Dear Fellow Alumni,

The start of the New Year often encourages us to reassess our priorities and reset our goals. The leadership at the Wharton School began the process long before this January, and they are in fact always evaluating, affirming and broadening the School’s strategic mission. When I was on campus in October for our combined board meeting, I had the pleasure of hearing firsthand about the primary priorities of Dean Thomas S. Robertson and discussing them with my fellow board members.

The School has three crucial and exciting priorities that were presented to the board: Lifelong Learning, the Public Policy Initiative and the Penn Wharton China Center.

Regarding the latter, the Dean reported that the University has made significant progress in the establishment of the China Center in the past year. Leadership has been appointed—Z. John Zhang, the Murrel J. Ades Professor and professor of marketing, as the executive faculty director, and Jeffrey Bernstein, W’92, as managing director. A presence in China will position Penn and Wharton as global research and educational institutions in the world’s largest country. Moreover, it will allow Wharton to increase its Executive Education offerings in China, as well as provide space for admissions, alumni affairs and career management for all 12 Penn schools.

The Wharton Public Policy Initiative is moving forward at a fast pace after its official announcement last fall. Mark Duggan, chair of the Department of Business Economics and Public Policy and the Rowan Family Foundation Professor, has been named faculty director of the initiative. He has already galvanized Wharton professors and staff around Penn to help with the PPI’s mission: to offer independent, practical, timely, nonpartisan research and resources about business and finance to government policymakers and key decision-makers. (Read the article on P. 26 for more insight.)

Lifelong Learning brings Wharton alumni together over the course of our careers with new and exciting resources—customized to meet our needs and interests and featuring highly relevant content of a caliber only Wharton can provide—such as the new ongoing Lifelong Learning Tour, which brings this content to our backyards. If you are as interested in accessing the Lifelong Learning content as I am, visit the website at for tour dates, registration information, videos, webinars and more.

Best wishes in the New Year!

Rob Newbold, WG’99

Chairman, Wharton Alumni Executive Board