Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder is the Chairman of Lauder Institute’s Board of Governors. He is the Chairman of Clinique Laboratories and President of RWL Water. The Lauder Institute prepares future business leaders through a joint degree program in international management, integrating the Wharton MBA with an MA in International Studies from Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences or a JD from Penn Law.
“We are delighted to welcome Ronald Lauder as Chairman of the Board,” said Jean-Pierre Rosso, former Board of Governors Chairman and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, USA. “He epitomizes the unique qualities of our ideal candidates – renaissance leaders with cultural understanding and a global business career – both in and out of the boardroom. We are grateful for his and his family’s long-standing commitment to giving Wharton business school students the international edge needed to further their careers in global business. We envision even greater success with Ambassador Lauder as our Board Chairman.”
Leonard and Ronald Lauder, sons of the Estée Lauder Company founders, established the Lauder Institute in 1983 in honor of their father, Joseph H. Lauder, to offer Wharton MBA students the opportunity to combine international management education with a deeper understanding of global leadership studies, advanced language and cross-cultural proficiencies. Their vision was to offer MBA candidates an expanded foundation of foreign language and international business acumen necessary to prepare them to successfully navigate a rapidly expanding global economy.
The program has grown over time to include a “Global Program” of multi-cultural study but also offers advanced language studies such as Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish and includes a two month, in-country immersion program. The program has grown from 51 graduates in 1986 to graduating 68 in May 2013. Applications have increased steadily since the founding of the Institute, and rose 10% in the past year when most business schools saw a decrease in the number of applications.
“The world is very different now than it was when I was at Wharton,” said Ronald Lauder. “Just as economies and global businesses must adapt in order to succeed, we have to prepare our next wave of MBA graduates for an integrated, complex and technology-driven world. Knowing how to ‘speak’ and operate in this highly-nuanced, critical business language – whether in Chinese or German – may have given you the upper-hand 30 years ago, but it is simply a necessity now.”
Ronald Lauder serves as Chairman of Clinique Laboratories, a unit of publicly traded cosmetics giant Estee Lauder. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Austria from 1986 to 1987 and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European & NATO Affairs from 1983 to 1986. He has been president of the World Jewish Congress since June 2007. In 1987, Lauder established The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, dedicated to rebuilding Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe. His Neue Galerie in New York is a museum devoted to early twentieth-century German and Austrian art and design.