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NYU Stern Dean Peter Blair Henry Profiled by Financial Times

In January 2010, Peter Blair Henry became one of the youngest deans at a highly ranked business school when he assumed his post at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Ever since, he has aimed to transform Stern into a world class business school. This week, the Financial Times profiled Dean Henry and discussed his efforts to transform Stern.

In the 1990s, Stern had a reputation as a finance trade school. Dean Henry wants to diversify the school’s strengths by building on its existing strength in finance. Ultimately, he aims to create an educational program at Stern that teaches future MBAs about societal and business issues, from the interactions of government and business to the growth opportunities and challenges present in emerging markets.

One of his most prominent moves has been appointing the human rights campaigner Michael Posner and the expert on the future of cities Paul Romer to the Stern faculty. Dean Henry selected Michael Posner to help build and lead Stern’s new Center for Business and Human Rights, the first center addressing human rights at a business school. Paul Romer is the founding director of Stern’s Urbanization project. Dean Henry selected well qualified people to lead new initiatives that are central to his efforts to transform Stern into a world class business school by bringing topics that are separated from traditional business education to Stern.

While Human Rights and Urbanization don’t immediately seem like business school topics, they are crucial for modern business. Dean Henry believes that in the near future, urbanization will create some of the biggest business, financial, and societal issues as around 2.9 billion people are expected to move into cities in the next three decades. Human rights issues are also raised in the dark side of globalization, as we outsource labor to lower-cost countries. By bringing these topics into business school, Dean Henry is offering Stern students a chance to learn more about societal issues facing business.

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