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Faculty profile: Ya-Ru Chen
Ya-Ru Chen
Ya-Ru Chen

Ya-Ru Chen joined our faculty in 2009 as a professor of management and global business and director of the Cornell-Nanjing Executive Education Program. In just one year, she has grown the China Executive Education programs from one to three, and 2011 will likely see more added.

Chen's other big responsibility has been to develop our new Emerging Markets Institute, along with Professor Andrew Karolyi and Associate Dean Randy Allen. Chen and Karolyi are co-directors of the institute, which brings research, education, and outreach together in a dynamic environment. Says Chen, "At this senior stage of my career, I'm excited to be more entrepreneurial and do things that contribute to the institution and keep the school vibrant."

While she is aggressively developing these global initiatives for us, Chen also maintains a highly productive research agenda. The current theme of her research is how individuals gain, maintain, and experience power and status in organizations, and how these dynamics vary across national cultural contexts. "The world order is changing," she says. "It's a challenge for senior executives in emerging markets to transition from working for multinational firms to running them on their own. It's also not easy for senior executives in developed countries to deal with new peers from emerging markets. Managing their new position requires both knowledge and psychology."

Chen quickly felt at home at Johnson and believes it's a good fit for her. She cites our clear set of values, including an emphasis on significant research and the determination to educate students in ways that contribute to their long-term development. She also appreciates having "many friends and colleagues whom I admire deeply."

Chen and her husband are active parents of an 11-year-old daughter. She says, "I have learned so many things from her, too, including more about why people in the United States are assertive, and how they deal with competition and cooperation. Ellen clearly has taken me to new places!"