Maryland Smith’s Lemma W. Senbet has been inducted as a Fellow of the Academy of International Business (AIB) for his career-long distinguished scholarship and professional service at the interface of finance and international business.
The selection further recognizes Senbet, the William E. Mayer Chair Professor of Finance at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, as a distinguished scholar in interdisciplinary research that spans international finance, corporate finance, finance for development, as well as economic policy research and outreach involving particularly Africa.
In nominating Senbet, AIB Fellow and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS) Alain Verbeke cited his key accomplishments of distinction, including the Smith Professor’s tenure as JIBS Editor of Finance. “Many of the finance articles that JIBS has published in recent years have brought an entirely new dimension to the field of [international business] – pushing for strong conceptualization and high standards of empirical rigor has led to the upgrading of the journal in its entirety. And it has put JIBS on the radar screen of world-class scholars outside of the core field.”
Senbet, also former Executive Editor of Financial Management, the flagship journal of Financial Management Association, “has come from Ethiopia to reach the heights of the finance profession in academia,” added Verbeke, a professor of international business strategy, who holds the McCaig Research Chair in Management at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business.
Co-nominator/AIB Fellow Donald Lessard of MIT echoed Senbet's lifetime outstanding scholarship. In addition, professor Lessard expanded on Senbet’s connection to his home country of Ethiopia and Africa at large. “I most admire and envy Lemma’s continued deep engagement with Ethiopia and Africa at large,” said Lessard, Epoch Foundation Professor of International Management and Professor of Systems Engineering, Emeritus at MIT. “He’s involved in policy; he’s involved in mentoring new professionals. He’s very much engaged in connecting worlds of scholarship here and worlds of scholarship there.”
The AIB Fellow recognition comes in addition to numerous recognitions in the finance profession Senbet has achieved over the years. To name a couple, he has been elected twice as Director of the American Finance Association and is a past President of the Western Finance Association. In 2006, he was inducted Fellow of the Financial Management Association International for his career-long distinguished scholarship.
On a policy front, Senbet was appointed in 2021 to a newly created Independent Council of Economic Advisors (ICEA) by the Ethiopian Prime Minister. This followed his five-year service (2013-2018 - on leave from Maryland) as Executive Director/CEO of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), the oldest economic research and training network serving the continent of Africa.
Recently, as part of a delegation strategizing the transformation of the U.S.-Africa trade program, he met on this issue with senior Congressional staff of the House Ways and Means Committee. He also has advised the World Bank, IMF, UN, and various agencies in Africa on issues of financial sector reforms and development. And, he is a member of Brookings AGI Distinguished Advisory Group and serves on the Advisory Panel of the G20 Compact with Africa.
Listen to the introduction and acceptance remarks for Lemma Senbet's AIB Fellow induction.
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The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.