Talent Mobility and The Global Economy Public Letter

Fifty-five business school deans and 15 CEOs signed this public letter to U.S. government leaders encouraging a re-examination of current visa and immigration policies. According to GMAC data, harsh rhetoric in the US on visa policies and immigration is driving international students elsewhere. If those students can't innovate in the United States, they'll innovate someplace else.

This is just the beginning of an effort to build greater awareness of these issues. If you are a dean or CEO who would like to sign on to this effort please contact chairperson@gmac.com

President Donald J. Trump
Vice President Michael Pence
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy
Senate Majority Leader Addison “Mitch” McConnell
Senate Minority Leader Charles “Chuck” Schumer

To America’s Leaders:

We represent a cross-section of America’s economy, now and into the future. As CEOs, deans of business schools across the country, and industry organizations, we have insights into what the U.S. economy needs now, and what it will need 10, 20, and 30 years into the future. We are helping to lead this generation of businesses and train the next generation of leaders who will succeed us. We are also urgently concerned – we do not believe the U.S. has the high-skill talent it needs, nor does it have the capacity to train enough people with those skills. Without a substantial change in our approach, this deficit of skills in key fields will hinder economic growth.

The fact that our economy has created an estimated three million open STEM jobs is a positive. It speaks to the vibrancy and opportunities available in a healthy, growing economy. Yet the fact that those jobs are unfilled – and that the U.S. is not producing enough people with the skills to fill them – is not just a negative, it’s a crisis.

We are needlessly capping our growth and can do better.

America remains, as President Ronald Reagan put it, “a shining city upon a hill.” The best and brightest from all around the world want to come here, and their hard work and expertise make our economy stronger and more globally competitive. They want to provide American companies with insights into what approaches will succeed as these companies expand into foreign markets.

Yet a combination of our outdated laws, artificial regional and skills-based caps on immigration, and recent spikes in hostility are closing the door to the high-skilled immigrants our economy needs to thrive. For the first time since we started keeping track of these data, the past three years have seen a reduction in the number of foreign students studying in America’s universities and business schools. Every year, we turn away hundreds of thousands of high-skilled immigrants for no other reason than that they failed to win the H-1B lottery.

We cannot allow this dangerous negative trend to continue. As leaders committed to growth in America’s economy, we know that policy reforms could usher in immense benefits. These should include:

  • Removing “per-country” visa caps, modernizing our visa processing system and reforming the H1B visa program to make it possible for the most talented people to have a reasonable chance of gaining entry to the United States.
  • Creating a “heartland” visa that encourages immigration to the regions of the United States that could most use the vitality of these talented individuals.

We can maintain the shimmer of our ‘shining city upon a hill’ that welcomes immigrants, as it has throughout history, to a land of opportunity.

We hope you agree, and we urge you to take these recommendations seriously. 

We are confident that America’s future economic success depends on it.


Harsha V. Agadi, President & CEO, Crawford & Co.
Andrew Ainslie, Simon Business School, University of Rochester
Homaira Akbari, President & CEO, AKnowldge Partners, LLC
Paul Almeida, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University
Eugene W. Anderson, Martin J. Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University
Arjang Assad, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh
Shawn Berman, Anderson School of Management, University of New Mexico
Antonio Bernardo, UCLA Anderson School of Management
Bill Boulding, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
Peter Brews, Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina
David Brown, CEO, Techstars
Jeffrey R. Brown, Gies College of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Frank Buckless, Poole College of Management, North Carolina State University
Bob Camp, Eberly College of Business and Information Technology, Indiana University of
Anne Carroll, College of Business at Kutztown University, Kutztown University
Kerwin Charles, Yale School of Management, Yale University
Vivek Choudhury, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver
Martha J. Crawford, PhD, Jack Welch College of Business & Technology, Sacred Heart University
Robert Dammon, Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University
Scott DeRue, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
Tom Finke, Chairman and CEO, Barings
Sanjay Gupta, Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University
Kevin Hallock, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University
Jay Hartzell, McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin
Ann Elizabeth Harrison, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
Frank Hodge, Foster School of Business, University of Washington
David Hummels, Krannert School of Management, Purdue University
Charles Iacovou, School of Business, Wake Forest University
Jeff Jacobson, Executive Chairman and CEO, EFI
Erika James, Goizueta Business School, Emory University
M. Eric Johnson, Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University
Eli Jones, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University
Idalene Kesner, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
John Kraft, Warrington College of Business, University of Florida
Monica Lam, College of Business, University of Central Oklahoma
Michael W. Lamach, Chairman & CEO, Ingersoll Rand
Stefanie Ann Lenway, Opus College of Business, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota
Jonathan Levin, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
Kate Luce, President & CEO, MSE Railroad Companies
Costis Maglaras, Columbia Business School, Columbia University
Stephen L. Mangum, Haslam College of Business, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Srinivas Mannava, CEO, Infobelt Inc
Sharon Matusik, Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado, Boulder
Susan McTiernan, Mario J. Gabelli School of Business, Roger Williams University
Anuj Mehrotra, School of Business, The George Washington University
Jacqueline R. Mozrall, Saunders School of Business, Rochester Institute of Technology
Matthew Myers, Edwin L. Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University
Mark W. Nelson, PhD, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell SC Johnson
College of Business, Cornell University
Michael Olfano, CEO, PCA Technology Group
J. Michael Prince, President and CEO, USPA Global Licensing
Lawrence B. Pulley, Raymond A. Mason School of Business, College of William & Mary
Sanjay Putrevu, Monte Ahuja College of Business, Cleveland State University
Donna Rapaccioli, Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University
Carlos J. Rodriguez, Chairman & CEO, Driftwood Acquisitions & Development
Peter Rodriguez, Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice University
Keith Rollag, F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business, Babson College
Marc Rubin, Farmer School of Business, Miami University
John Scannell, CEO, Moog, Inc.
Douglas Shackelford, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Matthew Slaughter, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College
David B. Snow, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Cedar Gate
Ira Solomon, A.B. Freeman School of Business, Tulane University
David Souder, School of Business, University of Connecticut
Raghu Sundaram, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University
Paul Tesluk, University at Buffalo School of Management, The State University of New York
Kent J. Thiry, Executive Chairman, DaVita Inc.
Edwin van Rest, CEO, Studyportals
Dr. Richard D. White, Jr., E. J. Ourso College of Business, Louisiana State University
Charles H. Whiteman, Smeal College of Business, The Pennsylvania State University
Sri Zaheer, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota

*The original letter sent to US leaders on October 15th included 50 school deans and 13 CEOs.