Kent State’s 2017 Spirit of Women in Business Conference Keynote Speaker Announced

Rita McGrath, Ph.D., professor at Columbia Business School, will be the keynote speaker for the 2017 Spirit of Women in Business Conference on March 9, Kent State University’s College of Business Administration has announced.

McGrath is regarded as one of the world’s top experts on strategy and innovation with particular emphasis on developing sound strategy in uncertain and volatile environments. Her ideas are widely used by leading organizations throughout the world, who describe her thinking as often provocative, but unfailingly stimulating. She fosters a fresh approach to strategy amongst those with whom she works.

McGrath maintains an impressive social media presence with a rating of one of the 25 smartest women to follow on Twitter by Fast Company magazine. She writes regularly for Fortune’s online edition, authors “The Entrepreneurial Strategist” column for Inc. Magazine and blogs regularly at She is also one of the Wall Street Journal’s experts, a group of industry and academic thought leaders who weigh in on topics covered in The Journal Report.

McGrath’s best-selling book, “The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business,” was recognized by Strategy+Business as the number one business book of the year. She is one of the most widely published authors in the Harvard Business Review, including the best-selling “Discovery Driven Planning” (1995), which was recognized as an early articulation of today’s “lean” startup philosophy and has been praised by Clayton Christensen as one of the most important ideas in management – ever.

McGrath joined the faculty of Columbia Business School in 1993. Prior to life in academia, she was an IT director, worked in the political arena and founded two startups. She received a Ph.D. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and has degrees with honors from Barnard College and the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs.

The Spirit of Women in Business Conference brings together women from diverse professional backgrounds. Last year, more than 250 business professionals, along with undergraduate and graduate students from Northeast Ohio and beyond, attended the event. The daylong conference includes a 60-minute keynote speech with Q&A along with three breakout sessions, each with presentation options for attendees to choose.

Sponsorship opportunities for the event are still available. For information about sponsorships, contact Erin Nunn at

To register for the event, visit

For more information about the Spirit of Women in Business Conference, visit

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Photo Caption:
Rita McGrath, Ph.D., professor at Columbia Business School, will be the keynote speaker for Kent State University’s 2017 Spirit of Women in Business Conference on March 9. (Photo provided by Rita McGrath)

Media Contacts:
Joni Bowen,, 330-672-1279
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Friday, February 3, 2017 11:46 AM
UPDATED: Tuesday, February 27, 2024 07:07 PM
Kristin Anderson