Kellogg World Alumni Magazine, Winter 2003Kellogg School of Management
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photo courtesy of ©The Broad Foundation
From left to right: Jed Wallace ’02, Kristin Wilcox, Wharton ’97; Eli Broad, founder of The Broad Foundation; Laura Smith ’02; Ken Zeff, Wharton ’99; and Albert Hwang ’02

Kellogg alums bring leadership to public schools

by Matt Golosinski

The Broad Foundation, through its Broad Residency initiative, taps top MBAs to participate in an elite, two-year intensive development program that gives these business leaders the immediate chance to assume managerial positions in urban public schools.

Broad accepts fewer than 5 percent of applicants to the residency program, yet selected three recent Kellogg School alums for the 2003 term. Laura Smith, Albert Hwang and Jed Wallace, all ’02, spoke with Kellogg World about their passion for education.

Kellogg World: Why have you chosen to use your MBA degrees to advance public education?

Albert Hwang: An educated workforce is critical to an organization’s success. A company that has to manage its business, and also teach its employees basic literacy, math and problem-solving, is asking a lot of its leadership. My goal is to instill strong business management skills within school districts. Historically, district employees utilized a “scattergun” approach, throwing things against the wall and hoping they stick. We can’t afford to rely on hope while wasting our limited resources.

Laura Smith: In a mature bureaucratic organization, it’s difficult to untangle the existing systems that have evolved, often in response to short-term priorities. Kellogg taught me the questions I should be asking to understand not only the problem, but also the possible solutions. I can’t imagine a problem more important for our society to fix than public education.

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KW: What are the most pressing challenges for education today?

Laura Smith: Large urban districts are failing as educators struggle to reverse the widening achievement gap between different student populations. I’m hopeful because a new generation of leaders is dedicating themselves to reform that builds accountability into these ailing systems and helps educators monitor their progress.

Albert Hwang: The challenge is getting these educational institutions to manage their organizations more efficiently. They don’t know how and they don’t have any incentive to change. Until the incentive system is changed, education will continue struggling to consistently recruit and retain talented, experienced employees.

Jed Wallace: Many urban school districts have few managers with formal business training. At the same time, many of our top business schools fail to see how the expertise they offer can make a difference within the schools. Fortunately, forward-thinking schools such as Kellogg are forging important relationships that transfer managerial expertise to education.

The Broad Foundation looks to expand its residency program in 2004. Interested MBAs may visit for more details.

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University