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John Anthony Quelch CBE (born August 8, 1951) is the Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He holds a joint appointment at the Harvard School of Public Health as Professor in Health Policy and Management. He is also an associate in research at Harvard's Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, fellow of the Harvard China Fund and member of the Harvard China Advisory Board.
Quelch was born in London, son of an RAF officer and a nurse . He began his education at a one-room schoolhouse in the Isle of Man, attended primary school in Australia, then returned to England, settling in Norwich and enrolling in Town Close School and later Norwich School. Quelch received his BA and MA from Exeter College, Oxford, where he was an Open Scholar in Modern History. At Oxford, he edited the student newspaper Cherwell. As a Thouron Scholar, he earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He then took an SM from the Harvard School of Public Health and a DBA from Harvard Business School.
Quelch's first academic post was as a visiting instructor at the University of Hawaii. He was next appointed assistant professor at the School of Business Administration (now the Ivey School) of the University of Western Ontario. In 1979, he returned to Harvard Business School as an assistant professor. He became a tenured professor in 1988 and was appointed the Sebastian S. Kresge Professor of Marketing and Co-Chair of the Marketing department in 1994.
In 1998 he was appointed Dean (with Vice Chancellor status) of London Business School. During his tenure, revenues and student enrolments increased 50% over three years, faculty numbers increased 30%. A network of twenty-five alumni clubs and six international advisory boards was established, corporate sponsorships increased dramatically, and the yield on MBA admissions rose from 57% to 73%. In 2001, London Business School received the Queen's Award for Enterprise and was ranked number eight business school in the world by the Financial Times.
Quelch returned to Harvard in 2001 as Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for International Development overseeing the establishment of a global network of research centers. Between 2006 and 2008, he served as Senior Associate Dean responsible for coordinating the planning and execution of Harvard Business School's 2008 Centennial celebrations. He has also served as a director of the Harvard Business School Publishing Company.
In 2009, Quelch was on sabbatical leave in Shanghai as the La Caixa Visiting Professor of International Management and Chairman of the Academic Advisory Council at the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS). Between 2011 and 2013, Professor Quelch served as Dean, Vice President and Distinguished Professor of International Management at the CEIBS. During his tenure, CEIBS' MBA global ranking in the Financial Times improved from 24 to 15 and the Executive MBA from 18 to 7. The number of full-time faculty and CEIBS revenues both increased by one-third. Special emphasis was placed on upgrading CEIBS research output, executive education, global awareness and fundraising.
Professor Quelch is known for his teaching materials and innovations in pedagogy. His case studies have sold over 4 million copies, third highest in HBS history. In 1995, he developed the first HBS interactive CD-ROM exercise (on Intel's advertising budgeting process). In 1999, he developed and presented a series of twelve one hour programs on Marketing Management for the Public Broadcasting System. His Marketing Know:How blog, accessible at  and published by Harvard Business School Publishing, is also available in Chinese and Vietnamese.
Research and publications
Quelch's research focuses on global business strategy. His research on global marketing was profiled by Mazur and Miles in Conversations With Marketing Masters (John Wiley, 2007). His recent co-authored books include:
- Global Marketing Management (5th edition, Thomson, 2005).
- The Global Market (Jossey Bass, 2005) and
- The New Global Brands: Managing Non-Governmental Organizations in the 21st Century (Thomson, 2006)
- Business Solutions For The Global Poor (Jossey Bass, 2007)
- Greater Good: How Good Marketing Makes For Better Democracy (Harvard Business Press, 2008)
- All Business Is Local (Portfolio, 2012)
Quelch's practitioner focused articles include seventeen contributions to the Harvard Business Review. Recent co-authored articles include: “Bringing Customers Into The Boardroom” (Harvard Business Review, November 2004), “How Global Brands Compete” (Harvard Business Review, September 2004), "Building And Valuing Global Brands In The Nonprofit Sector", (Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Spring 2007), "Governance In the Public Sector", (Directors & Boards, Third Quarter, 2008), "An Exploration of Marketing's Impacts on Society: A Perspective Linked to Democracy" (Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 2008), "How To Market In A Downturn" (Harvard Business Review, April 2009). "Can Corporate Social Responsibility Survive The Recession?" (Leader to Leader, 2009) and "Government Adoption of Sales Promotions: An Initial Appraisal" (Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 2010).
In 2002, Acting Governor Jane Swift of Massachusetts appointed Quelch to be Chairman of the Board of the Massachusetts Port Authority, overseeing three airports, waterfront real estate and the seaport of Boston. In this pro bono role, he chaired the security and safety committee and, later, the strategy and services committee of the Massport board. He submitted his resignation to Governor Deval Patrick in January 2011 after 8 1/2 years of service.
In an additional pro bono role, Quelch has served from 2003 as Honorary Consul General of the Kingdom of Morocco for the New England region. His long-standing ties to the Middle East resulted in the book, Business Strategies For Muslim Countries (Prentice Hall, 2000).
Quelch has substantial governance experience as a non-executive director of public companies in the United States and the UK. In 2013, he stepped down as a non-executive director of WPP plc, the world’s largest marketing and media services company, after 25 years of service. He now serves as a non-executive director of Alere, a health diagnostics company, and DataLogix, a big data marketing services company. He served previously as a director of easyJet plc, Pentland Group plc, Pepsi Bottling Group and Reebok International Ltd. He is senior strategy advisor to JD.com, the Chinese e-commerce company.
In the not-for-profit sector, Quelch has served as honorary chairman of the British American Business Council of New England, as a trustee of the London based STARS foundation and as a board member of Americans for Oxford, Accion International and the National Council of Better Business Bureaus.
Quelch is a member of the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of AT Kearney's global business policy council, a member of the international advisory board of British American Business, Inc., a companion of the British Institute of Management, a fellow of the International Academy of Management and of the Royal Geographical Society, a freeman of the City of London and a member of the Worshipful Company of World Traders, an honorary fellow of both London Business School and Exeter College, Oxford, and a twelve time faculty fellow of the World Economic Forum. He also holds an honorary doctorate from Vietnam National University.
Quelch has worked as a consultant, seminar leader or conference speaker in more than sixty countries. He has assisted companies as diverse as American Airlines, Apple, Barclays, Beiersdorf, Colgate-Palmolive, Deutsche Post, GE, IBM, Intel, Nestle, Novartis, Procter & Gamble, Qualcomm, Sabic, Samsung, Sinopec, Unilever, and Walt Disney.
In 2006, Quelch was named by The Sunday Times as one of the "Top 25 Britons who call the shots in America". He received the annual leadership award from the British American Business Council of New England in 2008 and from the World Affairs Council of Boston in 2010. Quelch was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to the promotion of British business interests and prosperity.
- ‘QUELCH, Prof. John Anthony’, Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2013 ; online edn, Dec 2013 accessed 3 April 2014
- Dearlove, Desmond. "Coming home: the man from Harvard." Times [London, England] 26 Jan. 1998: 3. InfoTrac Custom Newspapers. Web. 9 Apr. 2014
- The London Gazette: . 11 June 2011.