Business and Ethics

Welcoming a Proven Leader

Written by Mike Thee

April 25, 2016

Alan Mulally speaking

Former Ford and Boeing CEO Alan Mulally joins Seattle University as Senior Fellow

Alan Mulally, retired president and CEO of Ford Motor Company and former CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, has joined Seattle University's Albers School of Business and Economics as a senior fellow in the Center for Leadership Formation. This is the first formal role Mulally has taken at an academic institution since his retirement in 2014.

Mulally will work with faculty, students and alumni in the Executive Leadership and Leadership MBA programs. Both programs will introduce into the curriculum key aspects of Mulally's signature leadership strategies, including "Working Together" and "Business Process Review," according to Albers Dean Joseph Phillips.

"These concepts are right out of our textbook for the Executive Leadership Program," says Marilyn Gist, PhD, associate dean for Executive Programs. "Alan reviewed our curricula and found many commonalities from content and values standpoints with what we teach."

"We are incredibly privileged to have someone of Alan's caliber working with us in this capacity," Phillips wrote in his blog. "He will be a terrific resource for our students, faculty and alumni. We are also extremely honored to be the first university at which Alan has agreed to take on a formal role since his retirement from Ford."

"I am excited to work with the Albers Center for Leadership Formation because its executive programs align so closely with my values. They focus not just on strategy and business tools, but also on self-awareness and values of serving others," says Mulally. "Those are so important in building the genuine culture of working together to accomplish important goals. It's an honor to work with the center's leadership and to serve Seattle University."

Gist, Phillips and former Boeing vice president Peter Morton, a 2000 alum of the Executive Leadership Program, nurtured a relationship with Mulally over the past 18 months, beginning with an invitation to Mulally to participate in the Albers Executive Speakers Series. In October, Mulally spoke on campus, followed two days later with a day-long workshop for alumni, faculty and senior university leadership.

The Center for Leadership Formation is home to the business school's Executive Education programs. It's known as a center of innovation where top educators, alumni and business leaders join forces to help accomplished professionals become influential leaders in a changing world. The Executive MBA program is ranked as one of U.S. News and World Report's 2017 Top 25 EMBA programs (#12 in the nation and #1 in the Northwest).

Gist interviewed Mulally in the fall 2015 issue of InSIGHTS, the CLF quarterly magazine. In it, Mulally talks about his leadership philosophy, the influence of his parents' beliefs and values, and viewing mistakes as "gems" - opportunities to learn and grow.