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Faculty Member at UofT’s Rotman School Appointed to the University’s Most Distinguished Rank.

June 5, 2019

Toronto – A faculty member at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management who is a preeminent expert on industry change and is currently tackling problems of global health has been appointed to the University’s most distinguished rank of “University Professor.”

Prof. Anita McGahan was recognized by UofT for her scholarly achievement and pre-eminence in the field of strategic management.

This is only the third time that professors at the Rotman School have received this honour joining other prestigious past recipients including Rotman Professors John Hull and Richard Florida. The number of such appointments does not generally exceed two per cent of the tenured faculty at the University. Only five professors at the University received the appointment this year including  Prof. Elizabeth Edwards of the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry; Prof. Prabhat Jha of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health; Prof. James Retallack of the Department of History; and, Frances Shepherd of the Faculty of Medicine.   

“This is a marvelous honour for Anita as the University recognizes her academic contributions over her career,” says Prof. Kenneth S. Corts, Vice-Dean, Faculty & Research, at the Rotman School. 

Anita McGahan is Professor of Strategic Management and the George E. Connell Chair in Organizations & Society at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. She is cross-appointed to the Physiology Department of the Medical School; and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Among many administrative roles at the University of Toronto, she served as Associate Dean of Research and Director of the Rotman School’s PhD program between 2010 and 2015.

Prof. McGahan is a globally pre-eminent authority on industry evolution and the evolution of competitive advantage. She is internationally renowned, both in academia and in practice, for addressing some of the world’s most difficult and important problems, notably around global health. She has written four books and more than 150 articles, case studies, notes, and other published material in her areas of expertise. Her current research emphasizes entrepreneurship in the public interest and innovative collaboration between public and private organizations. She is also pursuing a long-standing interest in how firms overcome industry disruption to achieve breakthrough performance. Her recent work emphasizes innovation in the governance of technology to address global challenges. In recognition of her contributions, she was elected as a Fellow of the Strategic Management Society in 2012 and of the Academy of Management in 2015.

Prof. McGahan is a past president of the Academy of Management, the largest and most prominent professional association of management and organization professors and PhD students, with nearly 20,000 international members.  As President, she advocated for transformation in business education to deploy private capabilities in pursuit of broad public problems such as climate change and international humanitarian crises.   Since 2014, she has served on the faculty of the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Opening Governance based at New York University. This network studies governance innovation in the public and private sectors.  Prof. McGahan contributed to the network through her work on the deployment of private-sector efforts to innovate in healthcare.   As Vice-Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Grand Challenges Canada, she participates in the international Grand Challenges community by supporting innovators that integrate science, technology, social and business innovation in low- and middle-income countries and in Canada. Prof. McGahan also is a Senior Fellow of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Centre for Governance, Accountability and Transparency in the Pharmaceutical Sector, charged with conducting research, analysis, and training on critical issues related to good governance and transparency in medicines.

Prof. McGahan has been recognized as an outstanding teacher for her dedication to the success of junior faculty, her leadership in course development, and her vision for the future of management education. In 2010, she was awarded the Academy of Management BPS Division’s Irwin Distinguished Educator Award. In 2012, the Academy of Management also conferred on Prof. McGahan its Career Distinguished Educator Award for her championship of reform in the core curriculum of Business Schools. In 2018, Prof. McGahan was awarded both the Inaugural Educational Impact Award and the Dan and Mary Lou Schendel Best Paper Prize from the Strategic Management Society. She earned both her MA and PhD at Harvard University in two years. She holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School, where she received highest academic honours as a Baker Scholar, and a BA from Northwestern University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She also spent several years at both McKinsey & Company and Morgan Stanley & Company; and was previously on the faculties of both Harvard Business School and Boston University. 

The Rotman School of Management is part of the University of Toronto, a global centre of research and teaching excellence at the heart of Canada’s commercial capital. Rotman is a catalyst for transformative learning, insights and public engagement, bringing together diverse views and initiatives around a defining purpose: to create value for business and society. For more information, visit


For more information:

Ken McGuffin
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
Voice: 416.946.3818