Faculty Members

The Center for Ethical and Sustainable Business (CESB) draws upon the expertise and efforts of faculty throughout the College of Business.

Ten current College of Business faculty serve as CESB Advisory Board members and teaching faculty who specifically teach, host special events and conduct research primarily in the areas of business ethics and sustainability in support of the mission of the center. A number of additional faculty assist in an advisory capacity or facilitate signature events, such as the annual Business Ethics Week, Summer High School Student Sustainability Camp, Ethics & Compliance Workshops, One Laptop Per Child conference, speaker events and more. The CESB Board also includes one current MBA Sustainable Business student. Several retired faculty assisted in creating CESB in 2010: Murray Silverman, Bruce Paton, Peter Melhus and Will Weinstein. They were instrumental in creating the center. CESB events are further enhanced with visiting business leaders at signature events.

Current Faculty Members

Student Board Member

Denise Kleinrichert, Ph.D, Associate Professor and Director

Denise Kleinrichert, Associate Professor of Management

Denise Kleinrichert, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in Management and Ethics. She is the Director of the Center for Ethical and Sustainable Business (CESB). This Center integrates ethics and sustainable business teaching and service to community and the university, as well as research. She also has served as Chair of the College of Business' annual Business Ethics Week since 2007, is founder of the Ethics & Compliance Workshop series, co-developed the Business Certificate in Ethics & Compliance and the MBA Emphasis in Ethics & Compliance. She has focused her academic career in the areas of business ethics and compliance, corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability, and women social entrepreneurs. She teaches two undergraduate courses: Seminar on Business & Society and Ethics at Work. She also teaches MBA seminar courses: Ethics and Compliance, Political, Social, Legal Environment of Business, and Sustainability and Business Opportunity. Her research publications include numerous peer reviewed journal articles and two book chapters on topics in ethics, risk and corporate boards, CSR, sustainability, and women entrepreneurs. She also has earlier corporate executive and management experience in risk management and human resources in the banking, healthcare and property/casualty insurance industries. Her education includes: a BA in Economics from Indiana University, and two Master's degrees (Thesis: Winifred Carney: Socialism and Women in Irish Textile Trade Unions in Belfast) from the University of South Florida. Her PhD studies were inclusive of coursework in the College of Business and Philosophy Department including: Social Ethical Legal Systems, Contemporary Ethical Theory, Organizational Design/Structure, Politics/Control in Organizations, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Work & Gender, Development Ethics. She defended her dissertation, Responsibility and Practice in Notions of Corporate Social Responsibility and was awarded a Ph.D. in Philosophy (Ethics) from the University of South Florida by a committee of faculty advisors from the College of Business and Philosophy Department. 

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Tom Thomas, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Tom Thomas, Professor of Management

Tom Thomas, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the College of Business, and associate director of the CESB. He teaches in the area of the social, political, ethical and legal environment of business. He began his academic career as an assistant professor in the University of Washington's School of Business Administration, where he spent eight years teaching courses in business, government, and society, environmental management, and the politics of business regulation. While there, he conducted research primarily in business political strategy and corporate environmental management, and co-founded the first MBA Environmental Management program in the U.S. He received both his Ph.D. (in business & public policy) and his MBA from University of California, Berkeley. He also received his master of public policy degree from the University of Michigan.

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Geoff Desa, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Geoff Desa, Assistant Professor of Management

Geoff Desa, Ph.D., is an associate professor of management in the College of Business. He is a member of the Sustainability Group within the College of Business and teaches business and society, strategic management, and social entrepreneurship. Geoff's research examines resource mobilization and venture development in the technology and social entrepreneurship sector. He earned his Ph.D. in business from the University of Washington in Seattle with emphases in technology entrepreneurship, strategic management, and public affairs. Prior to that, Geoff worked at Novera Optics and at Hewlett Packard as an optical engineer. He earned his M.S. in electrical engineering from Stanford University. He is on the board of the Common Data Project, a technology social venture engaged in information technology privacy.

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Sally Baack, Ph.D., Professor

Sally Baack, Professor of Management

Sally Baack is a professor in the management department. She is a repeat winner of the Professor of the Year Award for the College of Business, for her outstanding achievements in teaching, research and service. In 2007, Sally Baack was named an "Ascendant Scholar" by the Western Academy of Management—an honor awarded to scholars who have shown outstanding potential in their early careers and who are on track to becoming leaders in their fields. Professor Baack joined San Francisco State University in the Fall of 2000. She earned her Ph.D. in International Strategic Management from the University of Southern California, and is an honors graduate in Political Science and German Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, and the Georg-August Universitaet, Goettingen, Germany. She is fluent in German. Professor Baack’s research focuses on strategic management, ethical leadership and international competition. Her work has been published in the Journal of International Business Studies, the Case Research Journal, the Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings, the Academy of Management Journal of Learning and Education, the International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management, the International Trade and Finance Journal, and the International Association for Human Resource Information Management Journal.

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Susan Cholette, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Susan Cholette, Assistant Professor of Decision Sciences

Susan Cholette is an associate professor of decision sciences in the College of Business at San Francisco State University where she teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in operations, supply chain management and project management. Prior to her university appointment, she served as a project manager at Nonstop Solutions (now Manhattan Associates) and as a supply chain consultant for Aspen Technologies. She earned her Ph.D. in Operations Research at Stanford University and her BSE in Electrical Engineering at Princeton University. Her primary research interests concern supply chain efficiency and sustainability, especially for the food and beverage sectors. She has published in diverse academic journals including: Interfaces, International Journal of Production Research, International Journal of Production Economics, Supply Chain Forum: an International Journal, Journal of Cleaner Production, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Informs Transactions on Education, Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications, International Journal of Pricing and Revenue Management, International Journal of Wine Business Research, Journal of Global Marketing, International Journal of Wine Marketing. She has contributed an invited chapter to the anthology Green Technologies in Food Production and Processing. In addition to her duties at SF State, she has taught a variety of short courses elsewhere within California, France and Italy, and she is active in the business community, serving as an officer in both Women in Logisitics and the San Francisco Roundtable of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. She was one of the founders of the Bay Area Green Supply Chain Forum and is on the Board of Directors of PulpWorks, Inc, a startup providing greener and safer alternatives to plastic packaging. In what remains of her spare time she enjoys hiking, kayaking, skiing and travelling abroad.

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Sameer Verma, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Sameer Verma, Professor of Information Systems

Sameer Verma is professor of Information Systems at San Francisco State University. His research focuses on the diffusion and adoption of innovative technologies. He is currently working on several academic research projects which include the diffusion of open source software, sustainable IT in rural and remote environments, and the impact of offline networks. In addition to his academic work, Professor Verma has worked with companies in consulting capacity in the areas of content analysis, management and delivery. Professor Verma is on the Board of Directors of the Drupal Association. He also serves on the advisory boards of WiRED International, The Center for Ethical and Sustainable Business (CESB) at SF State, some San Francisco Bay Area technology companies. He is also the founder of the Commons Initiative at SF State, the One Laptop per Child San Francisco community, the One Laptop per Child Jamaica community and an institutional partner at the Center of Excellence, University of the West Indies, Jamaica.

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Colin Johnson, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Colin Johnson, Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Colin Johnson, Ph.D., holds a doctorate in economic and social sciences from Fribourg University, Switzerland. He also has an M.B.A. from Manchester Business School and a B.A. from the Open University in the UK. He has worked in many sectors of the hospitality industry including contract catering, airline catering, two, four and five star hotels, private members clubs, retail restaurants and was assistant catering manager at Manchester United Football Club. He has held faculty and management positions in seven colleges and Universities in the UK, Switzerland and the US. He was the dean at the Domino Carlton Tivoli Hotel Management School in Lucerne, Switzerland and dean and then founding director of research at the Lausanne Institute for Hospitality Research at the ecole hoteliere de Lausanne. Previous to joining San Francisco State University he served as professor and chair at San Jose State University. He has published in a number of leading hospitality and tourism journals including The Annals of Tourism Research, The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Quarterly, and The International Journal of Hospitality Management and Managing Service Quality. He is on three editorial boards. His research interests include services internationalization, small and medium size enterprises and social entrepreneurship.

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Smita K. Trivedi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Smita K. Trivedi, Assistant Professor of Business and Society/Sustainable Business

Smita K. Trivedi, Ph.D., is assistant professor of business and society/sustainable business in the management department at the College of Business. She primarily teaches the Seminar in Business and Society, and has taught undergraduate strategy as well. Professor Trivedi received her undergraduate degree from Duke University in public policy, her master’s degree in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University, and her Ph.D. in strategic management and public policy from the George Washington University School of Business. Her research is focused on business and poverty alleviation, and has conducted research in the areas of social and ethical bases of trust networks in business. Her publications have been in the areas of business ethics education, business and peace, and her dissertation focused on women entrepreneurs in the context of extreme and moderate poverty in India. She was named an emerging scholar and awarded the Founders' Award at the Society for Business Ethics in 2010.

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Oscar Jerome Stewart, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Oscar Jerome Stewart, Assistant Professor of Management

Oscar Stewart, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of management in the College of Business. Oscar primarily teaches the seminar course Business and Society, and his research focuses on the intersection of organizational theory, strategy and business ethics. His main research stream is focused on corporate irresponsibility and includes a theoretical account of corporate strategic irresponsibility, empirical exploration of corporate strategic irresponsibility’s mechanisms, as well as an exploration of the determinants of corporate integrity violations in the pharmaceutical industry. Oscar earned his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina Charlotte’s Interdisciplinary Organizational Science Program. Prior to his doctoral work, Oscar worked at Travelers Insurance as a commercial insurance underwriter and as a program facilitator in talent management.

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Manely Sharifian, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Manely Sharifian, Assistant Professor of Management

Manely Sharifian, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of management in the College of Business. She teaches business and society courses at SF state, and prior to that lectured in strategic management, and organization behavior at University of Alberta. Manely’s research examines the industry and country conditions that stimulate clean technology patenting, and the political, economic, and firm-specific features of cleantech start-ups that attract investment capital. In both her R&D and commercialization (supply and demand side) analyses, she controls for standard economic and policy features of country and regional contexts, focusing instead on how firm and management identities enable clean tech ventures to launch and succeed. Manely is also interested in women's entrepreneurship; she won the Best Paper Award in the "Entrepreneurship and Gender" section at the Diana-ACERE Conference in Australia 2012. She earned her Ph.D. in business from University of Alberta in Canada and her MSc. in management and economics of innovation from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. Prior to that she worked for several years in oil and gas consulting companies in Iran. She earned her BSc. in Industrial Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology in Iran.

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Krishna Shah, MBA Candidate

Krishna Shah, MBA CandidateKrishna Shah is an experienced marketing consultant helping multinational organizations as well as start-ups build their brand value by leveraging nutrition sciences and transformative marketing strategies. She has helped Kellogg's India Pvt. Limited launch and establish “Special K” brand, including building a community for “Healthy Breakfast Habits.” She has started her own social media page where she provides nutrition consulting to clients. She is currently pursuing her full time MBA at San Francisco State University with a focus on marketing and building sustainable businesses. She emphasizes the need for business-driven marketing strategies and sustainable business methodologies.

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