Several Lam Family College of Business faculty serve as Center for Ethical & Sustainable Business (CESB) Advisory Board members. These faculty teach, host special events, and conduct research primarily in the areas of business ethics and sustainability in support of the mission of the Center. Additionally, we have affiliated members who do not have voting privileges but are otherwise committed to the Center's mission.
Robert Bonner, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Robert Bonner, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Management Department at the Lam Family College of Business. Robert currently teaches the Seminar in Business Policy and Strategic Management (BUS 690) course and has published his primary pedagogical approach in the Journal of Strategic Management Education. His research explores the microfoundations of strategy with a focus on the antecedents and outcomes of gender and diversity in the upper echelons of organizations. Robert earned his Ph.D. in Management and Organization Studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio
Susan Cholette, Ph.D., Professor and CESB Director
Susan Cholette is the current CESB Director and also a professor of decision sciences in the Lam Family College of Business at San Francisco State University where she teaches 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. In 2020-2021 she served part-time as VP of Consulting Services at CleanMetrics2.0, a startup providing low-cost LCA and GHG inventories.
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, Journal of Cleaner Production, Journal of Sustainable Production and Consumption, among others. She has contributed an invited chapter to the anthology Green Technologies in Food Production and Processing. 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.
Geoff Desa, Ph.D., Professor
Geoff Desa, Ph.D., is a professor in the Management Department in the Lam Family College of Business. He is a member of the Sustainability Group within the Lam Family 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, Geoff worked at Novera Optics and 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.
Ian M. Dunham, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Ian M. Dunham, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Management Department in the Lam Family College of Business at San Francisco State University. He teaches courses in responsible business and environmental sustainability including Business and Society (BUS 682) and The Greening of Business (BUS 450).
His research utilizes a variety of methods to explore critical business ethics issues including economic inequality, financial inclusion, and environmental justice. Prior to becoming a professor, his professional experience includes positions in the private and public sectors in Silicon Valley and Washington, DC. He received his Ph.D. and master's from Temple University, MBA from the University of Oxford (Green-Templeton College), and bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Todd Feldman, Ph.D., Professor
Todd Feldman, Ph.D. is a full professor in the Finance Department in the Lam Family College of Business at San Francisco State University. He teaches courses in finance and technology and Sustainable Investing.
His research utilizes financial data and agent-based modelling simulated data to better understand financial crises, innovation, and financial inclusion. Prior to becoming a professor, his professional experience includes positions at a valuation firm and quantitative hedge fund. He received his Ph.D. and master's from the University of California, Santa Cruz under Dan Friedman, one of the pioneers of experimental economics.
Nara Jeong, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Nara Jeong, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Management Department in the Lam Family College of Business at San Francisco State University. Her primary research focuses on how strategic leadership and corporate governance structure influence firm engagement in corporate social responsibility. She received her Ph.D. in management from Washington State University.
Colin Johnson, Ph.D., Professor and Chair
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.
Venoo Kakar, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Venoo Kakar is an Associate Professor of Economics at the Lam Family College of Business, San Francisco State University. Dr. Kakar earned her Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Riverside. Her research topics are situated in macro/monetary economics, consumer finances, inequality, and housing economics. Her current work examines the implications of student loan debt on wealth outcomes for US households as well as the direct and indirect effects of monetary policy. She believes in fostering an environment where education is accessible to all. She regularly advises students about the economics profession and loves to collaborate with them on research. As improving diversity in the economics profession is important to her, she serves as the liaison for the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession (CSWEP) and partners with R-Ladies. She has previously worked in the area of Development Economics at the World Bank and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and is an affiliate faculty at the Center for Applied Housing Research.
Denise Kleinrichert, Ph.D., Professor
Denise Kleinrichert, Ph.D. is a professor in the Management Department. she is is the founder of the Ethics & Compliance Workshop series and 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 Ph.D. studies were inclusive of coursework in the Lam Family 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 Lam Family College of Business and Philosophy Department.
Max Lee, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Max Lee, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the Lam Family College of Business at San Francisco State University. Her research examines how gender identity and sexual orientation affect economic outcomes. Maxine is interested in communicating the current research on LGBTQ+ populations and is developing a course on the economics of LGBTQ+ people (ECON 541). She received her Ph.D. and MA in Economics at the University of California at Santa Barbara and BA in Global Economics at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Yikuan Lee, Ph.D., Professor
Yikuan Lee is a professor in the International Business Department in the Lam Family College of Business at San Francisco State University. She teaches creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, international marketing and global business environment analysis. She earned her Ph.D. in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with an emphasis in innovation management, new product development and entrepreneurship. She hosted the Shark Tank for the Next BIG Thing Idea event every semester since 2017.
Her research interests include diffusion of innovation, design and technology innovativeness, adoption behavior, and psychology and behavioral economics. Professor Lee has published in Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Marketing Theory, Journal of Consumer Marketing, and Journal of Business Research. Her work has been well recognized and won her several research grants and awards, such as the best paper award from Journal of Product Innovation Management, the best paper award from Global Conference of Business and Economy, and the Research Competition Award from Product Development and Management Association.
Manely Sharifian, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Manely Sharifian, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Management Department in the Lam Family 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.
Her 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.
Joanne Sopt, Ph.D.,Assistant Professor
Joanne Sopt is an assistant professor in the Accounting Department in the Lam Family College of Business at San Francisco State University. She currently teaches introductory financial accounting and graduate auditing classes with the goal of situating course material within its broader social and environmental context. She earned her Ph.D. in accounting and auditing at ESSEC Business School (located in the suburbs of Paris, France). During that time, she was a Visiting Scholar at New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington. She also earned an M.B.A. at The George Washington University and previously worked as an auditor for EY.
Her research interests revolve around including a diversity of perspectives in accounting. She is part of the following research communities having presented her work at their respective conferences: Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Accounting, CSEAR, Alternative Accounts, and the American Accounting Association-Public Interest and Diversity chapters.
Tom Thomas, Ph.D., Professor and Chair
Tom Thomas, Ph.D., is a professor and Chair of the Management Department in the Lam Family College of Business. 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 the University of California, Berkeley. He also received his master of public policy degree from the University of Michigan.
Sameer Verma, Ph.D., Professor and Chair
Sameer Verma is professor and Chair 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, and 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.