Appointment of GSB director

12 August 2020 | From Kgethi

Dear colleagues and students

I am delighted to announce that Dr Catherine Duggan has been appointed as the new director of the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) effective from 1 September 2020.

Dr Duggan is an accomplished academic who brings more than 20 years of work in Africa, as well as extensive experience at top global business schools, to the role. She joins UCT from the African Leadership University School of Business (ALUSB) in Rwanda, where she is currently the vice dean for strategy and research. At ALUSB she spearheaded the development of a highly successful new Master of Business Administration programme that blends online and in-person learning and draws students from more than 15 African countries each year. She also chaired the school’s expanding executive education and continuous learning activities and served as faculty lead for its business development and student recruitment activities.

Before joining ALUSB, Dr Duggan served on the faculty of the Harvard Business School (HBS), where she taught courses on political economy and leadership in the MBA and executive education programmes. She was a visiting scholar at Saïd Business School at Oxford University, where she taught a popular course on Doing Business in Africa. Dr Duggan has also taught in executive programmes for INSEAD Business School, recently serving as academic co-chair of a joint ALUSB-INSEAD executive programme on Strategic Leadership in Africa.

Dr Duggan’s expertise focuses on institutional development and financial sector regulation in sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on the ways that countries can build institutions to support economic development. She has written numerous cases on business in Africa, including cases based on original research in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Uganda, Liberia and Guinea-Bissau, spanning topics as varied as environmental sustainability, social enterprise, the changing role of business in society, the benefits of diversity in corporations, and the challenges of doing business in changing political and economic contexts.

With such massive experience garnered from over two decades of working in Africa, Dr Duggan joins UCT at a time when we are striving to not only be the best in Africa, but also the best for Africa. UCT’s vision for being a socially responsive university translates into research and teaching that focuses on producing African solutions for African problems, and into collaborations we develop with other researchers across Africa.

Dr Duggan is a celebrated academic who has received numerous teaching awards and has broad experience with problem-based pedagogical approaches. She was the first woman in the history of HBS to win the prestigious Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Required Curriculum, an award conferred by a vote of the MBA graduating class, two years in a row. At HBS she also received the Charles M Williams Award for Excellence in Teaching, and she was named the Berol Corporation Fellow.

She received a PhD in Political Science from Stanford University in the United States, where she was the GJ Lieberman Fellow for the Social Sciences. She received a BA with honours in Political Science from Brown University, also in the United States.

Please join me in congratulating Dr Duggan on her appointment.

Her appointment brings to an end a lengthy yet meticulous and rigorous process through which the university sought to find a candidate of the highest calibre to steer the GSB. We have no doubt that, with her wealth of experience, Dr Duggan will be up to the enormous task of taking the GSB to the next level.

She will take over from Emeritus Professor Hugh Corder, who is serving as interim GSB director. We are appreciative of the leadership provided by Emeritus Professor Corder during his acting tenure.


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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