The Chatham University Business and Entrepreneurship Department is proud to welcome Mr. Edward Burton, J.D. as one of our newest instructors!
Professor Burton will begin teaching the MBA core course, Global Business (BUS570), during the Fall 2017 semester. This course is designed to introduce students to international business and management by studying cultural influences, government, and business structures in the global economy. The course will also cover trade relations, international finance, and legal and labor agreements. It will be offered both online and on-campus.
For Mr. Burton, a focus on global business began while pursuing his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Charleston, then continuing on to earn his Juris Doctorate from Pennsylvania State University – Dickinson School of Law. “I can’t think of two topical areas that often have more relevance to conducting business internationally than how political institutions operate and how legal issues can have a defining impact on international transactions and relationships,” Professor Burton explains, referring to his educational background.
Upon spending the summer in Europe following his high school graduation, Professor Burton yearned for a life abroad. Following undergraduate and graduate schooling, he gained experience in positions such as attorney, State Trade Representative for New Jersey, and Network Director for the U.S. Export Assistance Center, managing multiple states in the Northeast. The latter position is what led Mr. Burton to Saudi Arabia. “While working for the U.S. Commercial Service’s domestic network office in Philadelphia, I got the opportunity to become the diplomatic post of Commercial Attaché. I spent three years in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,” Professor Burton recollects.
For the past eleven years, Mr. Burton has been the President and CEO of the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council (US-SABC). The US-SABC’s goal is to improve the mutual knowledge and cooperation between the private sectors of the United States and Saudi Arabia, and therefore stimulate trade and investment between countries.
To maintain the goal of the US-SABC, Professor Burton does face ample amounts of travel time. This, however, does not deter him from dedicating time to ensuring that students develop a deep understanding of global business. Professor Burton mentions, “I travel quite frequently to the Middle East, Europe, and all around the United States. So, satisfying my professional commitments to the Council while finding time to enjoy my own personal pursuits proves quite challenging. I would not have taken on the responsibility of teaching the Global Business course unless I was confident of giving the endeavor all the time and attention it deserves.” Mr. Burton accredits finding balance between business, academic, and personal activities to employing good and proven time management skills. To those who seek to develop their own time management skills, Professor Burton encourages taking courses on the subject.
This will be Mr. Burton’s first teaching experience in higher education. His teaching will be informed by 28 years of professional knowledge. Expressing his enthusiasm to enter a role in academia, Professor Burton states, “It’s a bit axiomatic to say, but I know that the young minds of today are our leaders of tomorrow. So, I look forward most to the interaction with our students and soaking up the energy of their perspectives on the world today, particularly their views on global corporations and the role they play in today’s world.”
“I am proud to be able to offer my knowledge and experience in international business to the students of a respected and distinguished institution such as Chatham University. I’m thrilled at the prospects!” – Ed Burton, J.D.
Just as he does with the US-SABC, Professor Burton has goals set for the course. He shares, “I would like to relate some of the real-world experiences I’ve had…with U.S. corporations doing business in foreign markets in a way that sheds some light on how international business is run today.” Understanding that each student has their own purpose and goal in the class, Professor Burton also explains, “…[T]o the extent possible, I want to enhance their [the students’] understanding of global business in a way that satisfies their individual and unique interests in taking the course.”
Based off of his experience with the US-SABC, one piece of understanding that Professor Burton hopes remains with students relates to how corporate leadership can affect the success or failure of companies in overseas markets. Leaders of organizations employ market strategies that they believe will grow their presence, but as Professor Burton notes, “…[O]ften it is the individual leadership skills of senior corporate executives in articulating their vision of the company’s presence in a particular market that usually spells the difference between long-term success and failure.” Effective communication is an area of intense focus in Chatham’s MBA program, adequately preparing graduates to converse professionally in a diverse range of situations.
Delving into the mind of Professor Burton, he kindly shared his largest concerns within the field of global business. “I would have to say the interplay between globalization and the tendencies by some national governments these days towards protectionism of their domestic markets is most worrisome…What we don’t need is another round of devastating tariff increases…Widely believed to have been a contributing factor in causing the Great Depression,” he elaborated. Professor Burton also revealed the most helpful piece of advice he has received: “…Never shy away from gaining as much of a 360-degree perspective as possible on situations, challenges, or problems that arise in your personal or professional life. Only then can decisions be made with the widest degree of perspective and vision.”
We thank Professor Burton and are as excited to have him at Chatham as he is to be here!
To gain more insight into Professor Burton’s class and his experiences, attend the Business & Entrepreneurship Department and Office of International Affairs event: “Global Business and Meet Ed Burton Networking Mixer” on Thursday, November 9, 2017!