01 Mar 2017
Promoting a Deeper Understanding
Jed Bullard (MBA 1975)Topics:
Sherri and Jed (MBA 1975) Bullard
One of HBS’s greatest strengths, says Jed Bullard (MBA 1975), is that it trains students to appreciate different perspectives, in particular, how people brought up in different countries, cultures, and political systems think about issues and conduct business. “Once you understand the environment each of us is coming from, it makes it a lot easier to communicate, which is what business is all about. Communication is key to solving problems,” says Bullard, chairman of E.D. Bullard Co., a family-owned manufacturer of personal protective equipment based in Cynthiana, Kentucky, with sales offices in Europe and Asia.
Supporting the School’s efforts to continue to deepen the global knowledge of HBS’s faculty and students has been a priority for Bullard and his wife, Sherri. They initially established a fund to support the School’s Latin America Research Center in response to the growth of global activities at HBS, and then expanded their funding to encompass all of the School’s nine global research centers. A recent gift furthering global engagement at the School has broadened their commitment to HBS’s international agenda.
Bullard recalls the composition of his MBA class included fewer than 15 percent of students from outside the United States, whereas today that number has risen to around 35 percent, enriching the perspectives shared in the classroom and elsewhere on campus. More than half of HBS cases published in fiscal year 2016 are internationally focused, and through field courses, students gain exposure to global business practices.
“As the School entered its second century, there was a recognition that business was changing and that HBS needed greater global engagement. It had to be integrated more deeply into the educational experience if graduates were going to meet the leadership needs of society in the next generation and those to follow,” says Bullard.
“We wanted to be sure that, going forward, Dean Nitin Nohria had the ability to put resources where they were most needed,” he adds. “By promoting global understanding in the HBS community, the School can make the world a little bit better.”
Class of MBA 1975, Section G