Philadelphia, PA — Three noted executives in international business have joined the Board of Overseers at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Dean Thomas S. Robertson has announced.
The new appointees are Mr. Silas K.F. Chou, co-Chairman of Michael Kors LLC in New York and President and Chief Executive Officer of Novel Enterprises Limited in Hong Kong; Ms. Traci J. Shanbrun Lerner, Founding Partner of Chesapeake Partners Management Company in Baltimore, Md.; and Mr. Aditya Mittal, Chief Financial Officer and member of the Group Management Board at ArcelorMittal in London. All of them have served as distinguished members of other Wharton boards, where their practical insights have helped to guide the School’s curricular, research, and service priorities.
“I am tremendously grateful to all of these dedicated members for their deep commitment, their forthright counsel, and the direction they bring to Wharton,” Dean Robertson said. “These appointments will benefit the entire School. The direct guidance of such accomplished, diverse, and knowledgeable leaders is indispensible in helping to shape Wharton’s future. Their input keeps our faculty, students, and alumni at the innovative forefront of business worldwide.”
Wharton board members serve not only as counselors to the School; they also act as ambassadors for Wharton in Philadelphia and around the world. They facilitate dialogue among the School and its stakeholders, including alumni, other universities, corporations, governments, and prospective applicants. Their involvement helps inform the School’s decisions on curricular development, faculty and student recruitment, research initiatives, outreach endeavors, and other elements.
Of the appointees joining the Board of Overseers:
• Mr. Chou, a leading entrepreneur in the international apparel industry, has been a member of the Wharton Executive Board for Asia since 2007. His family business, Novel Enterprises Limited, is among the world’s top vertically integrated textile and apparel manufacturers. Mr. Chou has been instrumental in the strategic expansion of Novel Enterprises into real-estate development and the airline business. He has led the development and sale of Novel City, a major multi-use building complex in Shanghai, and was instrumental in the growth and successful sale of Dragon Air, a major Hong Kong-based airline founded by Novel. With a partner, Mr. Lawrence Stroll, Mr. Chou founded Sportswear Holdings Limited in 1989 to acquire Tommy Hilfiger Corporation. Sportswear Holdings also controls Michael Kors Corporation, of which Mr. Chou is Co-Chairman. Recently, Mr. Chou has developed a new investment business that incorporates global asset management as a core element of his companies’ operations.
• Ms. Lerner founded Chesapeake Partners Management Company in 1991 to invest institutional and individual assets in extraordinary corporate events such as merger and acquisition transactions, bankruptcies, and reorganizations. She oversees all aspects of research and trading in the management of the firm’s portfolio. Previously, from 1982 to 1991, she was Senior Vice President at Dillon, Read and Company, where she managed the firm’s investments in risk arbitrage, bankruptcy, and reorganization. Prior to joining Dillon, Read, Ms. Lerner was a research analyst in the mergers-and-acquisitions department at Citicorp, where she worked on a variety of public and private transactions. She serves as a director on the boards of the Associated Jewish Charities, Johns Hopkins Hospital, KIPP Baltimore Inc., and the Park School of Baltimore. She serves on the investment committees of Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins University, Loyola College in Maryland, and the Park School of Baltimore. Ms. Lerner and her husband, Mark, a co-founder of Chesapeake Partners, are co-chairs of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center Advisory Board and are spearheading efforts to raise more than $100 million needed to build a new children’s and maternal health hospital. She has been a member of the Wharton Undergraduate Executive Board since 2005 and holds a BS in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
• Mr. Aditya Mittal is the Chief Financial Officer at ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel company with operations in 60 countries worldwide, with additional responsibility for M&A Business and Project Development, Flat Americas, Strategy, Investors Relations and Communications. Prior to the merger to create ArcelorMittal, Aditya Mittal held the position of President and CFO of Mittal Steel Company from October 2004 to 2006. He joined Mittal Steel in January 1997 and has held various finance and management roles within the company. Mr. Mittal has been a member of the Wharton Executive Board for Europe, the Middle East and Africa since 2005. In 2007, the Wharton Club of New York granted Mr. Mittal its Young Leader Award, and that year he was named to Wharton’s “125 Influential People and Ideas” list. Mr. Mittal also serves on the Leadership Council at the Center for the Advanced Study of India, based at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2008, Aditya Mittal was awarded “European Business Leader of the Future” by CNBC Europe. In 2009, he was also ranked 4th in the “40 under 40” list of Fortune magazine. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders Forum, the Young President’s Organization, a board member at Bennett, Coleman & Co., a board member at PPR and a member of Citigroup’s International Advisory Board. He graduated magna cum laude with a BS in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
About the Wharton School
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania — founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school — is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. The most comprehensive source of business knowledge in the world, Wharton bridges research and practice through its broad engagement with the global business community. The School has more than 4,900 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and an alumni network of 85,000 graduates.