Villanova School of Business attracts faculty who care as much about their students as they do their disciplines. A combination of scholar/teachers and senior executives, our faculty are leaders in their fields who eagerly teach our executives because they relish the thought-provoking class discussions and one-on-one interactions with rising business leaders like you.



Mike Pagano, PhD

Michael Pagano, PhD
The Robert J. and Mary Ellen Darretta Endowed Chair in Finance

Course: Valuation and Corporate Risk Management

Dr. Mike Pagano brings many years of experience in the financial services industry to the Executive MBA classroom and is the program's longest full-time tenured faculty member.  He teaches Corporate Risk Management and Firm Value for the Executive MBA programMike currently serves as a co-editor at the Financial Review and Board Member for Citadel Credit Union and Alpha Architect, LLC. He has experience in commercial lending activities at Citibank and in investment valuation analysis at a financial consulting firm, International Capital Markets Corp., as well as Reuters PLC.

Mike has served as a consultant to several companies including Citibank, PaineWebber, Fidelity Investments, GTE Investments, Philadelphia Suburban Corp. and Bank Julius Baer. He has conducted empirical analyses related to issues in risk management, cost of capital estimation, market microstructure, interest rate determination, and capital allocation. Dr. Pagano has published work in the Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Banking and Finance, and the Financial Analysts Journal. His published research has investigated the impact of the automation of stock exchange trading at the Toronto Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange, and Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. He also published an investigation of the determinants of short-term interest rates, which considers explicitly the influences of both macroeconomic and nonlinear dynamic factors. Dr. Pagano was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Costa Rica and has received various awards for teaching and academic scholarship.

The Executive MBA cohort members rave about Mike’s teaching. Ruben Warren from the Class of 2024 said, “Mike's passion for Corporate Risk Management and his patience for teaching kept the class highly engaged throughout the course. I especially enjoyed how Mike organized the class sessions to include case discussions for the students to debate amongst each other. These sessions helped to cement the risk management theories and concepts Mike covered.”  

We asked Dr. Pagano a series of questions from his perspective as an EMBA faculty member, and below are his answers.

How do you bridge the gap between academic research and real-world business challenges in your courses?

Given my prior industry experience, as well as my continuing work on corporate boards, I try to stay current with evolving business conditions and tie this knowledge to the needs of our EMBA students. Due to rapid changes in technology and the economy, it is essential to use academic rigor to provide a guiding “North Star” that can help make sense of this ever-changing business landscape.

What outcomes or transformations do you hope to see in your EMBA students as a result of your teaching and mentorship?

Ideally, we want to enable students to apply course concepts not only to their business career, but also to managing their personal lives so that they can be as successful as they want to be in all areas of their lives.

What advice would you give to professionals considering an EMBA to maximize their learning experience?

I would encourage potential EMBA students to try to learn as much as you can not only from the faculty, but also from the students in your cohort, especially in areas of communication, group dynamics, and leadership.

What has been your favorite part about teaching in the Villanova Executive MBA program?

I definitely love the interaction with the students during in-class discussions of various case analyses.


Lucy Huajing Chen, PhD


Course: Performance Measurement

Dr. Lucy Chen is the John M. Cooney Endowed Professor of Accounting in Villanova School of Business at Villanova University. She received her Ph.D. from Temple University in 2005 and worked as an Assistant Professor of Accounting at Arizona State University before joining Villanova University in 2011. Dr. Chen has taught managerial accounting for over a decade, among other undergraduate and graduate courses. She is also the undergraduate course coordinator for managerial accounting course of VSB. She loves to engage and mentor her undergraduate and graduate students and is the faculty advisor for ASCEND (the largest business professional organization for Pan-Asian) at VSB. She has been very active serving in her professional organizations and within Villanova, including being the President of International Accounting Section of American Accounting Association for 2023-2024 and being the Chair of University Budget Committee at Villanova for 2018-2019. She has won several awards including The McDonough Family Faculty Award for recognizing excellence in scholarship. Her research focuses on understanding the role of accounting information, including IFRS, regulation and standard settings, M&A accounting, accounting quality, and fair value, in for-profit and non-for-profit areas. Her research has been published in high-quality accounting journals such as The Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research, Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory, Journal of Accounting, Auditing, and Finance, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Accounting Horizons, and Journal of International Accounting Research.


Albert Chiaradonna


Courses: Managing Yourself and Your Career, Leading the Changing Workplace

I’m a strategic thinker and a problem solver. I love working with people to identify innovative areas of opportunity that can help their businesses thrive, and I prefer to have a little fun in the process.

Throughout my career, I have helped manage businesses ranging from start-ups to billion-dollar enterprises and have shaped strategies for numerous Fortune 500 companies. I believe that, regardless of firm size or industry sector, keeping an open mind and breaking a mental model could be the difference between creating groundbreaking and unexpected opportunities and being guaranteed a seat next to countless others unwilling to take a chance.

If I don’t understand something, I will relentlessly ask questions until it makes sense. I do this not to annoy my co-workers (though they may disagree), but to challenge myself and others to never limit our thinking or get complacent when it comes to problem solving. I am an avid reader and an eternal learner, always looking for ways to educate myself on different thinking and new approaches to solving business challenges and creating opportunities. 

I received a B.B.A. in Accounting from Temple University and an M.B.A from Harvard Business School. I also hold a CPA designation. I have advisory roles with the Santoro Foundation and the Villanova School of Business. But at the end of every day, the designation that means the most to me is that of husband and father. I am an old-fashioned family guy at heart and in my spare time, you will usually find me in and around Ambler, PA cheering on my 15-year-old son and 10-year-old twin daughters in various sports teams, while driving my wife (my better half) generally crazy.


Bill Cowen, EdD


Course: Executive Communication 

Understanding how to protect, promote, and repair the public persona of organizations and individuals in a world driven by a 24-hour news cycle, the Internet and social media is Bill Cowen's forte. As an academician and owner of a boutique Philadelphia public relations agency, Cowen brings a valuable blend of practical experience and scholastic theory to his perspective on how reputation and image can best be preserved and enhanced in the age of information overload.

Cowen, who holds an EdD, Leadership/Transformation; MA, Public Relations; BA, Communication; and PRSA Counselors Academy appointment, is a renowned global PR consultant, university professor and leadership coach who has successfully served top agencies, Fortune 100 corporations, non-profits, individuals, entrepreneurial ventures and academia. He is president and owner/founder of Metrospective Communications LLC, the award-winning PR and strategic communication agency. Cowen was a creator and two-term president of PR Boutiques International, the world’s first network for boutique PR organizations. He is a past-president of the Philadelphia Public Relations Association, the oldest and largest independent PR association in the country. At Villanova University, he holds a longtime Communication faculty and PR program director appointment.

Cowen’s extensive industry recognition over the years has included the Philadelphia Business Journal  “40 Under Forty” Award, induction into the Philadelphia Public Relations Association Hall of Fame, as well as the Public Relations Society of America honors of PR Educator of the Year; PR Practitioner of the Year; and Community Service Person of the Year, for his PR work in animal welfare and rescue.




Associate Professor
Management & Operations

Course: Supply Chains in the 21st Century

Kathleen Iacocca is an Associate Professor of Management & Operations at the Villanova School of Business. She holds a Ph.D. in Supply Chain Management from Rutgers Business School.  Katie’s research interests include optimization and supply chain management with applications in the healthcare industry.  Her current work considers relationships in the pharmaceutical supply chain that improve efficiency and yield cost savings.  Another project that she is working on examines the current pharmaceutical distribution and pricing structure in the United States.  Her research has been published in journals including Pharmaceutical Executive, International Journal of Production Research, International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, and Socio-Economic Planning Sciences. 



Courses: Value Creation Through Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Russ is a strategic and innovative executive focused on driving business growth. Leveraging emerging technologies and a futuristic mindset, Russ combines strategic foresight, pragmatism, and relentless execution to address complex business challenges. His entrepreneurial and creative strategies have been instrumental in driving new business growth and creating efficiencies. As a lifelong learner and advocate for challenging conventional thinking, Russ champions design thinking, lean startup, and agile methodologies. His diverse career has spanned leadership roles in technology, product management, business strategy, user experience, marketing, and innovation.

As the founder and CEO of FutureCrafted, Russ leads a consultancy firm dedicated to merging design thinking, innovation, and creative problem-solving with business strategy and emerging technologies to uncover and drive business growth opportunities. Prior to establishing FutureCrafted, Russ held a pivotal role as the global executive leader of SEI's corporate venture capital program. As a strategic investor, Russ engaged with early-stage startups focused on emergent and potentially disruptive technologies that brought strategic value to SEI and their ecosystem of clients. During his 22-year tenure at SEI, Russ frequently facilitated strategic discussions with SEI’s global client community on innovation and envisioning future growth opportunities.

Extending his influence beyond the corporate realm, Russ contributes to academia as an Adjunct Professor at Villanova University's School of Business EMBA program and Drexel University's LeBow School of Business Doctorate program. He shares his insights on innovation, design thinking, entrepreneurship, and the use of emerging technologies for business value creation. Russ is equally active in the startup ecosystem, and serves as a board member, advisor, mentor, and investor in various startups. He frequently participates as an expert panelist and keynote speaker, sharing his thoughts on entrepreneurship, innovation strategies, emerging technologies, and persuasive storytelling.

A native of the Philadelphia area, Russ holds a degree from Drexel University's College of Computing and Informatics.



Faculty Director, Executive MBA
Teaching Professor, Management & Operations

Courses: Cultivating High Performing Teams, Negotiations

Dr. Jeff Kudisch is the Executive MBA (EMBA) Faculty Director and is a Teaching Professor in Management at the Villanova School of Business (VSB). In this role he oversees the continued growth and success of the school’s EMBA Program. In his previous role he served as VSB's Associate Dean of Corporate Relations & Executive Education. Prior to VSB Jeff was affiliated with the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business for eighteen years, including serving as a Clinical Full Professor in the Management and Organization (M&O) Department at the University of Maryland’s (UMD) Robert H. Smith School of Business where he held multiple administrative positions from Associate Chair of the Management Department to Assistant Dean. From 2010 to early 2017 he served as Assistant Dean of Corporate Relations and Managing Director of the Office of Career Services at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business where he oversaw talent management and the placement success of the entire student portfolio (undergraduate, MS, MBA, Online MBA, and the Executive MBA). In this role he also worked extensively with employers and alumni to build corporate relationships and programming. He has successfully taught in Executive Development programs, EMBA, MBA, MS, Ph.D., and undergraduate programs, as well in Smith partner universities around the world (Switzerland, Germany, and Poland). Dr. Kudisch also taught in the Smith School’s Custom Programs for corporate partners and served as an EMBA Executive Coach and member of the program’s Executive Coaching Committee. He has received many teaching and mentoring awards throughout his career and is a three-time recipient of the Smith School’s top teaching award for faculty, and recipient of the University of Maryland’s prestigious Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars Program Outstanding Faculty Mentor award (2019-2020). 

Dr. Kudisch is a co-founder and Principal Partner of Personnel Assessment Systems, Inc., a human resource consulting firm specializing in leadership development, executive assessment, and talent acquisition. He has over 20 years of experience consulting and designing executive education programs with private and public sector organizations in areas of leadership assessment, executive coaching, executive power and negotiations, succession planning, recruitment, testing and selection, team building, training and career development, organizational change, employee attitudes, customer satisfaction, and performance management. Some of his consulting and executive development clients have included McCormick and Company, Under Armour, Lockheed Martin, Stanley Black & Decker, SAIC, Home Depot, BB&T, M&T Bank, Gables Residential, CSX Corporation, Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding & Litton Ship Systems, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Anne Arundel Health System, among others.

Dr. Kudisch been a contributor to the “Career Coach” column for The Washington Post’s Capital Business newspaper as well as conducting scholarly academic research and presentations at national conferences. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, his M.S. in I/O Psychology from the University of Central Florida, and his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida. 

Hun Lee, PHD


Associate Professor, Management & Operations

Course:  Strategic Management

Professor Lee teaches courses in competitive and international strategy. His research focuses on how rival firms act and react in competitive dynamics and how strategic activities such as innovations, internationalization, and corporate social responsibility influence firm value. His research appears in journals such as Strategic Management JournalJournal of Business VenturingGlobal Strategy JournalAcademy of Management Discoveries, and Journal of Management, where he received the best paper award. He also has co-authored a book, Strategy as Action: Competitive Dynamics and Competitive Advantage, from Oxford University Press. Professor Lee received his B.S. from Georgia Institute of Technology, M.I.M. from Thunderbird School of Global Management, and Ph.D. from University of Maryland at College Park.

Manuel Nunez


Associate Dean, Graduate Programs; Professor of Practice, Management & Operations

Course: Global Management (incl. International Immersion)

Manuel (Manny) A. Nuñez serves as Associate Dean of Graduate Programs at the Villanova School of Business. In this role, he oversees the MBA programs, specialty masters programs, career strategy services, and executive education. Mr. Nuñez also serves as Professor of the Practice in Management & Operations. Before coming to Villanova, he was Managing Director, External and Government Affairs for the Inter-American Foundation (IAF), a foreign assistance agency of the United States government. In that role, he led private sector partnerships, congressional affairs, public affairs, and managed the agency’s relationship with the White House, and other key stakeholders. He has served on several National Security Council policy committees and represented the United States on the international stage as a member of the official U.S. delegation to the Central America Forum on Economic Growth and the Summit of the Americas. Before the IAF, Mr. Nuñez spent sixteen years with Merck & Co. Inc., where he held numerous positions of increasing responsibility within both the U.S. and international sales and marketing organizations where he drove growth for several multi-billion-dollar product franchises. He is the recipient of numerous company and industry awards, including the Medical Media & Marketing Gold Award and the Healthcare Marketing Association International Gold Award.  

Mr. Nuñez is chair of the board of trustees at Eastern Mennonite University, a current member and former chair of the Moran Center for Global Leadership Advisory Council, and a recipient of the Rev. Joseph C. Bartley, O.S.A. Alumni Medallion, the highest distinction the Villanova School of Business can award to an alumnus/a.

He received his B.A. in Biology from Eastern Mennonite University, his M.B.A. from Villanova University, and completed his post-bac at the University of Pennsylvania.   


Julie Pirsch, PhD


Senior Associate Dean for Teaching and Programs
Assistant Professor, Marketing & Business Law

Course: Marketing Essentials

Julie Pirsch is the Senior Associate Dean for Teaching and Programs at the Villanova School of Business, and an Assistant Professor of Marketing. She also serves as faculty director of VSB’s Summer Business Institute and Associate Director for the Center for Marketing and Consumer Insights, one of VSB’s centers for excellence. Julie received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, her MBA from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, and her PhD in Marketing from the Fox School of Business at Temple University. Prior to coming to the Villanova School of Business, she worked as a marketing manager in the home building products market. Julie is an award-winning instructor, having earned the Dougherty Award for Teaching Excellence among VSB faculty, and the Lindback Award for Teaching Excellence awarded among all University faculty. She teaches Competitive Effectiveness, one of the core sophomore classes in the business school, Marketing Analytics as well as other courses at the undergraduate level, and Marketing Essentials in the Executive MBA program.


John Sedunov, PhD


Course: Financial Reporting & Analysis

Jim has served as the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Independence Realty Trust since May 2012.  Jim also served as the chief financial officer and treasurer of RAIT from May 2012 to March 2017 and as the senior vice president-finance and chief accounting officer of RAIT from May 2007 to May 2012.

Jim is presently an Adjunct Professor of Finance at Villanova University, a position he has held since 2011. Since January 2018, Jim has also been a board member of Elwyn, a human services nonprofit organization.

Jim holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Saint Joseph’s University and a Master of Business Administration from Villanova University. Jim is a certified public accountant.


John Sedunov, PhD


Professor, Finance & Real Estate

Course: Financial Analysis

John Sedunov is an associate professor in the finance department at Villanova University’s School of Business. His research interests include financial institutions, financial crises, FinTech, and risk management. He earned his Ph.D. in finance and Master of Arts in business at The Ohio State University; and his undergraduate degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

Professor Sedunov’s work has been published in outlets such as the Journal of Financial Intermediation, the Journal of Financial Stability the Journal of Financial Research, and the Journal of Empirical Finance, and presented at numerous conferences at both the national and international levels.  Additionally, he serves as a referee for numerous journals in the field, including the Review of Financial StudiesJournal of Financial Economics, Journal of Banking and Finance, and the Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking Professor Sedunov has also had his research and comments featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Wall Street JournalUSA Todaythestreet.comCNBC.comU.S. News & World ReportCNNKiplingerWashington PostLos Angeles TimesPittsburgh Post-GazetteSan Francisco Chronicle, and Bankrate.  In addition to research-oriented activities, Professor Sedunov teaches courses in the risk management of financial institutions and alternative investments.


Alicia Strandberg, PhD


Faculty Director, VU Women in Tech
Professor, Management & Operations

Course: Applied Analytics

Alicia Strandberg is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management and Operations.  Dr. Strandberg teaches undergraduate and graduate level analytics courses in the School of Business and for the Executive MBA and Online MSBA programs.  She is a graduate of Villanova, earning her Masters of Science in Applied Statistics.

She began her education at Rutgers University where she earned a BA in Mathematics, with an Economics Minor. Dr. Strandberg furthered her education and received a PhD in Statistics from The Fox School of Business, Temple University.  Before returning to her alma mater, Dr. Strandberg was an Assistant Professor at The Fox School of Business, Temple University and worked at Towers Perrin as Senior Analyst.


J. Gerald Suarez, PhD


Courses: Leadership Through Systems Thinking, Systems Thinking for Decision Making, Systems & Design Thinking for Innovation, Capstone Action Learning Project

Dr. Suarez is an internationally recognized authority on leadership development, systems thinking and design, interactive planning, innovation and total quality management. He is a premier educator, speaker and consultant, dedicated to bridging the gap between theory and practice to create pragmatic innovation and value creation.

Dr. Suarez worked at the White House during a span of over 11 years, serving with distinction in direct support of two Presidents of the United States. During his tenure at the White House, he supported numerous presidential missions worldwide and was a frequent traveler aboard Air Force One. He was Director of Presidential Quality, the first post in the institutions' history. He led efforts to redesign and enhance the operational readiness of the White House Communications Agency, the White House Military Office and the Executive Office of the President.

Currently, Dr. Suarez is Professor of the Practice in Systems Thinking and Design, and Fellow of the Center for Leadership, Innovation and Change at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. He also teaches in the undergraduate, Executive MBA and corporate programs, and is an Executive Coach for senior corporate leaders. From 2005-2009, he served as the Executive Director of the multidisciplinary Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams (QUEST) Honors Program, between the Business, Computer Science and Engineering Schools.

Outside the University of Maryland, Dr. Suarez has traveled the world as an educator - serving as a Visiting Professor at the Asturias Business School in Spain, delivering corporate education in Shanghai and Tianjin, China, and designing and leading an accelerated MBA train-the-trainer program to faculty at the Islamic University of Gaza in Cairo, Egypt. Inside the United States, he collaborates with Villanova School of Business and the Center for Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Beyond of the classroom Dr. Suarez consults with executive teams at companies, such as CSX, Lockheed Martin, Siemens, SAIC, Anne Arundel Healthcare System, and government agencies such as Sandia National Laboratories and others inside the defense and intelligence community.

To recognize the contribution of his work, Dr. Suarez has received various awards ranging from the White House Distinguished Service Award and the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service Medal, to the 49th Jovellanos Award and the 4th Dali Original Sculpture, which have also awarded to King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. These awards are to showcase individuals who make a significant contribution to the advancement of social responsibility in Spain. Dr. Suarez has been consistently recognized as a Top 15% faculty member at the Smith School, where he won the Prestigious Allen J. Krowe Award for Teaching Excellence in 2008. He was also named ‘Most Distinguished Faculty Member of the Decade’ by the National Graduate School for the decade 1993-2003.


Wen Mao, PhD


Professor of Economics

Course: Economic Analysis

Peter Zaleski, PhD is a Professor of Economics at the Villanova School of Business. He served as department chair from 2002-2007 and again from 2015-2021. He is the author or co-author of over two dozen scholarly articles, including publications in Managerial and Decision Economics, Review of Industrial Organization, Business Economics and Public Finance Review. Over his career, Dr. Zaleski has served as a consultant to several corporations, both large and small, regarding pricing strategy, market segmentation and economic impact. He has also served as an expert witness in cases involving economic damages. Dr. Zaleski earned his PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland in 1988. 





Connect with Admissions

Kara Snyder
Associate Director, Executive MBA Admissions


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