Brandeis International Business School

New academic chair honors founding dean

Brandeis IBS professor Ben Gomes-Casseres named inaugural holder of Peter A. Petri Chair in Business and Society

Peter Petri and Ben Gomes-Casseres.

Peter Petri and Ben Gomes-Casseres of Brandeis International Business School.

Call him the architect of Brandeis International Business School (IBS).

As founding dean, Peter Petri is the central figure in the history of Brandeis IBS, which was established in 1994 as the Graduate School of International Economics and Finance.

In the decades to follow, it was Petri’s entrepreneurial spirit and visionary leadership that helped Brandeis IBS develop into what it is today: a global hub of learning with a well-earned reputation for academic excellence and innovation.

On Oct. 30, Brandeis University President Ron Liebowitz recognized Petri’s efforts by announcing the establishment of the Peter A. Petri Chair in Business and Society.

"It was through Peter’s leadership that we now have a diverse, highly ranked, and globally recognized business school," said Liebowitz. "It is home to students from across the globe who study alongside each other, visit the world through the generosity of the Hassenfeld Fellow Overseas Immersion Program, and go on to serve in companies, nonprofits and governments in over 100 countries."

Brandeis IBS Professor of International Business Ben Gomes-Casseres '76 has been named the inaugural holder of the chair. Gomes-Casseres is an expert on alliance strategy and management. He is the director of both the Asper Center for Global Entrepreneurship and the business school’s MBA program.

Both Petri and Gomes-Casseres were present for Liebowitz’s announcement, which came during a Brandeis IBS Board of Overseers dinner. The chair was created with support from John and Adam Usdan and the Lemberg family.

"This is such a great honor," said Petri. "A chair in business and society is essential in a university that bears Justice Louis Brandeis’ name, and Ben is a passionate alumnus who has been exploring these connections closely. He is the right person to lead students and faculty in addressing issues so relevant in our own time."

"Business and society are tied together," said Gomes-Casseres. "In the last 35 years, business has done well. And so too has global society — over 1 billion people have emerged from poverty. At the same time, progress has been unevenly distributed, our social fabric is tearing and the health of our biosphere is at risk. Business has a chance to lead with solutions to social problems. Brandeis is the place to have this conversation. I’m honored to hold the new chair that asks these questions."

A globally renowned authority on international trade, finance and investment, Petri is currently the Carl Shapiro Professor of International Finance at Brandeis IBS. He served as the founding dean of the business school from 1994 to 2006. More recently, Petri held the title of interim dean from 2016 to June 2018.

"As interim dean, Peter brought the same passion, eye for detail and drive as he did decades ago," said Dean Kathryn Graddy, who succeeded Petri in July. "Under his leadership, Brandeis IBS has established a global reputation for academic innovation. Peter is also an outstanding mentor who taught me that being compassionate and principled is the most important feature in a dean."

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