01 Mar 2021

Harvard Business School Announces Spring 2021 Cohort of Executive Fellows

Program engages practitioners to enhance teaching and learning

BOSTON—Harvard Business School (HBS) has announced the spring cohort of Executive Fellows for the 2020-21 academic year. The Executive Fellows Program leverages the expertise of outstanding practitioners, including alumni, each of whom partners with an HBS faculty member to bring their experience in business into the MBA program and the School.

The fellows contribute to the School by working with faculty and MBA students on curricular and co-curricular activities, including co-teaching course sessions in the elective curriculum, offering career counseling and development coaching, co-leading Short Intensive Programs, and delivering workshop sessions. They also collaborate with faculty on work in HBS Online and Executive Education as well as case development and other research projects. Fellow appointments range from a few months to one year and may be extended.

“Our inaugural cohort of Executive Fellows provided tremendous insights to our students and shared learnings gained through years of extensive business practice," says Len Schlesinger, chair of the Executive Fellows Program. "This cohort is equally as impressive and committed to contributing to the HBS community, and the School’s mission of educating leaders who make a difference in the world.”

The Spring 2021 cohort of Executive Fellows includes:

Rob Biederman (MBA 2014)

Biederman is the co-founder, chairman and former co-CEO of Catalant Technologies, the market leader enabling companies to get from strategy to execution, faster. He is also co-author of Reimagining Work: Strategies to Disrupt Talent, Lead Change, and Win with a Flexible Workforce, which lays out a vision and path for a new relationship between global companies and talent.

Biederman is an Executive Fellow in the Entrepreneurial Management unit, co-teaching with Professor Jeffrey Rayport the Scaling Technology Ventures course on funding and accelerating the growth of disruptive internet companies.

Gerald Chertavian (MBA 1992)

Chertavian is dedicated to closing the opportunity divide that exists in our nation. Determined to make this vision a reality, he combined his entrepreneurial experience and his passion for working with young adults to found Year Up, one of the nation’s largest youth workforce development programs. Chertavian serves on the board of advisors for HBS’s Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI) and is a former member of the World Economic Forum’s Youth Unemployment Council.

As an Executive Fellow with SEI, Chertavian is working with a number of students and faculty members on various projects.

Álvaro Rodríguez Arregui (MBA 1995)

Arregui is the co-founder and managing partner of IGNIA. He is the former chairman of the board of Compartamos Banco (Gentera), Latin America’s largest microfinance institution, and formerly served as chairman of the board of ACCION International, a 60-year old US-based global non-for-profit pioneer of microfinance. Álvaro formerly served as CFO of Vitro; CEO of Farmacias Benavides and CFO of Grupo Elektra. Álvaro is also a board member of Harvard University’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.

As an Executive Fellow, Arregui is also working with SEI as a panelist this spring in sessions on Financial Inclusion and Systems Change.

Daniel Kahn and Leo Tsao

Kahn is the chief of the Department of Justice (DOJ), criminal division, fraud section. In that capacity, he supervises and manages the day-to-day operations of the fraud section, and directly oversees the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) unit, the market integrity and major frauds unit, the health care fraud unit, and the strategy, policy, and training unit, and all corresponding matters handled by those units. Kahn has tried and convicted a number of individuals in FCPA, securities fraud, and other white-collar cases, and was the lead prosecutor on 10 corporate resolutions. He graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School.

Tsao is the principal deputy chief of the money laundering and asset recovery section of the criminal division at the Department of Justice. As the principal deputy chief, Tsao is responsible for, among other things, exercising nationwide supervisory authority over the DOJ’s money laundering program, and supervising investigations and prosecutions of financial institutions for Bank Secrecy Act, sanctions, and money laundering violations. He also helps to oversee the department’s asset forfeiture program, including setting nationwide policies and managing the asset forfeiture fund.

As Executive Fellows, Kahn and Tsao are working with Professor Eugene Soltes on the MBA Program Elective Curriculum course, Managing Risk and Uncertainty.

Vladimir Jacimovic (MBA 1992)

Jacimovic, a seasoned investor with over 25 years of venture, private equity, and public investing and operating experience, is the founder of Continuum Capital Partners, which specializes in a crossover investment strategy, targeting both venture investments in startups as well as investments in public companies. Since beginning his venture career in 1996, he has invested in and helped build more than 30 technology companies. In addition to serving on many public and private boards, Vladimir served on the advisory boards of Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, and McKinsey & Company.

As an Executive Fellow, Jacimovic is working with Professor Karim Lakhani on issues of AI-first businesses. He will also engage with students and other HBS faculty members on various projects related to digital transformation.

Dr. Rana el Kaliouby

El Kaliouby’s life work is about humanizing technology before it dehumanizes us. She is a scientist, entrepreneur, author, and AI thought leader on a mission to bring emotional intelligence to our digital world, and co-founder and CEO of Affectiva, an MIT Media Lab spinoff credited with creating the category of artificial emotional intelligence, or Emotion AI. Her memoir, Girl Decoded: A Scientist’s Quest to Reclaim Our Humanity by Bringing Emotional Intelligence to Technology, follows her personal journey, growing up in the Middle East and moving to the US to become an entrepreneur, juxtaposed against her work building Emotion AI.

As an Executive Fellow, el Kaliouby is also working with Professor Lakhani on various projects related to AI and analytics. She will engage with both MBA and Doctoral students.

Sheela Zemlin (MBA 1998)

Zemlin is a partner at PwC, leading the firm's go-to-market strategy for the Fintech practice, having also served as the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) for PwC New Ventures. Prior to PwC, she held senior leadership positions at several high-growth software companies, including Bill.com and Taleo (acquired by Oracle). Zemlin is currently a board member of Digimarc, and has served as President and board member at the Harvard Club of San Francisco. She has helped bring innovation to public and nonprofit organizations through her volunteer work on digital transformation initiatives with the San Francisco Mayor’s Office and the San Francisco SPCA.

As an Executive Fellow, Zemlin will be working with Senior Lecturer Mark Roberge and Lecturer Lou Shipley, collaborating on activities to enhance Entrepreneurial Sales (ES) and create additional connections between the school and Silicon Valley.

Lloyd C. Blankfein (Harvard Law JD 1978, Harvard BA 1975)

Blankfein previously served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Goldman Sachs Group from 2006-2018, and overall spent 36 years with the company. He is a member of several Harvard University advisory boards; a Board Fellow of the Weill Cornell Medical College; Chairman of the Wall Street Division, UJA Federation; and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

As an Executive Fellow, Blankfein will be working with the HBS Finance unit and Professor Robin Greenwood on projects of mutual interest, including serving as a guest speaker for Executive Education and MBA classes.


Mark Cautela

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.