Executive Chairman, Jack Welch Management Institute
Jack Welch is one of the world's most respected and celebrated CEOs, known for his unmatched track record of success, enormous love of people, fierce passion for winning, and unbridled desire to change the world for the better using his unique management practices, which are collectively called the Welch Way.
Born to a working class family in Salem, Massachusetts, Jack attended the University of Massachusetts, and received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois. He joined GE at age 24, worked his way up through many divisions, and was named its CEO in 1981 at the age of 45. In his 21 years as CEO, Jack transformed GE into the world's most admired and successful company with his innovative management techniques. Revenues grew five-fold from $25 billion to $130 billion, income grew ten-fold, from $1.5 billion to $15 billion, and the company's market capitalization had a 30-fold increase of more than $400 billion. His achievements are considered epic, and as a result, thousands of companies around the world have adopted the Welch Way.
After retiring from GE in 2001, Jack Welch has only become more active in business. He has written two best-selling business books, Jack: Straight from the Gut and Winning. He actively participates in managing numerous companies as part of a private equity group, and for four years wrote an immensely popular weekly column for BusinessWeek magazine. He is a fixture on TV as a popular business commentator.
Jack Welch has always been defined by his zealous love of teaching and commitment to building leaders. At GE, he created the world's best corporate training center and regularly taught there himself. More recently, he taught a popular course as a visiting professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management, and he regularly teaches seminars to CEOs and senior executives around the world.
Working closely with an outstanding faculty, Jack Welch is engaged in every aspect of the Jack Welch Management Institute. As Executive Chairman, he appears in weekly videos about current business events, interacts with students via email, and is deeply involved in the development of the program's curriculum.
Andrea Backman, Ph.D.
Dean, Jack Welch Management Institute
As Dean, Andréa is driven by a single, laser-focused mission: to deliver the Jack Welch Management Institute as the gold standard for business education, ensuring that all programs at the Jack Welch Management Institute maintain the highest quality of instruction and are deeply rooted in Jack Welch's rich canon of actionable management practices.
She is responsible for all academic matters including faculty hiring and evaluation, product and curriculum design and development, student success and the student experience.
Prior to joining JWMI, Andréa served as a faculty member and leader in online education at the University of Virginia. She has also held positions as the Chief Academic Officer at Rasmussen College, Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at Strayer University, Director of New Program Development at the University of Virginia and Associate Director of the Center for Distance Education at DePaul University.
She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, a graduate degree from DePaul University and an undergraduate degree from the Pennsylvania State University. She has spent her academic career leading initiatives related to online learning, adult learning, and innovation in higher education.
Daniel Szpiro, Ph.D.
Dean of Executive Education, Jack Welch Management Institute
Throughout his career, Danny has applied Welch Way principles as an award-winning teacher and world-renowned expert on financial management, including the areas of management accounting, capital budgeting, post-investment review, and the Balanced Scorecard. He has published on the topic of integrating capital budgeting and corporate strategy, and his teaching material on the use of the case method has been adopted by universities around the world. As Dean of Executive Education, Danny is involved with the design and delivery of JWMI's growing management training and executive development offerings.
Danny was formerly dean of JWMI. Leading up to that role, he was a faculty member and associate dean for Executive Education at the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. He joined Johnson in 2004 as the founding director of The Cornell-Queen’s Executive MBA Program. From 1999 to 2004 he was an associate professor with Queen’s School of Business at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, and, for most of that period, the Director of Queen’s National Executive MBA program. Prior to joining Queen’s, he was a faculty member with the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University. Before pursuing an academic career, he spent many years in various international activities in the consumer electronics industry.international activities in the consumer electronics industry.
Danny has led sessions and courses with executives in many development and graduate degree programs, including Executive MBA, Executive CMA and Aviation MBA specializations, in North America and overseas. He earned a BSc from the University of Waterloo, an MBA from Queen’s University, an MSc (International Accounting & Finance) from the London School of Economics, and a PhD from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. In his research and consulting, he has worked with organizations on the use of post-investment reviews and strategic controls in capital investment systems.
SVP and General Manager, Jack Welch Management Institute
As the Jack Welch Management Institute's strategic business and operations leader and a passionate advocate of The Welch Way throughout his career, Dean is excited to bring Jack Welch's proven management practices to an up-and-coming generation of business leaders who want to achieve success in their organizations.
Leveraging both Strayer University's 120-year history of educating working adults and Jack's legendary leadership legacy, Dean leads a team committed to meeting the changing learning needs of both corporations and individuals in a world where advances in technology are altering markets, transforming traditional competitive strategies, and driving an unprecedented need for leaders who know how to manage human capital. Guided by the best talent and the best values, he ensures that JWMI continually delivers a relevant and rigorous education that transforms the trajectory of companies and careers. In his work at JWMI, Dean draws on deep operations experience that spans several industries. Since he joined Strayer Education in 2008, he has led various operating divisions, including University Admissions, University Development, online operations, and on-site programs for Fortune 100 companies. Prior to Strayer, Dean was co-founder and operator of Kaplan Virtual Education; one of the nation's largest regionally accredited online high schools, and now part of K12, Incorporated.
Beyond his tenure in education, Dean has served as Vice President of Operations and Vice President of Finance of a publicly traded healthcare services company and has held operating, marketing and M&A positions at a former Fortune 500 Oil Refining company in the Midwest.
He holds a B.A. from Westminster College and a MBA from Saint Louis University's John Cook School of Business.
Learn more about Strayer University's Leadership Team.