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Ex-McKinsey Leader New Northeastern B-School Dean

Former McKinsey & Co. strategy practice leader Hugh G. Courtney has been named the new dean of Northeastern University’s College of Business Administration, effective July 1, 2012.

Courtney comes to Northeastern from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he served in the Robert H. Smith School of Business as vice dean overseeing the undergraduate, MBA and MS degree programs. He also served as associate dean of executive programs and as a member of the faculty.

The scope of Courtney’s leadership and accomplishments at the Smith School spans a wide spectrum. During his tenure as vice dean, the Executive MBA program vaulted into the national rankings and earned global acclaim in the area of corporate strategy. As vice dean, Courtney worked alongside faculty on a major curriculum redesign of the undergraduate and MBA programs, as well as on new MS programs in supply chain management and information systems. He also led the school’s corporate relations and global programs.

“Northeastern is truly unique in its extraordinary focus on experiential learning, commitment to building global leaders, and investment in interdisciplinary research that shapes both theory and practice,” said Courtney in a statement. “Northeastern’s faculty and staff are innovative educational entrepreneurs who are helping to redefine the modern university and business education. I am excited and honored to join the College of Business Administration during this transformational period.”

Courtney played a leadership role in all aspects of the Smith School’s executive education business and directed the expansion of global programming. He worked with university partners in China to re-launch a joint Executive MBA program in Beijing, and collaborated with colleagues to expand the number of short-term study abroad opportunities for students.

As a faculty member at the University of Maryland, Courtney was appointed with the prestigious distinction of “Professor of Practice” for the significant impact his applied research agenda on business strategy under uncertainty has had on business practice.

“Under the leadership of Hugh Courtney, Northeastern will develop the human and intellectual capital needed to drive our global economy,” said President Joseph E. Aoun in a statement. “Hugh’s accomplishments in industry and academia bring the ideal combination of experience to foster innovation and advance the frontiers of knowledge in business and leadership.”

Courtney’s publications on business strategy and competitive dynamics have been featured in leading practitioner journals such as the Harvard Business Review, Academy of Management Journal and Research Technology. His highly regarded book on strategy under uncertainty, “20/20 Foresight: Crafting Strategy in an Uncertain World,” was also a business bestseller on

Courtney began his academic career at George Washington University and has also held visiting positions at universities in the Netherlands and Australia. He was also a Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Prior to joining the University of Maryland, Courtney worked at one of the world’s preeminent management consulting firms, McKinsey & Company, in Washington, D.C., where he was a leader in its strategy practice and served clients on six continents across many industry sectors.

Courtney’s record of leadership also includes the nonprofit sector, where he served as treasurer and board member of two nonprofit educational organizations in Washington, D.C.

Courtney earned a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991 and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Northwestern University in 1985.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.