Board of Advisors:
The Board of Advisors is the governing body of the Global Association for Systems Thinking®. They provide the senior leadership, expertise, and wise-counsel to enhance the success of the Association.
Advisory Board Members are leaders the Systems Thinking field. Each is a life-long learner of Systems Thinking research and practitioner of its useful applications. It is a priority in each Board Members life to share the unique benefits of Systems Thinking with others, especially members of the Association. They do this by leading a Community of Excellence User Forum (or being a resource to them) as well as providing articles and papers on new ideas in the field for the Association’s Global Resource Portal.
Collectively, the Board of Advisors give advice and counsel on a variety of Association matters including marketing content, growth, and leadership.
Alban & Williams Ltd.
Billie is President of Alban and Williams, Ltd., Consultants to Organizations. She was Vice President, and General Manager of Transpetroleo Corporation in South America. Since 1980, she has won distinction as a national and international management consultant. Some of her activities include: strategic planning and organizational re-design. She has worked with joint ventures and helped in the development of international management teams. In recent years, her practice has been focused on working with organizations and communities on large-scale change efforts, using highly participative methods, which increase the ownership by participants of the new direction and strategies.
Some of her clients include ITT, General Electric, Kraft Foods, Bankers Trust, Johnson and Johnson, NASA, Mount Sinai Hospital, NY, National Health Service, United Kingdom, Exxon/Mobil Corporation, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Equitable Life, Hewlett-Packard, and INTEL. In addition Billie has consulted to non-profits, government organizations, and faith based communities.
Billie has served on the staff of the Tavistock Institute in England. She has been the Dean for Presidents and Executives Workshops for the National Training Laboratories. She is core faculty for Executive Development Programs for Columbia University, Pepperdine University and others. She has been on the Board of Advisors of the Yale Divinity School.
She wrote her first book on organization development in Spanish with Miguel Bernal: Desarrollo Personal Y Organizacional, NTL Institute. She has edited with Barbara Bunker two special editions of the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science on Large Group Interventions. Her book with Barbara Bunker, Large Group Interventions: (1997) Jossey/Bass San Francisco, led to a series of workshops that she and Barbara Bunker offered for professionals interested in using these methods in their organizations and communities. Her recent book with Barbara Bunker, The Handbook of Large Group Methods, was published in June of 2006. She published in August of 2008 with the Rev. Loren Mead, a book on the application of Large Group Methods to faith based communities, Creating the Future Together.
Mark Alpert is the President of Pegasus Communications. Pegasus Communications helps organizations thrive in an increasingly complex world. Since 1989, Pegasus has provided knowledge resources for innovators working to spark and sustain positive change in the systems they care about. Through a grounding in the principles and tools of systems thinking and organizational learning, practitioners learn how to connect with others in new ways and design sustainable solutions to their most persistent challenges.
For over 25 years Mark has focused on the elements of business excellence and organizational learning as the keys to unlock high performance and seeing individuals and organizations live up to their potential.
Professor Nikitas A. Assimakopoulos Ph.D., FOR.Department of Informatics, University of Piraeus, Greece
Founder and President of the Hellenic Society for Systemic Studies
Founder and Coordinator of the CSAP Professional Program
Dr. Nikitas Assimakopoulos is a Professor of the Department of Informatics at the University of Piraeus, Greece. His research interests include Systemic Methodologies, Systems Approaches to Management and Informatics, and Applied Operations Research Techniques. He has been lecturing at Chelsea College, University of London, England, and at the Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece. Dr. Assimakopoulos was a consultant of the British Post Office and of the Agricultural Bank of Greece, and also holds the professional title FOR of the British Operational Research Society. He has published over 150 papers in refereed journals, 120 papers in conference proceedings and has participated in about 130 conferences with papers. Also, he is Associate Editor in five international journals and reviewer in 12 well-known journals which are associated with the four International Societies where he serves as active member. He is the inventor of the Design and Control Systemic Methodology (DCSYM) and of the STIMEVIS multi-systemic methodology.
Dr. Assimakopoulos has organized International and National Conferences and is the founder and elected President of the Hellenic Society for Systemic Studies (HSSS) [http://www.hsss.gr]. He is the founder and the coordinator of the first internationally Post-Graduate Professional Program of Certified Systemic Analyst Professional (CSAP) with ISO/IEC 17024 [http://www.csap.gr/] which is supported by the HSSS. The CSAP Program operates through the University of Piraeus - Research Center in Greece and a number of experts from the international community of systems approach present their professional work in it via a live e-learning software. Due to the professional character of the Program, 60 Consulting and Informatics very well-known Companies present their software, their successful projects and they pick up CSAP students for their professional work.
Dr. Assimakopoulos has been invited frequently to give talks at national and international conferences and research organizations. Dr. Assimakopoulos is the founder and the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Applied Systemic Studies (IJASS) published by Inderscience Publishers.
Admiral Dennis C. Blair, USN, Ret.Former PACOM Commander, US Military
Former United States Director of National Intelligence
Dennis Blair is a retired United States Navy four-star admiral, former Commander is Chief of the Pacific (PACOM) and the third Director of National Intelligence for President Obama. Blair spent over 34 years in the United States Navy and on the Joint Staff of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon. He served on and Commanded guided missile destroyers in the Atlantic and Pacific fleets and commanded the Kitty Hawk Battle Group as a Rear Admiral.
His last job in the military was as Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command, the highest-ranking officer over all of the U.S. forces in the Asia-Pacific region, 54 countries in all. Previously, he was Director of the Joint Staff in the Office of the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, and served in budget and policy positions on several major Navy staffs as well as first President Bush’s National Security Council.
He was also the first Associate Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for Military Support as a Vice Admiral, personally placed there by Bill Clinton, his Rhodes Scholar Oxford classmate. He retired from the Navy in 2002.
After retiring from the Navy, Blair held the John M. Shalikashvili Chair in National Security Studies at The National Bureau of Asian Research, and the General of the Army Omar N. Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership at Dickinson College and the U.S. Army War College. He was also the President of the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), a U.S. Government and Pentagon Think Tank in the Washington, D.C. area focused on national security. He also served as Deputy Executive Director of the Project on National Security Reform and numerous other Boards and Commissions.
Blair’s decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters (4 awards)-the highest Non-Combat Military Award possible, the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal as well, with one star (2 awards). He has other US Navy decorations, campaign and service awards.
He has been decorated by the governments of Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Thailand and Taiwan and he continues to travel the world at their request for advice.
Admiral Blair is a graduate of the US Naval Academy with the Legendary Leadership Class of 1968 and a former Rhodes Scholar. He is acknowledged as one of the worlds most brilliant intellects and Systems Thinkers on a Global scale. He counts many Foreign Presidents, Generals and Thought Leaders as his close friends, including Henry Kissinger.
Professor Dr Ockie Bosch B.Sc. M.Sc., D.ScHead of the School of Integrative Systems
The University of Queensland, Australia
Professor Dr Ockie Bosch B.Sc. M.Sc., D.Sc is Head of the School of Integrative Systems at The University of Queensland, Australia. His international and national experience include teaching and research experience in South Africa (Professor and Head Department of Life Sciences, University of South Africa and Dept. of Plant & Soil Sciences at the Potchefstroom University – dual chair)), New Zealand (Research Program Director, Landcare Research) and Australia (CSIRO). He is currently Vice President of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS - Systems Education and Communication portfolio), member of the Noosa Biosphere Sector Board for ER&D, Adjunct Professor at Flinders University, South Australia, UQ Representative on Australian University Council for Environmental Deans and Directors and served/serves as chair or member of various national and international committees and boards. Professor Bosch has 41 years of practical experience in the areas of Systems Thinking and Dynamics, Integration Science and Practice and Qualitative Ecology. He currently leads a large international systems-based program on the establishment of Learning Laboratories for Managing Complex Issues and facilitates the interaction between LLabs around the world through the UNESCO/MAB Global LLab NET and its interaction with the Australia and New Zealand Systems Society (ANZSYS) and Global Network of Systems Educators under the auspices of the ISSS and International Federation of Systems Research (IFSR).
Louise DiamondFounder and Director
Global Systems Initiatives
Since 1974, Louise Diamond’s life has been devoted to fostering healthy human systems at every level of society, from the individual to the global, through applied systems thinking.
In 2008 she founded Global Systems Initiatives to bring a systems perspective on complex global issues to the Washington policy community and beyond. Her approaches help policy leaders and those who influence them discover the hidden opportunities in the challenges presented by current security, economic, and environmental breakdowns.
Previously Louise co-founded The Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD) in Washington, D.C., where she worked as a peacebuilder in places of violent conflict around the world. She also started The Peace Company to show that peace is good business and to bridge the gap between the non-profit and for-profit worlds. Trainer, facilitator, consultant, and public speaker, Louise is the author of four books on peace, including a best-seller, The Peace Book: 108 Simple Ways to Make a More Peaceful World. She has studied Native American and Tibetan Buddhist ancient wisdom for 35 years, and has a Ph.D. in Peace Studies from the Union Institute.
Lúcio J. DinizPresident of LD&M Consultores Associados
Professor in Postgraduate Programs at Fundação Dom Cabral and Fundação Getúlio Vargas
Lúcio Diniz is a management consultant in the fields of Business Policy and Strategy who focuses on strategic management execution. Thus, he leads strategic business reflection and strategy implementation processes that involve business strategy formulating, planning and management from a perspective of developing joint solutions with his clients’ senior management and management teams.
As the president of LD&M Consultores Associados, Lúcio Diniz has worked for over 20 years at identifying, defining, developing and implementing Business Management Technology Projects that involve developing and sustaining competitive advantage at companies. Among his clients we should mention ANB AMRO, Banco Santander, Coca-Cola, Mendes Júnior Trading e Engenharia, Petrobras, Pfizer, Roche and Wal-Mart.
Besides his degrees in Medicine and Civil Engineering, Lúcio Diniz also holds an MBA and a PhD from Columbia University, USA, and he is one of the founders of the São Paulo and Minas Gerais PMI – Project Management Institute chapters in Brazil.
Lúcio Diniz is a lecturer and keynote speaker at seminars both in Brazil and abroad who focuses on Business Strategy, Systemic Thinking and Project Management, and he is also a professor in postgraduate programs at Fundação Dom Cabral (Belo Horizonte – Brazil) and at Fundação Getúlio Vargas (Rio de Janeiro – Brazil).
Human Systems Dynamics Institute
Glenda H. Eoyang, Ph.D., is a master teacher with deep insights into the art and science of self-organizing systems. As a pioneer in the field of human systems dynamics, Eoyang applies principles of self-organizing to help people thrive in unpredictable environments. Since 1988, she has provided training, consulting, coaching, and facilitation support in both the public and private sectors. As the founder of the field of human systems dynamics, she brings a strong and cogent voice to public discussions about the field.
She currently serves as founding Executive Director of the Human Systems Dynamics Institute, a network of professionals working at the intersection of complexity and social sciences. A master teacher and facilitator, Dr. Eoyang supports change for individuals, organizations, and communities around the world. Her experiences as teacher, leader, entrepreneur, author, and public speaker provide a wealth of resources.
The Center for Great Management
As the President of The Center for Great Management (re Peter Drucker) Ryan – like most of us – views the late Peter F. Drucker as an inspiration, a guide, and the architect of the thoughts and processes we now consider to be at the core of effective management. Ryan has been a student of Peter Druckers for some time. He works with his firm’s clients to apply Peter Druckers timeless wisdom to their daily business challenges. Never wanting to be seen as a “do as I say not as I do” kind of firm, Ryan and his team adhere strictly to Peter’s guidance on both management practices and the application of systems thinking.
Whether working on a global strategy shift with a Fortune 500 firm or a reorganizational at a domestic regional firm, Ryan and his team always begin with Peter Drucker’s 5 questions that are the core of a Systems Thinking view of Management. They help clients formulate measurable, systemic plans of action based on the answers to these questions. The work is a careful mix of coupling timeless wisdom with recent experience and easily applicable processes.
It’s this modern day experience that makes Ryan, on behalf of his team at the Center for Great Management, a welcome addition to our Board of Advisors. Peter Drucker was born in Vienna Austria at the time of the origins of Systems Thinking by Ludwig von Bertalanffy and was influenced by all this with his systemic approach that has made him the father of Modern Management.
Galbraith Management Consultants
Dr. Jay Galbraith is an internationally recognized expert on global organization design. He is the president and founder of Galbraith Management Consultants, an international consulting firm that specializes in solving strategy and organizational design challenges across corporate, business unit, and international levels. His firm also assists with international partnering arrangements, including joint ventures and network-type organizations. Working with companies ranging from small manufacturing firms to large global firms, his theories on gaining a significant competitive advantage through customer-centricity have been implemented by top-level executives throughout the world. Jay’s widely-used Star Model™ , has successfully transformed organizations across a broad span of industries. Currently, he is focusing on rapidly reconfigurable organizational units to accommodate the demands of customers and markets across multinational boundaries. Over 40 years of research and practical applications give Jay a breadth of experience that few, if any, management consultants can claim. His thorough understanding of the fast-changing world of global competition is exactly what today’s companies need in order to stay ahead of their competitors.
Michael R. GoodmanFounder
Innovation Associates Organizational Learning
An internationally recognized speaker, author, and practitioner in the fields of Systems Thinking, Organizational Learning, and Leadership, Michael Goodman’s main focus is transferring the learning disciplines into organizations to sustain their capacity for learning and change. Mr. Goodman draws on over 30+ years of expertise in the arena of organizational learning and change, and has designed and facilitated a wide variety of approaches to enable clients to deal with their critical business and organizational issues. His project work has included the design and delivery of training sessions, individual coaching, side-by-side work with internal resources, and the engagement of strategic leadership teams to understand complex problems and identify the leverage points critical to their resolution. Michael is an Adjunct Professor at Texas A&M University.
CEO and Founder of Haines Centre for Strategic Management and
Systems Thinking Press
Steve Haines is a CEO, entrepreneur, and strategist. He is also a facilitator and systems thinker as CEO and founder of the Haines Centre for Strategic Management® and Systems Thinking Press®. He is a distinguished author and internationally recognized leader in strategic management.
He is in the Association for Strategic Planning's Hall of Fame.
He has an M.S.A. in Organization Behavior with a minor in financial management. He has also completed his course work requirements and dissertation research for an Ed.D. in Management. He has over 25 years of executive experience leading planning, leadership, and change efforts in the U.S., Canada, and globally as well.
Steve is a U.S. Naval Academy engineering graduate, Naval officer, and was president and part owner of University Associates Consulting and Training Services. He was also EVP at Imperial Corporation of America, SVP of Freddie Mac, and a member of eight top management teams. He is in demand as a CEO keynote speaker and is a prolific author of 16+ books.
The Deming Learning Network
Gordon is the Chief Executive of The Deming Learning Network, a global charity based in Aberdeen (Scotland). The Network identifies with W Edwards Deming's vision which was to start us "on the road to knowledge, and to create a yearning for more knowledge."
The challenge for the DLN is to provide a bridge between the existing fully researched knowledge and the application of that knowledge within our organisations. The DLN has over the years run a wide range of facilitation events including a CEO club and groups looking at safety, psychology, systems and SPC. The DLN provides training courses as well as services through those members who are consultants.
It aims to work closely with all other Deming activities around the world; including those in Systems Thinking, as it is one of his four Profound Knowledge areas.
The significant events in Gordon's personal journey was a study tour to Japan in 1989, his attendance at Dr W Edwards Deming's four day seminar in 1990, having the opportunity to attend Dr Deming's 'Ashridge' study weekend in 1991 and studying Deming’s management thought under the tutelage of Professor David Kerridge of Aberdeen University from 1991 to 2000. He is also broadly read in many other perceptions of management.
In conjunction with this work Gordon has worked with many organisations to transform their understanding of their systems and the potential from the intrinsic motivation of staff. He asks the enterprise to see the frontline worker as the customer of the company’s systems. As ISO 9001 is seen as a requirement in many commercial organisations he invariably uses the standard to involve staff in on-going and continuous improvement. The outcomes have been more effective systems, better quality and enhanced profit; but the majority of the benefits are non-measurable such as improved morale, better communication and cooperation across the whole company.
His current project is in context of holistic systems.
He is asking the question as to why the extensive management knowledge that has been readily available for the past 50 years has not been applied.
Why is there such limited use of system thinking, intrinsic motivation and SPC?
Why is it that successful projects, using say “systems thinking,” erode back into the status quo when the champion of the project moves on?
Instead of focusing on individual projects do we need to address the whole – how our whole society thinks? A further recognition is that there are many forward thinking groups all with a similar aim of contributing to the development of society. Can these groups work together? By working together can these groups become much more influential?
We are exploring this challenge, starting in Scotland, and now are going globally
Alexander Laszlo, Ph.D., is co-founder and President of Syntony Quest and former Director of the Doctoral Program in Management at the Graduate School of Business Administration & Leadership (ITESM), Mexico. Currently, he teaches on evolutionary leadership, collaboration, and systems thinking at a variety of MBA and Doctoral programs internationally. He has worked for UNESCO, the Italian Electric Power Agency, and the U.S. Department of Education, has held visiting appointments with the London School of Economics and the European University Institute, and has been named a Level I Member of the National Research Academy of Mexico (SNI). He is on the Editorial Boards of World Futures, Systems Research & Behavioral Science, Organisational Transformation & Social Change and Latin American Business Review, recipient of the Gertrude Albert Heller Award, the Sir Geoffrey Vickers Memorial Award, and the Förderpreis Akademischer Klub award, active member of several systems science societies, and author of over fifty journal, book, and encyclopedia publications.
J. Murillo Valle MendesPresident
Grupo Mendes Júnior
Murillo Mendes is one of the protagonists in the history of both Brazilian and world engineering. Since mid 20th century the engineer has taken part in projects that have changed the construction business industry.
Grupo Mendes Júnior was founded in 1953 with Murillo Mendes as its main executive and in less than one decade the organization became one of the largest heavy construction companies in Brazil. It has always strived to be at the forefront in its industry in a quest to meet the expectations of its domestic and international customers.
Murillo Mendes is renowned for his pioneering action in launching Mendes Júnior in the international engineering market to carry out large-size projects in Mauritania, Iraq, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, China and other countries.
As Mendes Júnior president he upholds the essence of a company that brings together differentiated professionals, technological cutting edge and engineering project excellence in the fields of oil and gas, industrial businesses and infrastructure. According to Murillo Mendes, “all Mendes Júnior processes are performed safely and appropriately, as the company seeks to offer the best possible value to its customers, shareholders and employees while also respecting the environment and the communities where it is present”.
We have used the Systems Thinking Approach® in our firm for over 20 years and it is a key to our success.
Gary Metcalf, PhD, is the founder and president of InterConnections, LLC, an independent consulting firm focused on systemic approaches to organizations and social environments. He is currently the president of the International Federation for Systems Research, and past president of the International Society for the Systems Sciences. His early training was in systems-oriented family therapy. He later spent twelve years in management with Fortune 50 corporations. He has taught in both online and on-ground universities; for private institutions and the US Federal government; in the US and in India. He currently teaches at Saybrook University, in the Organizational Systems concentration, and in the college of Mind-Body Medicine.
John PourdehnadAdjunct Professor
Systems Thinking at the University of Pennsylvania
John Pourdehnad is an educator and a consultant. He is Adjunct Professor of Systems Thinking at the University of Pennsylvania and the Ackoff Center. From 1979 to 2010 Dr. Pourdehnad was an associate of the late Russell Ackoff, one of the irreplaceable genius’s in the history of Systems Thinking.
John has worked as a consultant in a broad range of industries spanning several Fortune 100 corporations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. He has published extensively on systems and design thinking and lectured around the world in various educational, corporate and government institutions.
He has received several awards for his work including Highly Commanded Award from Literati Club (2003), Fellow of Da Vinci Institute, South Africa (2008) and in 2008 was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to work with the New Bulgarian University. He has published many articles in various management journals and is a featured contributor to BusinessWeek weblog.
John Pourdehnad holds a Ph.D. in systems sciences from the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania.
Brian Rhiness President and CEO of the Rhiness Group was Chief Development Officer for the Ministry of Agriculture’s Alberta Centre for Livestock Genomics. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture from the University of Guelph and is a graduate of numerous Executive Development Programs. Brian brings over 20 years of senior management and leadership experience in the government, agriculture, and not-for-profit sectors—notably as CEO of the Alberta Agricultural Products Marketing Council. Brian specializes coaching and consulting in the areas of strategic planning, strategic management, strategic change, growth strategy, as well as research and development.
Nancy SouthernChair of the MA and PhD programs in Organizational Systems
Nancy Southern, Ed. D is an executive faculty member at Saybrook University in Monterrey, California and Chair of the MA and PhD programs in Organizational Systems.
She is a research member of the Global Society of Organizational Learning and a steward with the Bay Area Society of Organizational Learning and an active member in the Organizational Development Network. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Transformative Education and the Organizational Development Practitioner. Her research interests intersect culture, collaboration, community and innovation using qualitative methodologies including action research, hermeneutics, and other interpretative and transformative approaches.
Nancy’s work is focused on creating cultures of collaboration in public, private, and non-profit organizations and local communities. She has worked with senior and mid-management teams to help build their capacity for engaging in meaningful conversations and appreciative, critical inquiry to address their challenges and create the organizational changes they desire. She hopes to create opportunities to do this type of work in local and global communities.
She is a lover of nature and advocate for environmental, organizational, and societal sustainability. To support her work in sustainability, she is a facilitator of the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium provided by the Pachamama Alliance. She loves to travel and had an opportunity to explore Vietnam, Thailand, and China during her doctoral program. She traveled to China in 1996 to adopt her daughter and complete her dissertation research to further understand different ways of being in leader relationship to support transformative learning and change.
David Peter Stroh is a founder and Principal of Bridgeway Partners. He also co-founded Innovation Associates, the pioneering consulting firm in the area of organizational learning, whose work served as the foundation for the international management bestseller The Fifth Discipline. His overall expertise lies in the areas of visionary planning, leadership development, systems thinking, and change management.
Much of David’s work over the past 30 years has focused on enabling leaders to apply systems thinking to hone organizational strategy and achieve sustainable change. His current areas of focus are helping communities apply a systems approach to social change, enabling managers and organizations to sustain energy and focus on their most important priorities, and building systems thinking capacity.
David is a co-creator of the website www.appliedsystemsthinking.com and a charter member of the Society for Organizational Learning. He is also the author of over 30 articles and book chapters, and he is a frequent speaker at the annual Systems Thinking in Action and other conferences. He was a National Science Foundation Fellow at MIT, where he earned an M.A. in City Planning after graduating summa cum laude with degrees in Civil Engineering and Urban Studies from the University of Michigan.
Sophia YehCEO of Whole Brain Leadership Consulting (Shanghai) Inc.
Sophia Yeh of Shanghai, China. has over 21 years professional and pioneering experience in 5 different industries before starting her own business. Her specialties include Finance, Human Resources, Strategic Management, Public Relations, Information Technology, Legal and Administration. She published a popular book ìCharisma of a Leader ìn 1999. She is a sophisticated Systems Thinker and practitioner for many years and applies it throughout her firm’s clientele.
In 1991, Sophia established her own management consulting company Whole Brain Leadership Consulting and then acquired the rights from the Franklin Covey Organization, marketing their programs and products in Taiwan and China as the first Chinese Master Trainer to introduce The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People into the China market. Whole Brain Leadership Consulting has grown to over 30 consultants and trainers and positioned themselves as the Strategic Partner of Sustainable Chinese Companies, as a Haines Centre for Strategic Management Global Alliance Partner. She focuses on providing Tailor-made & Systematic Leadership Management Training Programs, helping clients develop and cascade Corporate Culture, dealing with Changes from Strategic Planning and Strategic Management Systems