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World’s Best B-School Professors: Daniel Diermeier

Kellogg’s Daniel Diermeier is one of the world’s top experts in reputation management

Daniel Diermeier

Kellogg School of Management


Age: 45

Claim to Fame: Reputation management expert

Discipline: Managerial economics and social enterprise


University of Rochester, PhD, Political Science

University of Rochester, MA, Political Science

University of Munich, MA, Political Science

University of Southern California, MA, Philosophy

At Kellogg Since: 1997

Before Kellogg: Stanford Graduate School of Business

Fun Fact: I used to play in a chamber orchestra (classical guitar); I am the inaugural winner of the Kellogg student-professor poker tournament

If I wasn’t teaching, my dream job would be: Film Director

Best part of the job: Creating new ideas, classes, and institutions

Worst part of the job: Grading exams – by a huge margin.

According to Professor Daniel Diermeier, the single most important asset any company has is its reputation. In his book, Reputation Rules: Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset, Diermeier shows how managing a company during a time of crisis has less to do with damage control and more to do with reputation management.  “Over the last year companies such as BP, Goldman Sachs, and Toyota have experienced serious blows to their images that could have had reduced impact if their leaders had implemented reputation management into their business strategy and culture,” says Diermeier.

Thanks to an era in which social media and digital media has turned life as we know it upside down, companies are evaluated increasingly less on shareholder value. The result, the professor says, is a change in the way we do business when it comes to traditional brand management and a convergence between brand management, marketing, and public relations.

Diermeier has lectured globally and led customized programs on topics dealing with crisis and reputation management, activists and consumer boycotts, and media management. He has served as an advisor to companies, including Accenture, Cargill, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, McDonald’s, and Shell. He is also a senior advisor to the FBI, serving as a member of the bureau’s management board. In addition to being a member of Northwestern University’s business faculty, Professor Diermeier is a Professor of Political Science at the school’s College of Arts and Sciences. In 2007, he was awarded the Faculty Pioneer Award from the Aspen Institute, also known as the ‘Oscar of Business Schools’.