Taking Care of Business

January 31, 2007
Business visionary: Sheppard's areas of expertise include organizational behavior, personnel management, and corporate strategy

Business visionary: Sheppard's areas of expertise include organizational behavior, personnel management, and corporate strategy. Butch Usery

Blair H. Sheppard, an internationally recognized expert on global and corporate education, will become the new dean of the Fuqua School of Business, effective July 1. Sheppard succeeds Douglas Breeden, who announced last spring that he will return to a full-time faculty position at Fuqua after serving as dean since 2001.

Sheppard joined the Fuqua faculty in 1981. He has been on leave from Fuqua since 2000, serving as chief executive officer of Duke Corporate Education, a custom executive-education company owned by Duke.

Sheppard played a principal role in a number of programs that established the Fuqua School's brand and reputation for innovation, including the Duke MBA-Global Executive program, an eighteen-month program for senior executives that combines residential sessions in Asia, South America, Europe, and the United States with Internet-enabled distance learning for students throughout the world. The Global Executive program was launched in 1996 and since then has become a model for programs at other leading business schools.

Sheppard has guided Duke Corporate Education from its infancy. Under his leadership, Duke Corporate Education has been ranked number one in the world for executive education by both BusinessWeek and the Financial Times for several years. Over the past six years, Duke Corporate Education has grown from a $10-15 million business to a $50 million business with 136 full-time employees and a leading position in the marketplace.

Sheppard has provided consulting expertise to more than 100 companies and governments in the areas of corporate strategy, relationship management, structure, and leadership. He has written more than fifty books and articles on these topics. Provost Peter Lange calls Sheppard "a visionary" in the field of business education. "Blair possesses an intimate familiarity with Duke's Fuqua School and its mission, and he's a globally renowned figure for his academic and clinical leadership in the fields of organizational behavior, personnel management, and corporate strategy," Lange says.

In addition to his position as Fuqua dean, Sheppard will serve as chair of Duke Corporate Education.

Sheppard is married to Martha Putallaz, a professor of psychology and director of Duke's Talent Identification Program. They have two sons: Philip Sheppard '06 and Christopher Sheppard, a Duke freshman.