Prof. Derek Abell is one of the most well-known professors of management in the world, not only for his expertise in the field of strategy but respected for his strive for better management education. Education with excellence and relevance for the society.
Professor Derek F. Abell has spent more than 40 years in development of management and leadership education, the first 12 as Professor at the Harvard Business School. During the Harvard years he was for two years Visiting Professor at INSEAD. He left HBS in 1981 to become Dean of IMEDE (now IMD) and served in that capacity until 1989, continuing there as Professor until 2002. In 1994, he was appointed, in parallel, Full Professor at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich. In 2002 he became Founding President of the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT), Berlin, and served as in that role until 2006, building a new campus, a faculty, and total staff of about 100 people. He is there Professor Emeritus. In 2012, he became International Dean of the newly created HSM Educacao, Sao Paulo, Brazil, with the task of expanding its international reach, and helping to build its university network, its faculty, and programs.
Professor Abell has published five books, all of which have, redefined the management fields they have addressed. In addition, he has published numerous articles and papers in the fields of marketing, strategy, leadership, general management, governance, and technology-based industry, including publications in leading journals such as the Journal of Marketing and the MIT Sloan Management Review. He is the author of more than 100 published case studies, and has guided the development of at least 100 more.
Professor Abell is also a founding Board member of CEEMAN, the association of 220 business schools from 55 countries, where he has served on the Board for 20 years. He also serves as President of CEEMAN's International Quality Accreditation Committee. He is, as already mentioned, Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board of IEDC-Bled School of Management, Slovenia, where he has served for 25 years. He is also Board member of the European Forum for Entrepreneurship Research (EFER) and Chairman of that organization's Academic Advisors. He was a member of the Visiting Committee of the Harvard Business School from 2004-2010, a body which advises the Board of Overseers of Harvard University and HBS's Dean, on the School's future.
Prof. Abell’s industrial Board memberships have included Nestec (all Nestles technical and service activities), Hermes Softlab, and General Environmental Services Corporation (GES). Over the years he has acted as consultant to more than 100 large and small industrial companies, to the governments of ex-Yugoslavia and Poland in their turnarounds in the early 1990's, and to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) with the task of assessing the impact of major macro economic policy and financial changes on individual firms in CEE.
For his contributions to the development of Slovenia, he was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President of the Republic of Slovenia, Mr. Milan Kučan, in 1991.