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Cynthia Foster Curry (MBA 1990)

Cynthia Foster Curry (MBA 1990) ruefully admits that she didn’t appreciate her first-year Organizational Behavior course at HBS. “I remember the professor saying, ‘People take this class less seriously, but 20 years into your career, you’ll be flipping through cases and remembering what I said.’ ”

Curry was more interested in finance then, but after 25 years in commercial real estate, she now sees that the professor was right. “It all comes down to organizational behavior,” she says. “You have more responsibility, and your success depends on many people. You need to be able to bring out the best in them.”

As an example, Curry cites working with millennials in her role as president of National Office Services for Colliers International, the world’s third-largest publicly traded real estate service company. “My clients include newer tech companies run by relatively young leaders.

It’s a huge priority to understand what motivates and concerns them,” she notes. Curry says she values great leadership and agrees with Dean Nitin Nohria’s observations about the global crisis of leadership. “If anyone is up to the task of addressing this issue, it is HBS,” she says. Mentoring young women is a personal priority of hers, so she appreciates the School’s efforts to promote gender parity and encourage more women to stay in the workforce.

These are just a few of the reasons that Curry, a member of the Major Gifts Committee for her 25th Reunion, supports the HBS Fund for Leadership and Innovation. As a hospital trustee, she understands the importance of unrestricted giving: “I have seen firsthand how much the hospital needs supporters who trust in its leaders to set priorities,” she says. “Similarly, I have full faith in HBS to invest my gift thoughtfully and effectively.”

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