||© Nathan Mandell
Robb Knuepfer '78
president makes world, and Kellogg, a better place
Knuepfer '78 has consulted on multibillion-dollar projects
around the world and helped lead an international effort to
work he's found most rewarding takes place inside a Kellogg
School classroom, where he strives to impart the wisdom
during the 27 years since his graduation.
teaching; I love being with bright young minds," says Knuepfer,
whose course on managing and financing major projects in emerging
markets is offered each winter quarter. "I learn more from
them than I'm sure I teach them. It's the single most rewarding
experience I can think of."
a partner with the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie,
is an expert on mergers and acquisitions. He has handled many
deals involving privatization and foreign investment, including
several in Eastern Europe, where he served as managing partner
of Baker & McKenzie's Central Europe and CIS practice while
living in Budapest from 1992 to 1995.
also a tireless advocate for institutions that he believes
make the world a better place. That includes ROTARY/One, the
Chicago chapter of Rotary International, which Knuepfer leads
as president. It also includes Metropolitan Family Services,
the oldest and largest social services agency in Chicago,
where Knuepfer serves as chairman of the board of directors.
he serves on at least a dozen other civic and community boards,
including the Kellogg Alumni Advisory Board (KAAB). He credits
Kellogg for laying the groundwork for his later success.
believe in something, in this case Kellogg, and you understand
the value of what it gave you, you are required to give back,"
important that those of us blessed with great educations
work to provide those same advantages to others who might
not be so lucky. I feel the need to give back immediately,
because the children to whom my organization is trying
to bring education do not get a second chance. That challenge
fuels my passion." John
Wood '89, founder and president of Room to Read, San Francisco
done that in spades. As a member and now chairman of the alumni
advisory board, he has been a liaison for students, faculty
and alumni in many areas, including admissions, curriculum
review and recruiting. He played a key role in developing
the Kellogg Global Initiatives in Management program,
contributing course material and putting Baker & McKenzie's
70 worldwide offices at the disposal of students studying
business issues overseas.
has also shared his knowledge freely with Kellogg students,
serving frequently over the years as a guest lecturer
classes. In 1997, Dean Donald P. Jacobs invited Knuepfer to
join the Kellogg School faculty as an adjunct professor in
finance, where he teaches courses on major infrastructure
projects in emerging markets.
of written material on the topic spurred Knuepfer to author
many of the case studies he uses in class. "I probably spend
more time preparing for my class than I do for client work,"
he says. "Obviously Kellogg students are world-class and I
have too much pride not to be as prepared as I possibly can
be when they ask those hard questions."
who earned his MBA concurrent with his law degree at Northwestern
University's Law School, teaches a similar version of the
class to NU law students as well as a course on international
business transactions. "It's a significant time commitment,
but very rewarding," he says. "The subject is always evolving.
I'm always reading and trying to keep current."
Knuepfer manages to find time for other service. As president
of ROTARY/One, he leads a weekly meeting during which 250
members discuss how to improve society. Projects range from
local concerns, such as finding summer jobs for high-school
students, to international efforts, such as immunizing all
of the world's children against polio.
has raised about $500 million and mobilized hundreds of thousands
of volunteers to immunize nearly 2 billion children worldwide.
This June, Knuepfer will help more than 50,000 Rotarians celebrate
that accomplishment when he hosts the organization's Centennial
Convention in Chicago.
has made an impact around the world, as Kellogg has," Knuepfer
to be a value Knuepfer holds dear. In March, he joined other
KAAB members and Dean Dipak C. Jain on a mission to Chile
to strengthen Kellogg's relationships with educators and business
leaders in South America.
no longer acceptable to be isolationist," the Kellogg grad
says. "One thing Kellogg has done through its thought leadership
is to promote global executive education as a solution to
advance world peace and harmony. If we export the Kellogg
experience to places like Asia and South America, we're doing
our part to establish a framework for teamwork and understanding.
We're making a difference."
to Phil Marineau '70
to Why alumni give back