Encouraging Greater Global Business Knowledge

Spring 2009

The business world is growing more interconnected by the day, and the global economic recession only highlights the increasing interdependency of international markets. Acknowledging this trend, a GSB alumnus and his spouse, a Stanford Law School graduate, have made a significant investment in educating future business leaders about the challenges and opportunities in the global business sector.

David Fite, MBA ’90, MA ’90, and his wife, Danita Lowes, JD ’89, recently endowed The David Fite and Danita Lowes Global Education Fund with a gift of $700,000 to the Center for Global Business and the Economy. Their fund will support internationally focused activities at the Graduate School of Business, including research, teaching, course and case development, student programs, faculty resources, and community engagement activities. The center studies the inherent complexity of international business—running operations across dispersed geographies, in a variety of cultures, and under different legal, economic, and political institutions. Together with gifts to the Dean’s Fund at the GSB and Stanford Law School, Fite and Lowes have committed a total of $1 million to The Stanford Challenge.

"In today’s business climate it is critical for GSB students to have a deep understanding of how to do business and manage across cultures,” said Fite, a banking executive who has worked in Australia, Japan, the United States, and the U.K. "Having a successful business career these days often means interacting with colleagues around the world."

The couple is especially interested in international law, an area in which many of the most significant developments over the past 20 years have been in private international law. The GSB faculty has great expertise in this area—particularly in the fields of trade, business, tax, and monetary policy. One particular faculty member who demonstrates the school’s thought leadership in global business research—an area in which the law plays a critical role—is Peter Henry, who studies debt relief and economic policy reform in emerging markets. Henry, the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of International Economics, also is a faculty affiliate of The Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He and other GSB faculty develop cases that explore the connections between international business and law.

"We hope our investment encourages even greater collaboration between the business and law schools. There are many ways the two overlap, so pursuing those intersections can generate important insights,” said Lowes, who has worked as a senior executive in the telecommunications and media industries in the United States, Australia, and Japan. The couple splits their time between Sydney, Australia, and Jackson, Wyoming.

 

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