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Business School Professor Krishna G. Palepu Appointed President's Senior Adviser on Global Strategy

By Michael C. George and Alyza J. Sebenius, Crimson Staff Writers

Harvard Business School professor Krishna G. Palepu was appointed to the newly-created position of Senior Adviser to the President for Global Strategy on Wednesday, marking the next step in the University’s efforts to define a coherent approach to its international engagement.

“I look forward to working with President Faust to craft a more coordinated and strategic approach to Harvard’s international engagement,” said Palepu in a statement.

In his new role, Palepu will guide the refinement and implementation of several of the proposals of the International Strategy Working Group, which formalized a set of recommendations in October.

Additionally, he will work to coordinate international fundraising and improve engagement with the 40,000 or so alumni who work abroad. As a senior advisor, Palepu will work closely with Faust, Provost Alan M. Garber ’76, and Vice Provost for International Affairs Jorge I. Domínguez.

Palepu’s appointment is the latest move in the University’s recent attempts to coordinate its international engagement. In October Garber explained that the impetus for the working group was that “the Harvard community and people outside the Harvard community...don’t see a deliberate University-wide strategy.”

“[Palepu] will be a critical contributor to the ongoing development of our global strategy,” said Faust in a statement. “The intellectual and cultural activities of our students and faculty across the globe will continue to grow as we head deeper into the 21st century.”

Palepu’s appointment comes at a time when peer institutions are forging ahead with new initiatives. In 2010, Yale announced plans to partner with the National University of Singapore to open a liberal arts college in Singapore next year.

While the recommendations of the Working Group have not been publicized, the committee was expected to consider whether Harvard should partner with other educational institutions overseas or expand offices or global institutes abroad.

At the Business School, Palepu is the Senior Associate Dean for International Development. He is considered an expert on international business strategy, with a focus on globalization in India and China. In 2010 he co-authored the book “Winning Emerging Markets” with professor Tarun Khanna, which addresses the strategic concerns multinational corporations face when expanding overseas.

“I have the highest opinion of [Palepu]. He is intelligent and a team player that really cares about the institution,” said Khanna. “He is committed to excellence, good ethics, and has a lot of experience in fast growing parts of the world such as India, China and Brazil.”

“Krishna has been one of the Business School’s most sophisticated, eloquent, and persuasive voices for a thoughtful strategy of global engagement,” said Business School Dean Nitin Nohria, who chaired the International Strategy Working Group, in a statement. “I know the entire Harvard community will benefit from Krishna’s vision and hard work.”

—Staff writer Michael C. George can be reached at

—Staff writer Alyza J. Sebenius can be reached at

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