Thunderbird elects new Chairman to its Board of Trustees

October 9, 2009

Thunderbird School of Global Management is pleased to announce that G. Kelly O’Dea has been elected Chairman of the school’s Board of Trustees. The school also welcomes Lee A. McIntire, as its newest member of the Board of Trustees and Luz Lajous Vargas to the school’s Board of Fellows.

O’Dea, a 1972 Thunderbird graduate and recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002, joined the Board of Trustees in 2000. As chairman, he will be responsible for overall leadership of the Board. He formerly served as the vice chairman of the Board of Trustees and as chairman of the Corporate Learning committee. He has also been a long-time financial supporter of the school.

“It’s both an honor and challenge to serve as chairman in this exciting era where the forces of globalization and technology innovation will forever change the face and future of 21st century education,” O’Dea said. “Thunderbird has long been a recognized leader in global education and is ready to carry on this legacy.” 

O’Dea is chairman of The Alliance for High Performance Leadership Worldwide, a global strategic advice and applied innovation firm he founded in 2004. He is a recognized strategy and marketing expert who has advised global companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Shell, Samsung, Boeing, Ford, Jaguar, Lenovo, Fujitsu, AT&T and Unilever.  He also lived 12 years of his career overseas.

He has served on various corporate, industry and nonprofit boards and devotes much of his public service time to the fields of education and politics. From 2003 – 2009, he was chairman of Outward Bound International, the leader in experiential education with operations in 35 countries, and created their innovative Global Leaders for a Better Tomorrow program.  He has also served as senior advisor to American Solutions, the leading non-partisan citizen action network founded by Newt Gingrich, and been involved in development of economic and energy policy.  He lectures at leading graduate schools and is a regular speaker and commentator on global marketing, technology, new media and change leadership issues.

McIntire, a 1981 Thunderbird graduate, is president and chief executive officer for CH2M HILL. McIntire has 35 years of leadership experience. He oversees operations across the CH2M HILL enterprise, including civil infrastructure, federal and industrial sectors, U.S. domestic and international operations, and the firm’s engineering procurement-construction services.

Lajous is the treasurer of Fundación UNAM, the fund raising arm of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Fundación UNAM’s main objective is to give scholarships to all students that merit and need them. She was the founder and president of the Board for ProMujer in Mexico, a non-profit international micro-finance organization whose mission is to help women lift themselves and their families out of poverty. She also served as President of the Global Council for the International Museum of Women and as the Vice President of Mexfam preeminent not for profit institution on reproductive health in Mexico.