Ravi Kumar

Professor Emeritus of Data Science & Operations
USC Marshall School of Business


Professor Ravi Kumar is currently the Shaw Chair Professor and Associate Provost (Special Projects) at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He served as the Dean of Nanyang Business School during 2013-2016 and in 2015-16, NBS has been globally ranked by the Financial Times as # 10 for its Executive MBA program and # 29 for its MBA program. He has been instrumental in the setting up the Centre for African Studies (with funding of S$10 million from global companies), the first of its kind in the world hosted in a business school, the Center of Excellence in International Trading in partnership with IE Singapore and supported by participating global companies (with over S$6 million funding), the Cyber Risk Management Project in partnership with Monetary Authority of Singapore and Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency and supported by five industry partners (with over S$4 million funding), the Centre for RMB Internationalization Studies, in partnership with People’s Bank of China (and its Training Institute) along with ICBC (China) and UOB (Singapore) and the Centre for Applied Financial Education (CAFE), the largest finance lab in Asia, focused on cutting edge technology and real-time financial, economic and business news information.

Till May 2013, he was a Professor in the Department of Information and Operations Management at the Marshall School of Business in the University of Southern California. He served as Chairman of the Department from 1989-1994, Vice Dean for International Programs from 2003-2006 and Vice Dean for Graduate Programs from 2004-2006. From 2009-2011, on a leave of absence from USC, he served as Distinguished Professor and Dean of the College of Business at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

As Dean of the College of Business at KAIST, Professor Kumar implemented reforms to create a word-class business school with global standards. KAIST’s business school was placed 99th in the Financial Times Global MBA Rankings in 2011, becoming the first and only Korean business school to be ranked among the top 100. That year, KAIST College of Business was ranked 7th in Asia.

Professor Kumar held a number of key positions at USC Marshall School of Business, among them two Vice-Dean positions overseeing the school’s graduate and international programmes. He was also the Executive Director in charge of the school’s distinctive global experiential learning courses for MBA and undergraduate students. He championed the next stage of Marshall’s globalization—to launch a Global EMBA degree program in Shanghai in collaboration with the Shanghai Jiao Tong University in May 2004. His last globalization initiative at Marshall School in 2013 was to launch a mixed-model online and face-to-face MS degree program in Global Supply Chain Management.

Before joining USC in 1986, Professor Kumar taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Professor Kumar has received several awards for teaching excellence at both the University of Illinois [Outstanding Educator Award] and USC [Golden Apple Award].

Professor Kumar’s got his B. Tech degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India, his Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Texas and his PhD from the Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences Department at Northwestern University.

Professor Kumar’s research interests include management issues in continuous quality/environment improvement, flexible and cellular manufacturing systems, economic modeling of functional integration between marketing and manufacturing. Companies that have funded his research include Nike, TRW, Fidelity Investments, Caterpillar, Bourns Instrument, Southern California Edison as well as the National Science Foundation. He is the author or co-author of more than 60 articles in international peer-reviewed academic journals.

Professor Kumar has served on the Board of several companies, including the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), Korea Exchange Bank in S. Korea and Goodwill Industries of Southern California. He has extensive international consulting experience, including projects with companies such as Nike, Rolls Royce, BMW, Daimler Benz Aerospace, ABB, Ericsson, BAX Global, Motorola, Reuters, Du Pont, Daikin, Korean Air, Infosys, Acer, Petronas, Singapore Telecom and Shell Hong Kong.