New board chair, board members and member school span footprint from Asia to America
RESTON, Va. (September 5, 2023) – The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a global association of leading graduate business schools, today announced changes to its board of directors. Themin Suwardy, a GMAC board member since 2019 and associate provost of postgraduate professional education at Singapore Management University, has been elected to chair the GMAC board. Ana María Zermeño Padilla, director of operations and academic experience at Tecnológico de Monterrey’s EGADE Business School in Mexico, as well as Curtis Ferguson, managing partner at Ventech China, have joined the GMAC board as its newest members.
In addition, GMAC welcomed Asia School of Business (ASB) as its 227th member school. Based in Kuala Lumpur, ASB was established in 2015 by the central bank of Malaysia, Bank Negara Malaysia, in collaboration with MIT Sloan School of Management in response to the need for world-class talent in Malaysia, the region and emerging world. Today, ASB’s award-winning MBA degree program has been hailed as one of the most innovative MBA programs in the world.
“GMAC research has shown that business schools in Asia Pacific are attracting more talent in-region than prior to the pandemic despite rebounding international mobility, while those in Latin America are benefiting from growing international applications,” said Joy Jones, CEO of GMAC. “I am thrilled to have these talented individuals and the esteemed ASB organization deepening their engagement with the Council, enhancing our board diversity and membership roster. They are bringing valuable perspectives and critical insights to GMAC’s global mission of helping business schools and talent discover and evaluate each other.”
More about New Directors on the GMAC Board
Ana María Zermeño Padilla has a proven track record as an academic leader at several institutions among Tec de Monterrey System, including Virtual University and TecMilenio. At EGADE Business School, she oversees all student academic and life experience, administrative operations, and logistics for in-person and online students. She is a member of the board for Somos El Cambio and Instituto de Formacion y Perfeccionamiento Policial de San Pedro, both academic institutions. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, a master's in education and a Ph.D. in education innovation from Tecnológico de Monterrey in addition to a master's in business analytics from EGADE Business School.
Curtis Ferguson is a managing partner of Ventech China, where he leads investment in the country’s fast-growing consumer markets. He was a former executive at The Coca-Cola Company for nearly four decades and most recently the president of The Coca- Cola Greater China, Korea & Mongolia Business Unit. He has been actively involved in education, having served as the chairman of Cairo American College and on the Dean’s Advisory Council of his alma mater Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. His initiative of a scholarship program benefiting disadvantaged students from the Middle East and Africa has led to him and Coca-Cola being awarded the U.S. State Department Award for Corporate Citizenship. Mr. Ferguson holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Indiana University Kelley School and is a graduate of the Executive Development Programs at Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
While GMAC welcomes the new leadership and addition to its board, GMAC also recognizes and thanks its outgoing board chair, Jon Erickson, former president of education and career services at ACT, and outgoing board member, Katy Montgomery, former associate dean of degree programmes at INSEAD.
“I have in the past years worked alongside Jon and Katy, witnessing firsthand their dedication as we together advocate for the graduate management education community. I am grateful for their contributions,” said Themin Suwardy, the newly elected GMAC board chair. “I look forward to leading the board, including our new additions Ana María and Curt, to create more values for the schools and candidates we so tirelessly serve.”
More about Asia School of Business and GMAC Membership
Asia School of Business (ASB) – the first GMAC member school from Malaysia – aspires to be a premier school of management in Asia recognized for its ability to develop transformative and principled leaders who will contribute to a better future and to the advancement of the emerging world. Their approach to learning focuses on classroom rigor combined with onsite action learning experiences throughout Asia. Besides the MBA degree program, ASB also offers an executive MBA, a master in central banking, and a master in management degree to be launched later this year.
To be considered for membership in GMAC, a school must maintain a selective admissions process; offer a master’s program in business administration, management subjects or equivalent; and demonstrate support of GMAC’s mission of providing the tools and information necessary for schools and talent to discover and evaluate each other.
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is a mission-driven association of leading graduate business schools worldwide. GMAC provides world-class research, industry conferences, recruiting tools, and assessments for the graduate management education industry as well as resources, events, and services that help guide candidates through their higher education journey. Owned and administered by GMAC, the Graduate Management Admission Test™ (GMAT™) exam is the most widely used graduate business school assessment.
More than 12 million prospective students a year trust GMAC’s websites, including mba.com, to learn about MBA and business master’s programs, connect with schools around the world, prepare and register for exams and get advice on successfully applying to MBA and business master’s programs. BusinessBecause and GMAC Tours are subsidiaries of GMAC, a global organization with offices in China, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
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Sr. Manager, Media Relations