During 2011 Alan was a Visiting Scholar at the Sloan School of Management. For several years he was the Director of the Skolkovo Infrastructure Research Center in Moscow, where he led multiple research and advisory projects on tertiary and vocational education in both the developed and the developing worlds. These projects included case-and survey-based analyses of key strategic, organizational, and marketing issues of individual institutions and whole educational systems. Before that, for more than a decade, he was the Chief Knowledge Officer of Monitor Group, where he led advisory work on education-related projects in all parts of the world.
His roots in the academic world go deep. Just out of college, he taught anthropology and American literature, as well as served as Dean of Students, at a small liberal arts college in Vermont. While studying for his PhD, he taught history and literature to undergraduates at both Harvard and MIT. As a long-time trustee of a leading secondary school in New York, he led the Board through two major strategic planning processes and a significant overhaul of the school’s academic program. In addition, as a long-time member of Harvard’s Graduate School Alumni Council, he helped design three cutting-edge programs to better prepare Masters and PhD candidates for careers outside academia and has taught in them every year they have been offered. As a member of the editorial boards of two major management journals and an informal advisor to the editors of various business publications, he has helped these professionals stay on top of the shifting currents of new research. This, of course, is an extension of his own past experience: he has served as senior editor of Harvard Business Review and as a partner at McKinsey & Company, its Director of Communications/Asia-Pacific, and the editor of the McKinsey Quarterly.
On his own or as a partner in/advisor to leading global consulting firms, Alan has led or co-led important engagements around the world in support of major academic/learning institutions. Among these efforts are projects to establish a marketing strategy for the now hugely successful joint global EMBA program offered by LBS and Columbia Business School; to create an organizational and curricular design for a greenfield, entrepreneurially-focused business school in Moscow; to frame the strategy and organizational design, as well as the curriculum, for a new management institute in Saudi Arabia; to design the education-related regulatory and licensing regimes for the emergent Economic Cities in Saudi Arabia; to design the tertiary education component of the human asset strategy essential to Saudi’s overall plans to boost economic competitiveness; to synthesize the pedagogical content used by a leading micro-credit lending institution to develop essential financial skills at partner institutions in developing economies; to design a strongly differentiated strategy, organizational structure, governance system, and integration plan for the creation of a single national federal university out of four technical institutes in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia; to craft a new growth strategy for a major globally-focused business school in the United States; to redesign the architecture of information gathered (and metricized) about the skills, capabilities, and learning potential of human assets in a major Gulf region country; and to redesign the education strategy for the foundation guiding educational reform and experimentation in another Gulf region country.
Alan holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University in the History of American Civilization, where he was a Whiting Fellow in the Humanities, and an A.B. from Harvard College in Anthropology (summa cum laude), where he was a Phi Beta Kappa.