AACSB International Names New President and CEO

Tom RobinsonTampa, FL, USA—AACSB International announced today the appointment of Thomas R. (Tom) Robinson, current Managing Director of the Americas at the CFA Institute, as its new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Founded in 1916, AACSB International (AACSB) is the longest serving global accrediting body and membership association devoted to the advancement of management education and business schools worldwide.

Robinson will succeed John Fernandes, who announced in 2013 that he would be retiring after 15 years of service. Fernandes is widely credited with growing AACSB from a US-based accrediting body to a full-service global membership association, accrediting body, and advocate for management education. Under his leadership the organization seamlessly relocated its corporate headquarters to Tampa, Florida, USA; embraced globalization as a cornerstone to its strategic operations; and drove innovation across the management education arena.

Described as a highly effective leader, Robinson is respected globally across the industry and brings a diverse background which spans the private sector, academe, and association management. As President and CEO, he will work alongside the Board and a global network of staff, members, and volunteers to bridge AACSB’s current and future visioning initiatives. Such initiatives will build upon the strengths of the present, examining AACSB’s role in shaping the future of business and business schools.

“The global landscape for management education has shifted dramatically, requiring business schools to examine their roles in society,” said Linda Livingstone, chair of the AACSB Board and dean of The George Washington University School of Business. “Tom’s strategic leadership experience and global business knowledge, coupled with his unique perspective on business education will help AACSB in its efforts to better understand, and ultimately shape the roles that management and management education should play.”

Robinson’s understanding of the certification process, experience in building and servicing new markets, and expertise in developing educational programming will also help further enhance AACSB’s level of quality assurance, thought leadership, and membership services at the global level.

“The Board’s decision to select Tom Robinson as AACSB’s next president and CEO was unanimous,” said Jan Williams, chair of the AACSB CEO Selection Committee, and dean emeritus of the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. “His strengths and experience across multiple industries, proven strategic leadership skills, globalization expertise, and solid connections to business practice is precisely what we set out to find. His vision and expertise is exactly what AACSB needs as the organization enters its next chapter of leadership and growth.”

“It is an honor to assume the role as AACSB’s President and CEO,” said Robinson. “AACSB is a visionary organization with a powerful mission, and I look forward to building on the strong foundation John Fernandes has created. I am eager to work with the Board, and an incredibly talented team of volunteers and staff to continue to enhance the organization’s global footprint, increase the value of services provided, and work with business schools to foster innovation, impact, and engagement within the communities they serve.”

Prior to his work at the CFA Institute, Robinson was a tenured faculty member in Accounting at the University of Miami, where he directed the Master of Professional Accounting Program and served as Acting Chairman of the Department. He also spent ten years in public accounting, and served as an independent financial advisor and tax consultant. Robinson holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and a master's and doctorate from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. He also holds certifications as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA).

Robinson will join AACSB effective March 1st, and Fernandes will remain on board through April 30th to assist with the organizational transition. A more detailed history for Robinson, and high-resolution photo can be found on our Executive Team Leadership area of the website.