Stefanos Zenios

Professor, Operations, Information & Technology
+1 (650) 725-9663

Stefanos Zenios

The Investment Group of Santa Barbara Professor of Entrepreneurship and Professor of Operations, Information & Technology

Business School Trust Faculty Fellow for 2023–2024

Additional Administrative Titles

Director, Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
Director, The Emerging COO: Driving Innovation and Operational Excellence


Stefanos Zenios is the Investment Group of Santa Barbara Professor of Entrepreneurship and Professor of Operations, Information, and Technology. He is also the faculty codirector of Stanford GSB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. An innovative teacher and researcher, Zenios is the main architect of Startup Garage, a popular GSB course that each year helps hundreds of Stanford GSB students and executives learn and apply the innovation processes that are at the center of the Silicon Valley ecosystem. He also oversees the Stanford GSB Venture Studio: a vibrant learning facility for Stanford graduate students across all disciplines who want to learn about designing and creating sustainable, high-impact ventures by testing what they are learning in the classroom.  He previously designed and co-taught Biodesign Innovation, a project-based course on designing and launching new medical devices, and is one of the senior authors of a textbook with the same name.
His research interests fall in two broad categories: innovation, and health care. He examines how innovation can be described as a process with discrete steps and specific outcomes, and how the process varies with the industry sector, customer segment, technology, and source of innovation (startup vs large organization). He also pioneered the application of data and advanced modeling to improve health care delivery and treatment decisions and is the recipient of numerous best paper awards in his field of Operations Research. In the intersection between health care and innovation, he examines what attributes of health care startups are associated with successful exits (either financial, generating returns for the investors, or clinical, securing FDA approval). He also currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Operations Research, the seminal academic journal in his field.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Operations Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1996
  • MA, Trinity College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, 1996
  • BA, University of Cambridge, 1992

Academic Appointments

  • At Stanford since 1996.

Awards and Honors

  • Dhirubhai Ambani Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship for 2019–20
  • Dhirubhai Ambani Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship, 2018–19
  • Dhirubhai Ambani Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship, 2017–18
  • CAREER Award, National Science Foundation, 2000
  • George E. Nicholson Award for Best Student Paper, Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences, 1997
  • Dissertation Fellowship, Health Care Financing Administration, 1996


Journal Articles

Zhengli Wang, Stefanos Zenios
Operations Research
September 2022 Vol. 70 Issue 5 Pages 2982–2997
Baris Ata, Yichuan Ding, Stefanos Zenios
Manufacturing & Service Operations Management
January 2021 Vol. 23 Issue 1 Pages 36–54
Joel Goh, Mohsen Bayati, Stefanos Zenios, Sundeep Singh, David Moore
Operations Research
February 28, 2018 Vol. 66 Issue 3 Pages 597-892
Joel Goh, Jeffrey Pfeffer, Stefanos Zenios
Management Science
March 13, 2016 Vol. 62 Issue 2 Pages 608-628
Joel Goh, Margrét V. Bjarnadóttir, Mohsen Bayati, Stefanos Zenios
Operations Research
2015 Vol. 63 Issue 6 Pages 1528–1546
Chris P. Lee, Glenn M. Chertow, Stefanos Zenios
Value in Health
January 2009 Vol. 12 Issue 1 Pages 80-87
Ananth V. Iyer, Leroy B. Schwarz, Stefanos Zenios
Management Science
2005 Vol. 51 Issue 1 Pages 106-119
Tunay I. Tunca, Stefanos Zenios
Manufacturing & Service Operations Management
2005 Vol. 8 Issue 1 Pages 43-67
Xuanming Su, Stefanos Zenios, Glenn M. Chertow
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
June 2004 Vol. 15 Issue 6 Pages 1656-1663
Xuanming Su, Stefanos Zenios
Manufacturing & Service Operations Management
2004 Vol. 6 Issue 4 Pages 280-301
Lainie Friedman Ross, Stefanos Zenios
American Journal of Transplantation
2004 Vol. 4 Issue 10 Pages 1553–1554
Erica Plambeck, Stefanos Zenios
Operations Research
2003 Vol. 51 Issue 3 Pages 3741-386
Stefanos Zenios, Glenn M. Chertow, Lawrence M. Wein
Operations Research
2000 Vol. 48 Issue 4 Pages 549-569


Stefanos Zenios, Joshua Makower, Paul Yock, Todd J Brinton, Uday N. Kumar, Lyn Thayer Denend, Thomas M. Krummel
Cambridge University Press

Academic Publications

Lyn Thayer Denend, Amy Lockwood, Michele Barry, Stefanos Zenios
Stanford Social Innovation Review
Stefanos Zenios, Lyn Thayer Denend
California Healthcare Foundation
October 2010


Executive Education & Other Non-Degree Programs

Learn to identify the difference between disruption and an incremental change or a fad. Gain the tools to drive disruption and defend your space.
Drive and sustain innovation and operational excellence. Strengthen collaboration with C-suite leaders to translate strategies into actionable plans.
Learn to lead with confidence in this rigorous, general management program for executives on the verge of achieving even greater things.
Effectively diagnose and solve problems using proven frameworks for executing change in this multidisciplinary strategic management course.
Reinvigorate and ramp up your professional journey and evolve as a leader in our flagship executive program.
Transform knowledge into impact and drive innovation and change in your organization with Stanford LEAD, our flagship online business program.
Make the business case for sustainability with strategic and financial frameworks, personal leadership skills, and a deeper knowledge of today’s sustainability landscape.

Stanford Case Studies

Stefanos Zenios, Dominic Mirabile, Jose Ignacio Garcia Suarez
Haim Mendelson, Erica Plambeck, Stefanos Zenios, Dominic Mirabile
Haim Mendelson, Erica Plambeck, Stefanos Zenios, Dominic Mirabile, Jose Ignacio Garcia Suarez
Stefanos Zenios, Meredith Colton-Hazy
Stefanos Zenios, Matt Saucedo
Stefanos Zenios, Julie Makinen
Lyn Denend, Tim Elliott, Stefanos Zenios
Lyn Denend, Tim Elliott, Stefanos Zenios
Lyn Denend, Haim Mendelson, Stefanos Zenios
Lyn Denend, Marianna Samson, Cynthia Yock, Paul Yock, Stefanos Zenios
Nathan Blair, Lyn Denend, Stefanos Zenios
Will Boenig, Lyn Denend, Ruby Majumdar, Daniel Riskin, Stefanos Zenios
Lyn Denend, Anicham Kumarasamy, Stefanos Zenios
Leon Chen, Erin Palm, Stefanos Zenios
Nathan Blair, Lyn Denend, Stefanos Zenios
Robert Chess, Lyn Denend, Stefanos Zenios
Robert Chess, Lyn Denend, Sara Gaviser Leslie, Stefanos Zenios
Robert Chess, Lyn Denend, Sara Gaviser Leslie, Stefanos Zenios
Elizabeth, Rodriguez, Stefanos Zenios
Joshua Spitzer, Stefanos Zenios
Robert Chess, Lyn Denend, Stefanos Zenios
Robert Chess, Lyn Denend, Stefanos Zenios
Robert Chess, Lyn Denend, Stefanos Zenios
Stefanos Zenios, Zoe Cohen
Elena Pernas-Giz, Kate Surman, Stefanos Zenios

In the Media

Insights by Stanford Business

December 12, 2023
’Tis the season for personal and professional growth.
October 25, 2023
Expert advice on how to move fast — without breaking stuff.
March 17, 2023
Research-based approaches for bringing fresh ideas to teams and organizations.
December 13, 2021
Here are some of our top picks from the Stanford GSB community’s podcasts in 2021.
December 13, 2021
In this bonus episode, we share lessons from the Stanford GSB class “Startup Garage” on hypotheses, narrative, and design thinking.
October 15, 2021
Even modest improvements to organ exchange markets can save many lives. That’s where economists and operations experts come in.
October 01, 2021
In this podcast episode, we discuss how startups can build a product quickly and effectively.
June 24, 2020
Even long-established companies can use startup tactics to stabilize when markets plunge.
December 05, 2017
15 Stanford business professors recommend books for those long winter nights.
November 16, 2016
A study shows why medical startups need top executives who are skilled at turning ideas into products.
September 20, 2016
How to create a customer-centric venture.
February 25, 2016
Researchers analyze workplace health to find inequalities.
January 19, 2016
How entrepreneurs can take a big idea to a real-world product.
December 14, 2015
Faculty, alumni, and guest speakers share insights on leadership, innovation, and more.
July 28, 2015
Stefanos Zenios describes an action plan for entrepreneurs.
February 23, 2015
Stanford scholars identify 10 work stressors that are destroying your health.
November 15, 2014
How a smart hospital used a simple approach to solve a big problem.
July 24, 2012
Stanford GSB students explore simple, low-cost modifications to existing processes that reduce costs while improving outcomes
April 24, 2012
In an online forum, Stefanos Zenios responds to reader questions on innovation in the field.
June 06, 2011
A new generation of medical “rock stars” are blending cutting-edge technology with reams of old-fashioned data to help drive innovation in health care.
April 09, 2010
Research looked to determine whether profit status is associated with differences in hospital days per patient, an outcome that may also be influenced by provider financial goals.
May 01, 2008
A study figures that $129,000 represents the minimum cost of giving a person an additional “quality-of-life adjusted” year of life.
September 01, 1997
A Stanford GSB scholar devises an advanced model that allows inexpensive, accurate testing by pooling blood samples.

School News

May 31, 2023
The Stanford Ecopreneurship program offers a set of courses and opportunities that support students in addressing the global climate transition.
June 09, 2020
Participants receive free access to Stanford’s online entrepreneurial toolkit to guide them through the process of creating and evaluating projects designed to drive recovery.
October 30, 2019
Project-based courses pair students with external organizations to solve real-world business problems.
June 13, 2019
Intuitive platform provides actionable content to help founders launch and grow their businesses.
January 16, 2019
First blended online and in-person program aims to further COOs’ knowledge of innovation and operations.
February 16, 2018
At Startup Garage, students learn to create and launch new products. For its fifth anniversary, meet five companies that began as class projects.
September 28, 2017
Gentry Magazine learns how Stanford Professor Jennifer Aaker and Lecturer Naomi Bagdonas, MBA ’15 are bringing humor to the classroom and business world.
July 01, 2010
Three real-world products have been born as biodesign class projects since the business school joined the cross disciplinary program in 2004