05 Jan 2009
Thomas Tierney (MBA 1980) Named Chair of HBS Social Enterprise Initiative Advisory Board
Former Bain & Company CEO to Succeed John Whitehead
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Thomas J. Tierney

BOSTON — The Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI) announced today that Thomas J. Tierney (MBA 1980), chairman and co-founder of the Bridgespan Group, will succeed John C. Whitehead (MBA 1947) as chair of the SEI Advisory Board. Tierney is a widely recognized leader in the nonprofit sector, and since cofounding the Bridgespan Group in 1999, he has focused on bringing leading-edge strategies and tools to the challenges and opportunities facing nonprofit organizations and philanthropy. As chair of the SEI Advisory Board, Tierney will work with the SEI leadership team to develop strategies to advance the work of the Initiative, maintain and build upon connections with the field of practice, and ensure that SEI continues to operate at and advance the frontiers of knowledge in the private, non-profit and public sectors in applying management skills to create social value.

John Whitehead will become chair emeritus of the SEI Advisory Board and officially welcome Tierney as the incoming chair at the Advisory Board meeting in April 2009. "In planning for this transition," said Whitehead, "I have been in close consultation over the past several months with the HBS Social Enterprise Initiative leadership team and Dean Jay Light to define a succession plan. Tom Tierney's wisdom, experience, and vision make him the perfect choice to guide the board as SEI's importance on the HBS campus and beyond continues to grow."

"John Whitehead's vision, leadership and personal commitment have been absolutely central to the development of the Social Enterprise Initiative over these past fifteen years," said Tierney. "I'm deeply honored to follow in his footsteps and build upon his extraordinary legacy. I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues to help the Initiative achieve its full potential in the service of the school, students, alumni and society."

The Social Enterprise Initiative benefits from the guidance and counsel of an advisory board composed of HBS alumni and other leaders in the field of social enterprise. The Initiative was launched in 1993 by former Dean John H. McArthur and interested faculty and staff with the initial support of John Whitehead, former co-chairman of Goldman Sachs and Deputy Secretary of State, whose career has spanned leadership positions in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Subsequent support from numerous HBS alumni has enabled the Initiative to flourish at the School. Since the Initiative's founding, its approach to social enterprise has encompassed the contributions any individual or organization can make toward social improvement, regardless of its legal form (nonprofit, private, or public sector).

"As we mark the Social Enterprise Initiative's 15th anniversary," said Dean Light, "its impact is evident in every aspect of the work we do at Harvard Business School - from the faculty's research and the generation of new knowledge, to MBA courses, to executive education offerings, to programs and activities that foster student and alumni engagement through their professional and civic lives."

About Thomas J. Tierney
Chairman and Co-founder, Bridgespan Group
Tierney is a recognized leader in serving the nonprofit sector. In 1999 he cofounded the Bridgespan Group, an independent, nonprofit organization designed to provide general management consulting services to foundations and other nonprofits. During 2000, he stepped down as Bain & Company's chief executive to concentrate on Bridgespan-related activities. More recently, he led the development of Bridgestar, a nonprofit Bridgespan initiative dedicated to enhancing and increasing leadership talent for the nonprofit sector.

Tierney frequently speaks and writes on a variety of topics related to nonprofit leadership. He lectures at Harvard Business School and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and has contributed to numerous case studies and publications, including The Harvard Business Review and the Stanford Social Innovation Review. He is the coauthor (with HBS professor Jay Lorsch) of Aligning the Stars (Harvard Business School Press, 2002), a best-selling book about the organization and strategy of professional services firms.

Tierney joined Bain & Company in 1980 after earning his MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School. Promoted to partner after three years, he served as managing director of Bain's San Francisco office. In 1992, he became Bain's chief executive. During the 1990s, under his leadership, Bain & Company grew its revenues six-fold, while significantly expanding its international operations.

A native of California, he received his BA in economics with highest distinction from the University of California at Davis, where he was honored as that year's most outstanding graduate.

Tierney is a director of eBay, Incorporated and also serves on a number of nonprofit boards and advisory groups, including the national board of The Nature Conservancy, The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, the Hoover Institution, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. He is a past director of many other nonprofit organizations, including the United Way of the Bay Area, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, The Committee for Economic Development, Catholic Charities, and WGBH, a flagship station of the Public Broadcasting System and National Public Radio.

About John C. Whitehead
Chairman, The Goldman Sachs Foundation
John C. Whitehead was born in Evanston, Illinois. He grew up in Montclair, New Jersey, attended public schools there and graduated from Montclair High School. He lived in nearby Essex Fells until 1985 and has resided in Manhattan for the past 14 years. Mr. Whitehead graduated from Haverford College in 1943, and served in the U. S. Navy, participating in the invasion of Normandy, Southern France, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. While still in the Navy, Mr. Whitehead was assigned as an Instructor at the Harvard Business School. He received his M.B.A. degree, with distinction, from Harvard in 1947 and holds honorary degrees from Haverford, Pace, Rutgers, Amherst, Harvard, General Theological Seminary, Berea College and Bates College.

Mr. Whitehead began his professional career in 1947 at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he worked for 38 years. He rose quickly within the company and was named Partner in 1956, and Co-Chairman and Senior Partner in 1976. He has served on the board of numerous companies, and as a Director of the New York Stock Exchange, and Chairman of the Securities Industry Association.

In April 1985, Mr. Whitehead was asked to become Deputy Secretary of State, second-in-command to Secretary George Shultz, and served until January 1989. During this period, he was Acting Secretary of State when Mr. Shultz was away from Washington and took a special interest in relations with Eastern Europe, the United Nations, and with various administrative reforms in the State Department. Mr. Whitehead was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Reagan.

Since returning from Washington in 1989, he has been active in a number of educational, civic and charitable organizations. He is a former Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the United Nations Association, the International Rescue Committee, International House, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Harvard Board of Overseers, Haverford College, and the Asia Society (not all at the same time). He is presently Chairman of the Goldman Sachs Foundation and is also now Co Chairman of the Greater New York Councils of the Boy Scouts, a Director of the Nature Conservancy, the East-West Institute, the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships and a former Director of Rockefeller University, Lincoln Center Theater, the J. Paul Getty Trust, Outward Bound, and the National Humanities Center. In Washington, Mr. Whitehead is Chairman Emeritus of the Brookings Institution and the Trustees Council of the National Gallery of Art.

In late 2001, he was appointed Chairman of the Board of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the organization responsible for the rebuilding and revitalization of Lower Manhattan, and served in that role until 2006.