William R. Kerr

Dimitri V. D'Arbeloff - MBA Class of 1955 Professor of Business Administration

William Kerr is a Professor at Harvard Business School. Bill is the faculty chair of the Launching New Ventures program for executive education, and he has received Harvard's Distinction in Teaching award.

Bill focuses on how companies and economies explore new opportunities and generate growth. He considers the leadership and resources necessary to identify, launch and sustain dynamic and enduring organizations, and his recent work on Launching Global Ventures especially emphasized global opportunities. Bill is a recipient of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Prize Medal for Distinguished Research in Entrepreneurship.

Bill works with companies worldwide on the development of new ventures and transformations for profitable growth. He also advises governments about investments in the innovative capacities of their nations.

Bill and his family live in Lexington, MA. They enjoy outdoor sports and trail running, are active members of their local church, and maintain close ties to his wife's home country of Finland. Bill grew up in Alabama and remains a passionate college football fan. 

  1. Winner of the 2013 Ewing Marion Kauffman Prize Medal for Distinguished Research in Entrepreneurship, awarded annually to one scholar under age 40 whose research has made a significant contribution to the literature in entrepreneurship.

  2. Winner of the 2012 FPD Academy Award for Best World Bank Research in Finance and Private Sector Development.

  3. Winner of the 2010-2011 H. Gregg Lewis Prize from the Journal of Labor Economics for his paper with William F. Lincoln “The Supply Side of Innovation: H-1B Visa Reforms and U.S. Ethnic Innovation” (July 2010).

  4. Awarded the 2011 Marvin Bower Fellowship to support research by outstanding scholars.

  5. Awarded the 2009 Kauffman Foundation Junior Faculty Fellowship in Entrepreneurship Research.

  6. Named Harvard Business School MBA Class of 1961 Fellow in 2008.

  7. Named a fellow of the 2006-2007 Innovation Policy and the Economy Group at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

  8. Awarded a 2004 Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University.

  9. Named a National Bureau of Economic Research Faculty Research Fellow in 2009.