Deakin MBA Awards Professor Status To Top-Tier Business Leaders

Deakin University has bolstered its MBA program by appointing four top-tier business leaders as new Adjunct Professors.

At the top of their respective fields with several decades’ worth of business experience between them, Deakin’s new professors include Communications Compliance Non-Executive Director David Epstein, Fisher Leadership Managing Director Jo Fisher, NGS Global Managing Partner Chris Pearce and Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO James Pearson.

The appointees were granted the status of Adjunct Professor in recognition of their individual experiences and contributions to national and international business, and Deakin Business School MBA Director Associate Professor Colin Higgins said their appointment would also go towards improving the quality of deliver for Deakin’s MBA program.

“It is also an opportunity to take their collective decades of experience in the corporate world and political sector, and share that expertise with the next generation of business leaders through the Deakin MBA program,” he said.

“We are looking forward to leveraging the insights and unique experiences of these outstanding individuals in a way that will take Deakin’s already globally-recognised MBA program to the next level.”

The new cohort joins current Deakin MBA Adjunct Professors including Institute of Public Accountants CEO Andrew Conway, MLC Insurance Senior Business Architect Roderick Brown, Ai Group Chief Economist Julie Toth, and former Apple Creative Director Ken Segall.

“Since our MBA was first offered in 1981, the Deakin MBA Alumni Chapter has grown to more than 6000 members across 130 countries, with Deakin-educated business leaders employed everywhere from PricewaterhouseCoopers to the United Nations,” Associate Professor Higgins said.

“With the addition of our new Adjunct Professors the Deakin MBA program has further strengthened its capacity to build business acumen, enhance decision-making and communication skills, and accelerate the careers of our talented students.”

Deakin’s online MBA was ranked number 15 in the world – and the best in Victoria for the third consecutive year – in the international university rankings published by the prestigious QS Quacquarelli Symonds.

The Deakin MBA is internationally recognised and EPAS accredited by the European Foundation for Management Development, the world’s most thorough program accreditation system for business and/or management programs.

The Deakin MBA is also rated five stars in both the QS rankings and GMAA MBA rankings.

Deakin University’s new Adjunct Professors

David Epstein

Non-Executive Director, Consultant Public Affairs Adviser and Chair of Communications Compliance, the independent compliance monitoring body for the Australian telecommunications industry. Mr Epstein has led group public affairs, regulatory and communications functions at Qantas Airways, BHP Billiton and Optus (Singtel), and was a senior adviser to three Australian Prime Ministers, culminating as Chief of Staff to Prime Minister the Hon Kevin Rudd.

Jo Fisher

Founding Partner and Managing Director of the internationally operating Australian-owned firm Fisher Leadership, specialising in executive search and leadership advisory. Ms Fisher is a leading advocate for the importance of diversity in leadership and is committed to supporting socially positive leadership outcomes.

The Hon Chris Pearce

Managing Partner, South East Asia at NGS Global and former Member for Aston in the House of Representatives (2001 to 2019), Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer (2004 to 2007) and Shadow Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law (2008 to 2009). Mr Pearce has served on commercial, government and not-for-profit boards and is currently Deputy Chairman and Non-Executive Director at the St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research.

James Pearson

CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australia’s largest business network. Mr Pearson is a former diplomat and trade negotiator who has represented Australia in Africa, the Pacific and China, and has led corporate affairs for a number of large public companies.


Greg Peake has been a journalist since 2010 and has covered stories for a range of industries like local government, sport, development and education. Greg joined MBA News in 2016.

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