Tribute to Guy Pfeffermann’s Contributions to Global Economic Growth

By , Executive Assistant Intern

VEGA wishes to recognize Guy Pfeffermann, founder and head of VEGA Member Global Business School Network (GBSN), for his leadership and untiring commitment to generating economic growth by building institutional capacity through management training. After 15 years at GBSN, Pfeffermann is stepping down as CEO. GBSN was originally a program of the International Finance Corporation at the World Bank, but today it is an independent non-profit organization with a growing network of over 70 business schools across six continents.

Pfeffermann founded GBSN on the principle that skilled management is a critical component for social and economic development. Working as a development economist for 40 years at the World Bank, Pfeffermann observed a huge waste of resources in money and human potential due to lack of management talent. He also identified a gap in the international development community: efforts to improve management education were limited and the capacity building programs in place were insufficient. Often, the programs deemed as “capacity building” were short-term trainings for managers with no assurance of long-term sustainability or local relevance. GBSN’s vision for improved management education is through institutional capacity building. Redirecting to the institutional level ensures long-lasting impacts that address local needs, while also incorporating international best practices.

As a leader in advancing management education, GBSN leverages member expertise through institutional capacity building programs for business schools and entrepreneurship centers in the developing world. Through events and annual conferences, GBSN advocates for the value of quality management and facilitates knowledge sharing between member schools and the business education community. The Network has fostered greater activity and interest from high-income countries in the developing world and serves as a catalyst for partnerships between its affluent member countries and emerging market countries.

Under Pfeffermann’s able leadership, GBSN successfully aided in the formation of two “cousin institutions.” These institutions, The Association of African Business Schools (AABS) and African Management Initiative, share like-minded missions of expanding management education opportunities through capacity building and a commitment to excellence. The inception of AABS was made possible by the first-time convening of two-dozen African school deans in 2005 at a GBSN-organized conference held in Ghana. At this conference the heads of African business schools decided to form an association and sought GBSN’s support in its creation. Today, AABS is a thriving association of 45 African business schools.

Pfeffermann, a son of parents who rebuilt their lives after fleeing Nazi Germany, greatly appreciates the importance of human capital. He brought this personal experience to the philosophy behind GBSN’s human-centric mission. In his reflections on GBSN’s journey he says he holds a “deep conviction that the only dependable assets are vested in people.” At VEGA, we recognize Mr. Pfeffermann’s vision, commitment and impact on global development and economic growth. We wish him the best in his new role on GBSN’s board of directors.

Read more of Guy Pfeffermann’s reflections on GBSN’s journey.

Stephen Sacca, from MIT Sloan School of Management, will replace Guy Pfeffermann as GBSN’s new CEO.

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