One-On-One With New Georgetown McDonough Dean Paul Almeida

McDonough Dean Paul Almeida

On August 1, the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business will welcome a new dean, Paul Almeida. Almeida is the current Deputy Dean of Executive Education and Innovation, as well as a Professor of Strategy and International Studies. When he takes his place as dean, Almeida will also become the William R. Berkley Chair.

In a press release, Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia spoke about the appointment: “Throughout his tenure at Georgetown, Paul has exemplified a commitment to principled leadership, instilling a global mindset focused on service to others into each program and project he oversees. I am deeply grateful for his willingness to serve our entire university community as dean of the McDonough School of Business.” 

Incoming Georgetown McDonough Dean Paul Almeida

Leadership Experience

Almeida has been a member of the Georgetown McDonough community for more than two decades, and has served in a number of positions during his tenure. He’s known as a respected scholar and teacher, and received the “Outstanding Professor, Executive MBA Award,” on seven separate occasions. He’s authored numerous articles focused on innovation, knowledge management, alliance and information collaborations across firms and countries. And between 2010 to 2016, Almeida served as the Senior Associate Dean for Executive Programs.

In this role, Almeida led six executive education degree programs including the Global Executive MBA, which he co-founded alongside the School of Foreign Service and ESADE Business School. He was also responsible for the Executive Master’s in Leadership program, as well as the M.S. in Finance, McDonough’s first technology-enhanced program.

Under Almeida’s leadership, the executive education programs consistently received high rankings. In its most recent rankings, the Financial Times ranked the Executive MBA as first in the world for international business and ranked the Global Executive MBA as fifth in the world.

Almeida holds a Ph.D. in International Business and Strategy, as well as a Masters in Applied Economics and Managerial Science from The Wharton School. He also has a PGGM (MBA) from the Indian Institute of Management and a B.E. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Poona in India. 

We recently had the opportunity to interview Almeida about his new role as dean of Georgetown McDonough. Here’s what he had to say:

  • In your new role as Dean of McDonough, what opportunities, plans, or initiatives are you most excited about?

I’ve been Deputy Dean for Executive Education for a while, and last year we launched the Innovation Initiative on the premise that we’re an innovative school, but we have a chance to keep exploring—in multiple dimensions—how we can get better:

  • How we can serve our students better.
  • How our programs can reflect market needs better.
  • How our research can grow even more sophisticated to help people make a difference in the world.
  • How our organizations can be even more efficient and effective, and how, as a Jesuit school, we can embrace those values in everything we say and do.

Now, as dean, I have the opportunity to not just formulate and sharpen these ideas even more but to implement these ideas in our everyday practices. That will take our school to wonderful new heights.

I was educated mostly in Jesuit schools and I’ve gained so much from that in terms of my perspective about the world. Now, I’m going to be leading a Jesuit business school and this is a wonderful opportunity to share some of what I received throughout my education. And, I love my colleagues and this is a chance to work with them and achieve incredible things together.

  • What skills, expertise, or insight do you bring to McDonough that you think will most benefit the school?

I’ve been here 22 years. I’ve been a professor. I’ve been an administrator. As a long-standing member of the community, I’m close to the senior administrators and the staff, faculty and students. That understanding and knowledge of Georgetown—who we are and what we represent—is very valuable.

I’ve also been a student of innovation for 25-26 years—I’ve done a lot of research (I have almost 10,000 Google citations on innovation) and I’ve practiced innovation as well. So, this is a chance for me to use these innovation abilities to the benefit of our school.

Thirdly, I’m a strategist. I’m a professor of strategy. I think strategically. I’ve worked with many organizations on strategy. In a dynamic playing field, which higher education is, you need to be very strategic. You have choose how you move forward and you have to play to your strengths and do it in a way that enables you to keep growing in a sensible way that predicts the future of the field.

My being a really well integrated member of the Georgetown community, my understanding of the importance and possibilities of innovation, and my basic strategic instinct should be very useful to me and to the School.

  • What has been your greatest accomplishment while working at McDonough to date?

I’ve taught over 4,000 students at the undergraduate level, the MBA level, the executive certificate level, and the executive degree level. After the announcement that I was going to be dean went out, I came to realize how many students are deeply grateful for that time with me in class and I’m deeply grateful to them—I’ve always enjoyed teaching. I’ve had at least 500 of my previous students reach out to me and tell me things they learned in 2003 and 1998, and I’ve forgotten some of those things myself. I know a lot of people have taught a long time, but this reminded me how important it is to teach strategy to people, who 15-20 years later, can tell me sentences, stories, and lessons that they’ve taken away.

I also conceived, launched, and ran the Global Executive MBA program. I remember when I started thinking of this, in 2005, that there was really no global program. I had the idea that senior executives could learn through a deep interaction with culture and people from difference countries and go from place to place, and yet have a strong scholarly and experiential education. The goal was to help these executives learn to see the world and see themselves and their relationship to the world and the possibilities therein in new ways. It was my dream to develop and launch something that really reflected the needs of future leaders in this globalizing world. I truly believe that we made the Global Executive MBA into something unique and wonderful. I’m proud of that.

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