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In August, five HBS alumni returned to campus to accept the School's highest honor. This year's award recipients have contributed significantly to their companies and communities. They are exemplary role models who inspire all who aspire to have an impact on business and society.

 

Joanna M. Jacobson, MBA 1987

Cofounder and Managing Partner, Strategic Grant Partners Boston, Massachusetts

“A fulfilling career doesn't always follow a straight path. It's important to find opportunity in some of the curveballs life throws.”

After successfully leading turnarounds at Converse and Keds, Jacobson launched Strategic Grant Partners, a foundation and pro bono consulting firm that collaborates with social entrepreneurs to improve the lives of struggling families and individuals.

 

André R. Jakurski, MBA 1973

Founding Partner and Managing Director, JGP Asset Management Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

“I do not believe in long-range planning. Most of the important things that have happened in my life were not planned.”

Having learned the ropes at Unibanco, Jakurski launched Banco Pactual and grew it to become Brazil's largest investment bank. Today the Baker Scholar runs JGP, one of Brazil's leading independent asset management firms. JGP has delivered positive returns every year since its 1998 inception.

 

Thomas A. James, MBA 1966

Chairman, Raymond James Financial, Inc. St. Petersburg, Florida

“As an undergrad at Harvard, I majored in economics and minored in philosophy. There are a lot of connections between the two.”

During 40 years as CEO of Raymond James Financial, James, a Baker Scholar, transformed the family firm into a global financial services company with 2,500 offices and 14,000 associates. In the St. Petersburg area, the James name can be found on the Tampa football stadium in addition to numerous educational, health-care, and arts institutions.

 

Thai Lee, MBA 1985

President and CEO, SHI International, Somerset, New Jersey

“I think that having no expertise in technology was helpful because I didn't have preconceived notions of how things should be done.”

Lee transformed a struggling software sales company into a global provider of IT products and services. Under her leadership, SHI International has grown organically and today has 2,300 employees in 28 offices. The company, with an industry-high 99 percent customer retention rate, regularly receives awards for its customer service.

 

Roger W. Sant, MBA 1960

Cofounder and Chairman Emeritus, The AES Corporation, Washington, DC

“I am encouraged by the commitment I see in the younger generation. Seeing their values gives me hope that society will come to its senses and turn the planet around.”

Sant channels his passion for the environment into his business and philanthropic endeavors. Having built a remarkably successful firm focused on generating low-impact sources of energy, he now supports organizations that work for global sustainability.

 
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Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 1987, Section G
Class of MBA 1973, Section A
Class of MBA 1966, Section C
Class of MBA 1985, Section H
Class of MBA 1960, Section D

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