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New MIT Executive MBA Program Director Welcomes New Class

Johanna Hising DiFabio is the program director of the MIT Executive MBA program, in Cambridge MA.

I’m excited to introduce myself as the new Director of the MIT Executive MBA Program, and to welcome this year’s incoming class.  In August I took over as the program Director from Jonathan Lehrich, who helped launch the program four years ago. I am honored to lead the program and to build off of my experience as head of the MIT EMBA student life and learning team to further MIT’s leadership in management education. It’s thrilling to work with the best professional team of my career and to work with such amazing students.

This year’s incoming class of 120 students is an exceptional group of organizational leaders. We continue to get extremely qualified candidates, making the selection process among applicants challenging.  The average age of the incoming class remains at 40 with 48% holding advanced degrees. Students represent a wide range of industries ranging from healthcare and technology to financial services and education to retail and energy. We also have many students coming from the government, military and not-for-profit sectors. Importantly, students are coming from organizations of all sizes; 30% from companies with less than 500 employees, 25% from companies with 501 – 10,000 employees, and 35% from companies with greater than 10,000 employees.

This class is particularly noteworthy for the strong presence of women leaders. In fact, 30% of the class is female, which is up from 25% last year. We also have a geographically diverse class with 53% originally from another country. Many of our students currently hold international positions and are commuting from locations such as Bermuda, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, and the U.K.

I joined the MIT EMBA program four years ago specifically to work with these types of mid-career executives. I’ve spent my entire career in the area of adult learning, particularly in leadership development, and MIT Sloan is one of the best environments in the world for this. This is due in large part to the Institute’s dedication to action learning, and because of this, the EMBA program fundamentally changes the way students approach challenges and opportunities. It pushes them to rethink how they’ve done things in the past, to apply new lenses and skills to problems, and to create and drive positive change.

As we start the new year, the MIT Executive MBA Program remains focused on providing a unique educational experience; one that emphasizes action learning, cross disciplinary collaboration, and a scientific approach to management. For our new students, we hope you seek both to challenge convention, as well as to challenge yourself.

Originally Published: MIT Executive Insights Blog
Author: Johanna Hising DiFabio