D. Christopher Kayes

Dr. Chris Kayes (Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University) is professor and chair of the Management Department at The George Washington University School of Business. He has also served as interim dean of the university’s School of Business, where he led the school’s financial turnaround. He is a senior fellow at the Center for Excellence in Public Leadership at The George Washington University. He is author or coauthor of four books: Contemporary Organizational Behavior (Pearson), Organizational Resilience: How Learning Sustains Organizations Through Crisis, Disaster, and Breakdown (Oxford University Press), The Learning Advantage: Six Practices of Learning-Directed Leadership (Macmillan), and Destructive Goal Pursuit: The Mt. Everest Disaster (Macmillan).

Dr. Kayes’s research on learning, leadership and organizations has appeared in 25 peer-reviewed publications. One paper received the first most significant contribution to the practice of management award by the Organizational Behavior Division of the Academy of Management. In addition, his analysis of the 1996 Mt. Everest climbing disaster won a Best Paper Award from the journal Human Relations, and his extension of experiential learning theory was nominated for the first Best Paper Award in the Academy of Management Learning and Education journal. His research has been featured in The EconomistWashingtonianWall Street Journal, NPR, BBC, Bloomberg TV, Business InsiderThe Sunday Times of London, and Psychologies. Focusing on how leaders learn in the face of complex and novel situations, he has studied learning, leadership and teamwork in a variety of settings in an effort to uncover hidden sources of vulnerability in organizations and identify ways that leaders build continuity in times of change and turmoil. His unique approach to goals and goal setting was featured in Oliver Burkeman’s book The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking.

Professor Kayes was selected by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs to film a video series as part of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. He received the Outstanding Teaching Award from George Washington University School of Business executive education students. He has taught at universities around the world, including the Singapore Institute of Management; the Zagreb School of Economics and Management in Croatia; the Helsinki School of Economics in Finland; the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Latvia; the University of Hull in the United Kingdom; and Holy Spirit University in Beirut, Lebanon. He frequently conducts intensive multiday seminars to develop leaders and delivers keynote addresses on various leadership and learning topics.

Dr. Kayes has consulted with a variety of organizations, including Northrop Grumman, American Research Institute, WMS Gaming, Human Capital Singapore, National Institutes of Health, Fannie Mae, Oracle, Ericsson, Bank of New York Mellon, Pension Benefits Guarantee Corporation, Singapore Workforce Development Agency, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Judiciary, U.S. Army, and U.S. Navy.