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Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld      

Senior Associate Dean for Executive Programs & Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld is Senior Associate Dean for Leadership Studies at Yale University’s School of Management and The Lester Crown Professor of Management Practice as well as the Founder, President of THE YALE CHIEF EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE– the world’s first “CEO College.” Under his leadership, Yale executive programs have grown from 100 executives a year to 2,000 executives a year and each year have drawn together several hundred of the world’s most prominent CEOs. Prior to this, Sonnenfeld spent ten years as a professor at the Harvard Business School. Recently, Sonnenfeld was named by Business Week as one of the world’s “ten most influential business school professors” and one of the “100 most influential figures in governance” by Directorship.

Sonnenfeld received his AB, MBA, and doctorate from Harvard University. He has won many national awards for scholarly research and teaching. Sonnenfeld has published 200 scholarly articles and seven books including such best sellers as The Hero’s Farewell, (Oxford University Press), Leadership & Governance from the Inside Out (John Wiley), and his newest Firing Back: How Great Leaders Rebound From Adversity (Harvard Business School Press). He also authored the 1998 Report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on CEO Succession for the National Association of Corporate Directors . Sonnenfeld is now a member of the National Commission on College and University Governance as well as a trustee of the Committee on Economic Development, a Washington DC business think tank.

Awarded many scholarly honors for the impact of his many research articles on leadership and governance matters, Sonnenfeld is the first scholar to ring the “Opening Bell” of both the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Exchange and has now been invited to do so an unparalleled eight times. He has served on ten scholarly journal editorial boards. The founding faculty sponsor of the Harvard Radcliffe Women’s Leadership Forum, he was also a co-developer of the Harvard College Core Curriculum, and chaired committees on admissions, placement, and faculty recruiting.

A frequent speaker before executive audiences, his consulting work and research activities reflect a continued interest in chief executive leadership, succession and board governance along with corporate culture and strategic change. He has appeared often on all the major US TV networks. In addition to his post as a regular commentator for CNBC, he is a columnist for Business Week, a regular commentator on PBS’s “Nightly Business Report ” a frequently cited management expert in the global media, his columns also regularly appear in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the New York Times.


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