Internationally renowned Dr Millard Arnold appointed to head South African Business Schools Association (SABSA)

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Demand for internationally relevant management and leadership education in South Africa has resulted in the South African Business Schools Association (SABSA) appointing internationally renowned Dr Millard Arnold as its first permanent executive director.

“If South Africa is to take advantage of a truly global economy, academics, business leaders and government representatives need to work closely to ensure management education remains relevant, innovative, ethical and internationally competitive,” says Dr Arnold. 

According to new data of corporate chiefs compiled for the FT500, nearly a third of the world’s 500 largest listed companies are headed by an MBA graduate, 31% in 2015 compared with 29% this time last year. This is excellent news for business schools and confirms the value of an MBA.  

Dr Arnold has had an impressive career spanning over four decades in government, business and academia. He is a lawyer, businessman, former diplomat, professor of law, journalist, lecturer, actor, author, poet, artist and prize-winning photographer. He currently serves as the special representative of the law firm, Bowman Gilfillan and as the honorary business representative for the government of Singapore in South Africa. He is the managing partner of Masakata Consulting, having retired as an Executive Director and Group Legal Counsel of Murray & Roberts, Ltd. He is a non-executive director of both Petmin and Generator Plant Hire, sits on the strategy and operations board of Senatla Capital, a senior fellow of the Gordon Institute for Business Science, and is a member of the board of the Steve Biko Foundation. Formerly the executive chairman of Black & Veatch Africa and executive director of Bell Equipment, Dr Arnold was the first ever U.S. Minister-Counsellor for Commercial Affairs for South and Southern Africa. 

Dr. Arnold has also served as the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. He received his Jurist Doctorate degree from the University of Notre Dame and also studied at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Study and the London School of Economics. Former professor of law at Touro University and adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law School, Dr Arnold has served as a member of Council to the University of South Africa and as the co-Chairman of the University of South Africa Foundation.

Current association president, Professor Owen Skae says SABSA is delighted to have a person the calibre of Dr Arnold as its first ever executive director.  “Given the collective demands placed on the management education sector and the critical role that executive education ultimately plays in the economy, it is essential that SABSA plays an effective role in representing its members.”

Professor Nicola Kleyn, co-deputy president of SABSA says given the management challenges facing South Africa, it is critical that business schools continue to supply innovative, ethical business managers and leaders. “Knowledge sharing, capacity building and collaboration all help to improve the overall quality of business education,” she says.

SABSA was formally established in 2005 to leverage information, skills and expertise between business schools and to assist in developing the business education sector in line with international standards. It represents eighteen South African business schools that offer locally and internationally MBA programmes accredited by the Council for Higher Education.

Co-deputy president Dr Cobus Oosthuizen says that as executive director, Dr Arnold will be spearheading the association and will focus on building a strong supportive environment for business education. Oosthuizen says, “We need to reach beyond South Africa’s borders to establish and create sustainable links with international partners, particularly other business schools both globally and across the African continent.”