role. He will be a critical contributor to the ongoing development of our global strategy.”
“I am honored to be asked to serve the University in this important domain,” said Palepu. “Harvard has among the world’s strongest platforms for global teaching and research, built on deep regional and domain knowledge and the entrepreneurial energy of our faculty, students, and staff. I look forward to working with President Faust to craft a more coordinated and strategic approach to Harvard’s international engagement, supporting the expertise and ambition of our community.”
A leading expert on global business strategy, Palepu has taught at HBS for almost three decades. With colleague Tarun Khanna, Palepu recently co-authored “Winning in Emerging Markets: A Road Map for Strategy and Execution,” which explores the strategic issues facing multinational corporations as they expand into emerging markets, as well as the challenges that firms in those markets face as they expand overseas. Palepu teaches related courses in the M.B.A. and executive education programs.
“Krishna has been one of the Business School’s most sophisticated, eloquent, and persuasive voices for a thoughtful strategy of global engagement,” said Dean Nitin Nohria. “He has substantively reshaped how we think about leadership in a global century, with tremendous benefit for how we do research, how we teach, and how we learn. I know the entire Harvard community will benefit from Krishna’s vision and hard work.”
As senior adviser, Palepu will work closely with the president, provost, and colleagues to help guide the University’s international strategy, refine and test some operational proposals of the International Strategy Working Group, and develop a more effective and coordinated approach to international fundraising and to engaging Harvard alumni living abroad. Palepu will consult widely with colleagues within the University and in the broader Harvard community as he undertakes this role.
In framing the University’s strategic agenda in international matters, Palepu will work closely with Jorge Domínguez, the vice provost for international affairs.
“I am delighted that Harvard has, with this appointment, underscored its commitment to global engagement,” said Domínguez. “Krishna and I have worked together for a number of years on the University Committee on International Projects and Sites, and I can think of no one better suited to this new role. I look forward to deepening our partnership as Krishna focuses his efforts on strategic initiatives.”
Palepu joined the HBS faculty in 1983. He received his doctorate in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, holds a master’s degree in physics from Andhra University in India, and has done postgraduate work at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. Palepu has an honorary doctorate from the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration.