Associate Professor Ishtiaq Pasha Mahmood from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School has become the first faculty member at a Singapore university to be conferred the prestigious Aspen Faculty Pioneer Award.
Dubbed the ‘Oscars of the business school world’ by the Financial Times, the annual awards are given out by the Aspen Institute in the United States to recognise educators who have integrated social and environmental issues into academic research, educational programmes, and business practice.
The award ceremony takes place took place recently in New York. There are only three recipients this year, with Associate Professor Mahmood winning in the ‘Rising Star’ category. Other winners include Mary Margaret Frank, Associate Professor and Academic Director, Institute for Business in Society, Darden Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia & Ryan D. Cabinte, Associate Dean, MBA/MPA Program, Presidio Graduate School
“Our Faculty Pioneer Awards this year honour faculty who challenge students to think more deeply about the comparative roles that the public and private sectors play in both value creation and problem solving. Many of the big issues of our day — whether economic growth, climate change, or access to healthcare and education – require really careful thought about what business and government can each do,” said Ms Claire Preisser, manager of the Faculty Pioneer Awards selection process and Senior Programme Manager at the Aspen Institute Business & Society Programme.
“A person sitting next to me on a plane once taught me that we do not really teach what we want to teach, but we teach who we are. My dream is that I would someday be useful to someone, somehow.”
She added: “We thought Professor Mahmood’s teaching brought the public-private interface into the classroom in really interesting ways. For instance, teaching about ‘institutional voids’ that might lead to trade-offs between firm-level competitiveness and macro-economic growth, or teaching about the linkages between firm strategy and the interaction of firms and the state in various national contexts. Associate Professor Mahmood thus receives our ‘Rising Star’ Award which honours, in a special way, scholars who are doing the kind of work we value, and doing that work at a relatively early point in their career.”
Winners and finalists were selected by Aspen Institute staff in consultation with three academic advisers: Dr Bruce Buchanan, Stern School of Business, New York University; Dr Bruce Hutton, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver; and Dr Anita McGahan, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Nominations for the Awards were submitted by distinguished academics globally, and self-nominations were not considered.
“This award has inspired me to think about how I can use my teaching to solve real-life problems faced by societies and business communities. I hope this award will inspire NUSBusiness School to become the best place in the world to study and learn about innovative products and business models across various emerging markets,” said Associate Professor Mahmood.
A faculty member of NUS Business School’s Department of Strategy and Policy, Associate Professor Mahmood teaches at both undergraduate and graduate levels, and directs the popular ‘Business Strategies for Asia’ Executive Education programme for senior executives. He also studies and works with multinational and indigenous companies on their emerging market strategies. A large part of Associate Professor Mahmood’s research is on how firms make the transition from being imitators to innovators.
He joined NUS Business School in 1999, after obtaining an economics degree from Oberlin College (1992) and a PhD from Harvard University (1999). Since 2012, he has also concurrently held the appointment of Professor at IMD Lausanne, where he teaches in its flagship Orchestrating Winning Performance programme.
Associate Professor Mahmood earlier taught at the Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, Japan, and is a member of the Asian Service Business Research Institute at Waseda University. In 2002, he won the Haynes Prize, awarded by the Academy of International Business to prominent scholars in international business who are under the age of 40.
As part of the awards, Associate Professor Mahmood’s course syllabus, Asia Pacific Business and Institutions, will be featured on Aspen Institute’s resource page.
Remarked Associate Professor Mahmood: “A person sitting next to me on a plane once taught me that we do not really teach what we want to teach, but we teach who we are. My dream is that I would someday be useful to someone, somehow.”