Wright State represented at high-profile economic development conference in Paris

Riad Ajami, professor of management and international business.

Wright State University had a seat at the table among diplomats, business leaders and world-class economists during a prestigious, high-profile digitalization conference in Paris.

Participating in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conference on March 2 were more than 60 ambassadors, government officials, economists and business leaders, including representatives from Michelin, Microsoft, Toshiba and Johnson & Johnson. Wright State and Cornell were the only two universities invited to attend.

Representing Wright State was Riad Ajami, professor of management and international business at the Raj Soin College of Business and who is recognized as a leading authority on international business.

OECD is an intergovernmental economic organization with 35 member countries committed to democracy and a market economy. Its mission is to stimulate economic progress and world trade.

Ajami was invited to participate in the OECD conference titled “Accelerating Digitalisation in Emerging Markets.” The discussion focused on how to speed up the conversion of information into a digital format in those markets to improve business processes.

Ajami has a Ph.D. in international business and petroleum economics and strategic management from Penn State. He taught at The Ohio State University for 15 years before teaching at the Rochester Institute of Technology and then moving to the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, where he held a distinguished professorship of international business and was a director of the Center for Global Business. He has had visiting appointments at leading business schools, including those at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania.

Ajami is regularly invited to attend OECD conferences and brings knowledge from the experiences back to the classroom at Wright State.

“The international business class is updated constantly given the dynamics of change in the global economy that impact our local firms,” said Ajami, adding that Ohio is the eighth-largest exporting state. “This class enhances the capabilities of our students to find gainful employment, keeping in mind that Ohio is the host to many foreign firms, including Honda and Fuyao.”

Every year, Ajami takes some of his MBA students with him to France. This year, the students met with French business leaders and officials with HEC, a leading French business university.

Ajami has published a number of books, most recently “International Business: Competitiveness and Sustainability,” co-authored with G. Jason Goddard. He is also director of the Center for Global Business at Wright State and is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Asia-Pacific Business.

“We have a vibrant international business component in our business school,” Ajami said.

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