Dr. Aileen Ionescu-Somers – Ireland & Switzerland

Director of Learning, Executive and Doctoral Programs

Dr. Aileen Ionescu-Somers holds a Ph.D (Commerce -Business Strategy) MA, and Higher Diploma in Education BA (1st Class Honours), from NUI -National University of Ireland, and an MSc (Environmental Management) from Imperial College London. She is Associate Dean at BSL- Business School Lausanne, a leading innovator in business education. Until end of 2015, she directed the CSL Learning Platform – a corporate membership-driven initiative that was part of the Global Center for Sustainability Leadership at the prestigious business school, IMD. She designs, facilitates and runs thought leadership, stakeholder dialogue and learning events related to strategic innovation for sustainability and involving corporations and their stakeholders. She is on the sustainability/advisory boards of several global organizations and apart from her activities at BSL, is guest faculty for Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) and executive training at the Université de Lausanne, Switzerland.

In the last 15 years, Dr. Ionescu-Somers has conceived, designed and supervised several large scale research projects focused on a) building/rolling out sustainability strategies in multiple industries, b) managing the stakeholder environment, and c) creating effective corporate sustainability partnerships. She has also authored or co-authored many thought leading articles related to IMD research and learning in academic journals, press, book chapters and books such as Business Logic for Sustainability: A Food and Beverage Industry Perspective and Sustainability Partnerships: The Manager’s Handbook (published with Palgrave Macmillan).

She has co-authored over 30 teaching case studies focused mainly on strategic innovation for sustainability, and won three prestigious European Foundation for Management Development case writing awards and one each from ECCH and OIKOS. She has particular expertise in strategic innovation for sustainability in the global food & beverage industry, and in 2013, co-authored the world’s first Practitioner’s Guide to the Sustainable Sourcing of Agricultural Raw Materials, a publication jointly launched in March 2013 by seven global organizations. Previously, she worked for the conservation NGO WWF, where she held several project and program management posts on major conservation programs in Africa/Madagascar and Latin America/Caribbean, before taking a leadership role as head of WWF’s project operations unit, overseeing operations of field and policy projects globally.

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