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

Several Lam Family 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.

susan cholette

Susan Cholette, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Susan Cholette is an associate professor of decision sciences in the Lam Family 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.

Geoff Desa Headshot

Geoff Desa, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Co-Director

Geoff Desa, Ph.D., is an associate professor of management 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 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.

Ian Dunham

Ian M. Dunham, Ph.D.

Ian M. Dunham, Ph,D., is an assistant professor of business and society/sustainable business 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.

Colin Johnson Headshot

Colin Johnson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Co-Director

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.

Denise Kleinrichert Headshot

Denise Kleinrichert, Ph.D, Professor

Denise Kleinrichert, Ph.D. is a Professor in Management and Ethics. She also has served as Chair of the Lam Family 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 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. 

Manley Sharifian

Manely Sharifian, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Manely Sharifian, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of management 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. 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.

tom thomas

Tom Thomas, Ph.D., Professor, Chair Management Department

Tom Thomas, Ph.D., is a professor in the Lam Family 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.

Smita Trivedi

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

Smita K. Trivedi, Ph.D., is assistant professor of business and society/sustainable business in the management department at the Lam Family 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.

Sameer Verma

Sameer Verma, Ph.D., Associate Professor

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.