Paul Christensen
Paul Christensen

Associate Dean, Executive Education
Clinical Professor of Finance
Senior Adviser for Global Strategy

Print Overview

Paul Christensen is a Clinical Professor of Finance at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University where he teaches course in microfinance and international business. In addition, he serves as Associate Dean for Executive Education, overseeing all of Kellogg's non-degree programs.  In this role he is responsible for the strategic direction of executive learning and development programs, curricula development, client relations, faculty engagement, participant support and program operations.  Professor Christensen joined Kellogg in 2008, served as Associate Dean and Executive Director for Global Programs from 2011-2014, and continues to serve as Senior Advisor for Global Strategy.

Prior to Kellogg, Prof. Christensen was the co-founder and President of ShoreCap International Ltd., a $28 million private equity company, based in London, which invests in financial institutions in developing countries throughout Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. From 2000-2003, he served as President and CEO of ShoreBank Enterprise Group, a $12 million non-profit community economic development organization in Cleveland, Ohio.

Earlier in his career, Prof. Christensen was an Associate and Engagement Manager for the consulting firm, McKinsey and Company, where he focused on operations performance, organizational effectiveness and strategic planning for clients in the financial services, manufacturing, consumer goods, petroleum, and electric utility industries.

Prof. Christensen received an MBA with distinction from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Arts, economics, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Dartmouth College.


Print Vita
MBA, 1992, Cornell University
BA, 1987, Economics, Dartmouth College, Phi Beta Kappa, Rockfeller Prize in Economics, Summa Cum Laude

Academic Positions
Associate Dean, Executive Education, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2016-present
Clinical Professor of Finance, Kellogg School of Management, 2014-present
Associate Dean and Executive Director, Global Programs, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2010-2014
Clinical Associate Professor of Finance, Finance, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2008-2014

Other Professional Experience
President & COO, Shorecap Management, Ltd., 2003-2007
President & CEO, Shorebank Enterprise Group, 2000-2003
Vice President, Neighborhood Progress, Inc., 1996-2000
Engagement Manager, McKinsey and Company, Inc., 1992-1996
Associate, Corporate Decisions, Inc., 1987-1990

Honors and Awards
Kellogg Nota Bene Speaker, Class of 2009, May 13, 2009
Recipient of Certificate of Impact teaching award for Microfinance class, June 5, 2009
Selected for the 2009-2011 Emerging Leaders Program of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, September 2009

Print Research

Print Teaching
Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
Micro-finance and Financial Inclusion (FINC-937-0)
Microfinance can be defined as “the supply of loans, savings, and other basic financial services to the poor” (CGAP). Historically excluded by traditional financial service providers, the majority of the world’s 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 per day have no access to formal savings, loans, insurance, and/or payment services. Over the past 40 years, specialized microfinance institutions (“MFIs”) have sprung up globally to meet the financial needs of the poor while claiming to help lift people out of poverty.

This class provides an in-depth overview of the global microfinance industry, tracing its evolution from an NGO-dominated movement to an increasingly commercial $100 billion industry. Readings, lectures and case studies will be used to investigate current microfinance practices and to highlight some of the current industry controversies, including interest rates, commercial investment, over-indebtedness and social impact.

The course also explores how microfinance has paved the way for a broader set of new financial inclusion efforts around the world, an initiative now championed by the World Bank and United Nations to promote universal financial access by the year 2020. Specifically, students will learn the ways in which banks, credit card issuers, mobile network operators, retailers and fintech startups are seeking to profitably serve low-income and unbanked consumers around the world.

Global Initiatives in Management (GIM) (INTLM-473-0)