Our 2016 Honor Roll: The 40 Under 40 Most Outstanding MBA Professors

Some of this year's most outstanding 40 under 40 professors at leading business schools

Some of this year’s most outstanding 40 under 40 professors at leading business schools

What’s on your bucket list of things to achieve before 40? For those of us who haven’t reached this milestone yet, our lists are likely filled with adventure, maybe exotic travel destinations, and career goals. If you’re looking for inspiration, the accomplishments of this year’s 40 Under 40 professors at leading graduate schools of business won’t disappoint.

Poets&Quants returns with its annual list of rising stars at business schools from around the world. As in previous years, we put out a call for nominations. The response was immediate and the response was incredible. In all, 75 professors from 40 different business schools all over the world were nominated by students, alumni and the schools themselves.

Harvard's Rory McDonald got the most nominations

Harvard’s Rory McDonald got the most nominations

What the nominations uncovered is an inspiring group of young women and men who are making red hot names for themselves through academic research and classroom teaching. Here, we speak of classroom teaching that’s so impactful, it’s almost legendary as it causes groups of students (and even alumni) to ban together and submit one nomination after another..after another.

Harvard Business School’s Rory McDonald received a whopping 20 nominations, the most ever received by a faculty member in the four times that Poet&Quants has showcased the top under 40 professors since 2011. The 37-year-old McDonald consistently gets rave reviews for his teaching of the elective course Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise after having won similar praise for having taught the Technology and Operations Management course in the MBA required curriculum. University of Toronto Rotman School of Management’s András Tilcsik, a 34-year-old assistant professor of strategic management, wasn’t far behind with 13 nominations, while Wharton’s Laura Huang, a 37-year-old teacher of entrepreneurship, received 10.


Although we couldn’t highlight every single faculty member who was nominated, in the pages that follow we’ll introduce you to 40 of the brightest and youngest minds who serve on the faculty at MBA programs across the globe. You’ll get to know how one professor’s research has changed the design of retirement savings for tens of millions both here and abroad, how another is using neuromarketing techniques to gain insights consumer behavior, and one more who is spearheading efforts to analyze the design of energy and climate change policy in China. They travel from state to state, country to country, speaking about the insightful findings uncovered in their research. For example, in the last five years, Tuck School of Business’ Adam Kleinbaum has given close to 30 talks around the world, while Amir Sufi of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business regularly receives a slew of invitations to speak before Federal Reserve Banks, White House councils, and economics/finance industry peers.

You’ll also get a taste for some classic and unforgettable teacher moments. Some quirky–celebrating the wedding of two students who started dating in one professor’s seminar. Some rewarding–Professor Erika Hall of Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business says the best moments are when students reveal that she’s helped earn them an extra $5,000 – $10,000 in salary because of the negotiation techniques she taught them.

But some of the best teacher moments are plain laugh-out-loud funny. How’s dancing with 25 MBA students in a trashy nightclub in Chile at four in the morning sound? We can only imagine. Or getting booed on the first day of class for being a Packers fan in Pittsburgh? What about students plotting an elaborate scheme to have your spouse show up for class? True story!

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