On July 1, Damon Phillips, the James P. Gorman Professor of Business, will assume the role of co-director of Columbia Business School's Tamer Center for Social Enterprise. Professor Phillips is preceded in the role by Professor Ray Fisman, who has contributed significantly to the School’s social enterprise efforts for several years. Professor Phillips will serve alongside Bruce Usher, Executive in Residence and adjunct professor of finance and economics.
“It’s an honor to have the chance to be involved with something that can make as much of an impact as the Tamer Center,” Professor Phillips said. “I’m really excited about working with the team here.”
In his new role, Professor Phillips will lead research and curriculum, as well as develop connections and support, for the Tamer Center. Professor Usher will retain primary responsibility for working with the Tamer Center advisory board and the School's External Relations group, networking and providing support for the Tamer Center, advising students, leading event programming, and providing general administrative oversight. Professors Phillips and Usher will jointly design and implement program strategy.
“My aspiration is for Columbia to be the preeminent place for social enterprise and to serve as a benchmark for other institutions,” Professor Phillips said. “That’s my goal. It’s going to mean that social enterprise is led not only by students, administration, faculty members, and alumni within Columbia Business School, but also through the strong connections across the University.”
Dean Glenn Hubbard praised the work of Professors Phillips and Usher, adding: “Undoubtedly, under Damon and Bruce’s leadership, the Tamer Center will foster new partnerships and shape and support the next generation of leaders who can apply management and business thinking to social enterprise.”
At Columbia, Professor Phillips has taught the MBA course Organizational Change, which focuses on how organizations change and how to be an agent of change within a company, as well as Introduction to Venturing, which focuses on entrepreneurship. Professor Phillips joined Columbia’s Management Division in 2011. Previously, he was the Jeffrey Breakenridge Keller Professor of Organizations and Strategy at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
The Tamer Center, made possible through a transformative endowment gift from Sandra and Tony Tamer, aims to develop a new generation of business leaders who understand how management can contribute to, enhance, and impact society and the environment. To fulfill its mission, the center established the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures, which provides $25,000 seed grants to vetted social ventures; enhanced the Loan Assistance Program; broadened the Summer Fellowship Program; developed a Social Entrepreneurs Network; and supports entrepreneurs at the Columbia Startup Lab. As the strategic hub for all social enterprise and social entrepreneurship activities at Columbia, the center is poised to play a significant role in furthering the field not just at the School, but across the greater University — and throughout the world — as well.