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Discover Who's Teaching: Lilach Nachum, Professor of International Business and Strategy

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Professor Lilach Nachum is an internationally-recognized expert on issues related to international business (IB) and multinational corporations—topics that she has been writing about, teaching, and consulting on intensively for more than two decades. Her research focuses on international business as it affects companies and countries and has been published in the leading academic journals in the field, including the Journal of International Business Studies, Strategic Management Journal, and Management Science, among others. She has also published two books on the subject.

Dr. Nachum, who has been at Baruch since 2002, is widely recognized for her contribution to academic research in IB among her peers. She has been invited to present her research at leading academic institutions around the world, such as Columbia University and Cambridge University (UK). She also serves on the editorial boards of many of the leading journals in IB, including the Journal of International Business Studies and Global Strategy Journal, among others.

As an undergrad at Tel-Aviv University, the Israeli native was on a very different track, graduating with a BA in music and arts. While pursuing an MBA, also at Tel-Aviv University, she won first prize in the R.M. Siegel Fund's annual competition for student research in marketing. Her advisors convinced her to go for a PhD, which she earned (in international business and management) from Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. After completing her PhD, she took a position in the United Nation's UNCTAD Division on Transnational Corporations and Foreign Investments and later spent several years as senior research fellow at Cambridge University's Center for Business Research in the UK, before moving to the US to take a position at Baruch College. It proved to be a worthwhile move. "As an academic, particularly in business, the U.S. is the place to be," she says. "The opportunities here are second to none."

At Baruch, Nachum teaches IB from the basics (Introduction to International Business) to the advanced (International Business Theory and Method in a soon-to-be-introduced PhD course in IB). For the last several years, she has also been teaching Baruch's Executive MBA Study Abroad course, where she has taken Executive MBA students to countries around the world, giving them the opportunity to observe the realities of doing business in different countries. In addition to her classes in New York, Professor Nachum has taught local students in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore as part of Baruch's International Executives Program.

Outside of Baruch, Nachum has held visiting positions at the Vienna Technical University, Austria; Bocconi University, Italy; Warsaw School of Economics, Poland; Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China; Webster University Campus in Switzerland; Uppsala University and Stockholm University in Sweden; and Reading University, the UK, among other institutions.

When it comes to teaching IB, Professor Lilach Nachum doesn't just rely on theory. Having lived and worked in many different environments, Nachum finds her experience helpful in the classroom. "I'm really curious about other people, other cultures, which is why I find this field so fascinating … I never get tired of going to new places, meeting executives from other countries, hearing how they're thinking, and getting to learn about the world in which they do business."

The fact that Baruch's student body is so diverse is also a great boon to the courses taught here. "Every time I speak about a country in class there's a student from there!" she notes. "The students get very engaged as a result, and I learn so much from them." She remembers a class in which she told her students about McDonalds opening its first restaurant in Moscow and how people were standing in line in the snow in the middle of the winter for hours to get in. One of the students said, 'I was there!' And she shared the excitement that was felt that day. "I could never describe anything close to that," Nachum says. "We're so fortunate to have that."

Nachum is the founder and coordinator of the Weissman Center's International Business Seminar Series, which has brought distinguished academic scholars from universities all over the world to Baruch since 2004.

On the horizon is Baruch's new PhD concentration in international business, which will begin in Fall 2011. "The intention is to offer it as an interdisciplinary course that is open to all PhD students in our school. I designed the course with the idea of showing potential links between IB and the various business disciplines, hoping to make it appealing to young scholars in these different areas." This will undoubtedly be yet another fulfilling addition to Dr. Nachum's impressive international resume.