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Professor Derek F Abell is the Founding President and Professor Emeritus of ESMT - European School of Management and Technology. He began his academic career at Harvard Business School where he was a member of the faculty as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Associate Dean from 1969 to 1981. Derek Abell then joined IMEDE in Lausanne, the predecessor of today’s IMD. There, he was dean until 1989 and stayed as professor until 2003. From 1994 to 2003, Derek Abell was also Professor of Technology and Management at the two Swiss Institutes of Technology ETH in Zurich and EPF in Lausanne. Given his longtime commitment to establishing and developing business schools in Eastern Europe and Russia, in 2004 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the State University of Management in Moscow.
Derek Abell has served as a consultant to the United Nations, numerous governments in Eastern and Central Europe as well as to many international companies. He was awarded the Medal of Freedom by the Slovenian Republic for his role in developing the country after independence. He has also been a board member of a number of public and private institutions and organizations throughout Europe, such as the Central and East European Management Development Association (CEEMAN) and the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD). Prof Abell has been member of the Visiting Committee of Harvard Business School since 2004.