Leading at the Top: A Profile of KPMG’s Kathy Hopinkah Hannan

Amber Johnson Doctoral Program, Leadership

CVDL_04-07-13_049The week begins in Brussels, then on to Singapore and Madrid, across the US and then back to campus for class on Friday night.

As the National Managing Partner for diversity and corporate responsibility at global tax and advisory firm KPMG LLP, Kathy Hopinkah Hannan’s work takes her around the world.

Hannan, who began in the firm’s tax consulting practice and still continues to work with some of KPMG’s top clients, was the first woman to be named a Managing Partner of Tax Services, before being appointed to her current position in 2009. But a few years ago, she began to take interest in pursuing a new challenge: her Ph.D.

“Throughout my career, I have always viewed ethical leadership and a strong values orientation as the essential requirements to lead and to succeed,” says Hannan. “And yet, I continue to be amazed at the ethical failures in the market. I developed a strong desire to attempt to understand this dilemma and wanted to explore leadership from a deeper academic perspective.”

Fast forward a few years, and Hannan is now pursuing her degree while still leading at KPMG.

“This program brings the most innovative and thought-provoking scholars in the field to an impressive, compassionate group of leaders,” says Hannan. “All with the purpose of creating more ethical and sustainable business models for the future.”

Hannan’s coursework ties directly to the challenges she’s addressing in the market and in client offices around the globe. “There are real problems in the world,” says Hannan, “but the real failure is not attempting to solve them.”

To learn more about the doctoral program in which Hannan is a student, click here.

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