Business school appoints new director

Dr Catherine Duggan has been appointed director of the UCT Graduate School of Business.

The University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) has appointed a new director, Dr Catherine Duggan.

Catherine, who previously lectured on political economy and leadership for nearly a decade, is a former faculty member at Harvard Business School. She has spent the last 20 years working in various African countries, many in the continent’s largest markets. Most recently, she was the vice dean for strategy and research at the African Leadership University Business School (ALUSB) in Rwanda, where she tenured for four years.

She comes on board as the school takes all of its programmes online in response to Covid-19 and as per UCT’s Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) protocol.

She has extensive experience in remote learning, having designed and rolled out online and blended MBA and executive education programmes at the ALUSB, and personally instructing online classes.

“Business leaders in Africa are among the most effective I’ve seen anywhere in the world. They are flexible and innovative and have an excellent sense of how to approach a new problem and Covid-19 is no different,” Catherine says.

She believes that remote learning will be a key factor in the wake of the pandemic and one of her explicit ambitions as director of the UCT GSB will be to ensure the school optimises the use of technology to enhance the scope, reach and flexibility of its offerings.

Catherine says the UCT GSB has in important role to play in the post-pandemic era: “Now, more than ever, business schools will need to be able to teach people to lead through risk and uncertainty, as well as to manage complex challenges and macro-economic volatility. They must demonstrate creativity and agility in the face of change and be able to help people reframe and analyse previously unknown problems and communicate their findings in ways that are maximally effective.”