Here you can meet the speakers of this year’s AMBA & BGA Accreditation Forum. Here, you can read each speaker’s biography ahead of the forum.
Bethan Jones-Davies has worked in the area of quality and accreditation management for almost 20 years.
Working in the UK, she has held posts at both Lancaster University Management School and The University of Liverpool Management School; and has led numerous successful accreditation projects (initial accreditations and re-accreditations: AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS).
Bethan has held her current post of Service Quality Manager at The University of Liverpool Management School for 14 years. In the role, she is responsible for managing School-level accreditations; supporting programme-level accreditations; managing programme rankings; and managing internal quality reviews.
Bethan was awarded her PhD in Management Science (Lancaster University) in 2013.
Markéta Dianová is the Executive Director of the Institute of Management responsible for Executive Education at the Faculty of Business Administration (FBA), Prague University of Economics and Business.
She oversees the FBA MBA programme, the first and only in the Czech Republic with AMBA accreditation.
Markéta has worked as a member of the AMBA & BGA accreditation panel. In addition, she has acted as Head of the Department of Foreign Missions in the state agency CzechT ourism, and subsequently for several terms, as advisor to the members of the Czech Government.
She gained experience in the capacity of adviser toa Member European Parliament, focusing on the agenda of the Committee on Culture and Education, and the Committee for Transport and Tourism.
Her research centres on the cultural economy, nation and destination branding. Markéta lectures and publishes in Czech and English, and is equally fluent in French, and Russian.
Sherif Kamel is a Professor Of Management, Dean of the School of Business at the American University in Cairo (AUC), and President of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt.
Before that, he was a senior advisor for strategic planning to the president and vice president for information management at the American University in Cairo. Before joining AUC, he was director of the Regional Information Technology Institute. Prior to that, he managed the training department of the Cabinet of Egypt Information and Decision Support Center.
Kamel is an Eisenhower Fellow. He is the Co-chair of the Board of Stewards of the African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative, a member of the AACSB International Middle East North Africa Advisory Council, Egypt-U.S. Business Council, and a founding member of the Internet Society of Egypt.
He was a member of the World Bank Knowledge Advisory Commission and chairman of the Chevening Association in Egypt. His research and teaching interests include digital transformation, information technology transfer to developing nations, decision support systems, and entrepreneurship. His work is published in information systems and management journals, books, and magazines.
He is the author of the NileView article series. He serves on the editorial board of Case Focus: The Journal of Business and Management Teaching Cases in the Middle East and Africa. He is the associate editor of the Journal of IT for Development and the Journal of Cases on Information Technology.
Kamel holds a PhD in information systems from the London School of Economics and Political Science, an MBA, a bachelor’s in business administration, and a master’s in Islamic art and architecture from The American University in Cairo.
Mikko Laukkanen specialises in customer experience management, service design and service business, strategic marketing, business model innovation, and innovation management.
He has extensive expertise in consulting and research projects within large international firms. He is a well-liked lecturer, and sought-after public speaker. He has pioneered in several experimental teaching methods throughout his executive and university teachings.
At Aalto University Executive Education, he works as an Academic Director, and is responsible for the academic quality of Aalto Executive Education’s extensive portfolio of programmes.
He has previously been a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Business Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley.
Mikko Laukkanen has a Doctor of Science in economics and business administration from Aalto University School of Business. In addition, he holds a Master of Science in economics with a major in marketing from the Helsinki School of Economics.
Prof. Michele O’Dwyer is Director of the Executive MBA at the Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick. As a winner of multiple teaching awards Michele works with undergraduate, postgraduate and executive students at the University of Limerick, as well as leading Universities in UK, USA and across Europe, encouraging them to explore their innovation potential. Before joining the faculty at the University of Limerick, Michele ran a marketing and market research consultancy investigating marketing issues in a diverse range of industries in Ireland and across Europe. Her continuing close links with industry support her award winning research which focuses on innovation, performance, alliances, SME marketing, and new product development. She holds a PhD from the University of Ulster UK and is an accomplished keynote speaker.
Jeffrey Petty is a Professor of Entrepreneurship, the Academic Director of the HEC EMBA programme, and the Academic Director the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland.
His primary research interests include new venture financing, with a focus on crowdfunding and venture capital decision making and has taught courses on entrepreneurial finance, entrepreneurship, corporate strategy, and technology and innovation management.
He has been involved with EMBA programmes since 2007 and was a member of the Executive MBA Council’s Board of Trustees during 2016-2019, serving as the Board chair in 2018.
Luis Torras graduated in English Philology and Business Administration from Universitat de Barcelona. He holds a Master in General Management from EADA as well as a Master in Management Development from Haas Business School (University of California, Berkeley). Before joining EADA he worked in the retail industry (SEARS) in U.S.A. and Spain, and in the automotive industry (RENAULT) in France.
Luis is an external consultant and a member of the International Accreditation Advisory Board for AMBA (Association of MBA’s) and has been a board member in several Spanish Companies. He is specialised in CSR and Generational Change in Family Businesses and has written various business cases and collaborated as a writer and conference speaker on many occasions. He was the Director of the Business Policy Department until July 2013 and Academic Dean for eight years at EADA.
Leila is Dean of the Mediterranean School of Business (MSB) – Tunisia, a leading Business School in the MEA region where she is responsible for establishing medium to long term goals, and strategic planning for an internationally accredited fast-growing business school.
Leila has over fifteen years of experience in higher education development. Analytical thinker with strong international network Leila is passionate about achieving social and economic development through building capabilities.
Before joining MSB Leila was a sponsored researcher at the London School of Economics and Political Science where she taught economics and widened her research expertise. Prior to that appointment, she worked as a Consultant for the World Bank Group, Washington D.C. within the Financial Sector Group.
Leila serves today in the International Advisory Board of Nova School of Business and Economics in Lisbon, Portugal as well as in the Tunisia-UK Higher Education Commission. Since 2012 she participates in International Accreditation panels for business schools in the region. Leila holds a MSc and a Ph. D in Economic Theory from Sorbonne University, France, as well as an EMBA from MSB.
Yolanda van der Westhuizen
Yolanda van der Westhuizen has more than 11 years of experience in accreditation management and support at University of Stellenbosch Business School, a leading African Business School and holder of the triple crown of accreditations.
From 2010, she has provided support and guidance in a number of successful accreditation projects, which included both initial accreditation (AACSB) and re-accreditations (AMBA and EQUIS). A new venture will be to manage the School’s accreditation with the Association of African Business Schools (AABS).
Yolanda has held her current post of Accreditation Manager since 2020. In this role, she is responsible for guiding school-level accreditations, supporting programme-level accreditations, and managing an internal quality review.
Yolanda holds a BA Honours in linguistics and a postgraduate diploma in translation from Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She obtained the postgraduate diploma in leadership development at the University of Stellenbosch Business School in 2020.
Victor Hedenberg is the Business Development Manager for the Business Graduates Association at AMBA & BGA, with responsibilities lying in growing the BGA network, improving the membership and accreditation services, and management of BGA-related projects.
Victor joined AMBA & BGA in 2016 and has since focused on the AMBA Development Network (ADN), a platform for institutions seeking AMBA accreditation support, as well as informing the development of the current BGA service and accreditation offering, together with the AMBA & BGA accreditation team.
He has travelled extensively around the world to meet Business Schools and their senior teams to establish realistic roadmaps for the achievement of BGA accreditation, as well as presenting at industry-related events.
Victor is a Swedish national educated at Hillsdale College in the United States. He holds a degree in economics and business administration.
Joseph Pilkington is currently Accreditation Manager at AMBA & BGA. He holds degrees from the University of Edinburgh and the University of East Anglia, and spent time studying at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Joseph began his career in 2012 with the John Smith Trust, working with partners in the UK Parliament, Supreme Court, Ministry of Justice, and Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In 2013 he joined Perrett Laver, the academic executive search firm, working primarily with Business School clients. Following successive promotions, Joseph joined AMBA in 2014. He primarily works to support AMBA’s re-accreditation activity, has sat on an assisted more than 150 panels undertaking accreditation assessment visits, and guides Business Schools through documentation and processes. Joseph is also responsible for maintaining data concerning the accreditation cycles of AMBA-accredited institutions.
Having worked at AMBA & BGA for more than 15 years, Mark is responsible for the creation, design and development of the full suite of BGA services and accreditation processes, while leading the review of accreditation criteria at AMBA.
In addition, Mark is Director of Accreditation at AMBA for Africa, North America and South Asia, as well as parts of Western Europe, and has actively participated in approximately 200 accreditation visits worldwide.
Previously at AMBA, Mark launched the AMBA Development Network and AMBA’s Research Centre, serving as Founding Editor of its journal, Business Leadership Review; he also led the expansion of the AMBA accreditation portfolio to MBM and DBA programmes.
Mark holds an MA in Russian Politics and a BA (1st Class Honours) in American Studies, having studied at the University of Essex (UK) and the University of California, Berkeley (USA).
Steef van de Velde
Steef van de Velde is a former Professor of Operations Management and Technology and the Dean of Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM).
His research interests lie in the areas of operations excellence, service operations, and supply chain management.
He has published in the leading academic journals including, among others, the Management Science, the California Management Review, Operations Research, Mathematical Programming, the INFORMS Journal on Computing, IIE Transactions, and the Journal of Scheduling.
Professor van de Velde holds an MSc in econometrics from the Erasmus School of Economics and a PhD in mathematics and computer science from the Eindhoven University of Technology.
Andrew Main Wilson
Andrew is Chief Executive of AMBA & BGA – the Association of MBAs and the Business Graduates Association.
Andrew commenced his career with Thomson Holidays (now TUI), then the world’s largest travel tour operator. He progressed to become Marketing and Commercial Director of Thomas Cook and then Sales and Marketing Director of Citibank Diners Club. He subsequently joined the Institute of Directors (IoD) as Chief Operating Officer.
Andrew has a strong interest in global leadership excellence. He has interviewed more than 100 of the world’s most influential leaders, in the fields of business, politics, sport and entertainment, including Bill Gates, Baroness Thatcher, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jack Welch, Sir Richard Branson and Sir David Attenborough.