Opening Ceremony 2007-08: AUB Pledges to Become More Involved in Ras Beirut  
New Academic Year Kicks Off: 24 Students Get Full Scholarships
2007-08 Admission to AUB: Attesting to AUB's role as a leading university
Fifty Three New Faculty Join AUB for 2007-08 Despite Instability in the Country
New Faculty Fall 2007-08
University Community Spearheads Nahr El-Bared Relief Campaign
President Waterbury Meets with New Officers of Alumni Association
AUBMC and MD Anderson Sign Collaboration Agreement
AUB Faculty of Health Sciences announces $1 million Ford Endowment
AUB Pediatric Specialist Honored
Kenney Appointed New Vice President of Finance
Dean Emeritus Daghir Chairs Session at IFT 2007 Annual Meetings
Bassem Barhoumi Appointed Director of FPDU
Riemer Brouwer appointed new IT Audit Manager
The English Department at the American University of Beirut and the Anis Makdisi Program in Literature announce the following event for AUB students
Staff Profile: Shahan Marashlian
Staff Profile: Najwa Khoury
A New Anesthesiology Chair at AUBMC
Faculty Profile: Waleed Hazbun
Intro to Journalism Workshops
Carlos Ghosn Promotes Diversity in Business
AUB Planner 2007-08 Now on Sale
Are Nurses Accountable to Their Patients?
AUB and Oxford Launch EU-funded Bedouin Health Project
FHS Holds Training Workshop on HIV/AIDS Programs
Architectural Visibility in a Multi-Religious City
The Void Left After Disaster Hits the City
Recently Published: An Invitation to Laughter
JTP Director Coauthors UNESCO Journalism Curricula
International Textbook on Mechatronics Teaching Published
In Memoriam
Two AUB Students Chosen for US-sponsored Exchange Program
Areen Projects Award of Excellence in Architecture 2006-07 Announced
Children Cancer Patients Pass Official School Exams Despite Illness
Eleven Generations of AUB Alumni Return to Alma Mater for Class Reunion 2007
Sweet Times Savoring the Sweet Corn Harvest
October 2007 Vol. 9 No. 1

Carlos Ghosn Promotes Diversity in Business

CEO Carlos Ghosn

Nissan and Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn told AUB's business students to embrace diversity, since it is exactly what will spur them to be creative and succeed. At a special seminar held in West Hall's Bathish Auditorium on August 27, he inspired them by sharing his experience in cross-cultural management.

Humans, by nature, Ghosn said, like to fit in and often seek people who are like them. "But we can hardly learn anything from people who are very much like us. So even though it's not comfortable, [embracing diversity] is the only way you can enrich yourself," he said.

Ghosn, himself, is the product of diversity. He was born to Lebanese parents in Brazil and grew up between Lebanon and France, where he is also a citizen. Later he also lived and worked in the United States, Japan, France, and Brazil. His diverse background helped him a great deal in business, he said, noting: "When you are an outsider and you cannot be categorized into one culture, it makes people feel that you are unlikely to be biased."

"He is the quintessential global executive," said Olayan School of Business Dean George Najjar in his introduction of Ghosn, saying he is the first businessman to be the CEO of two major automotive companies. Thanking Ghosn for taking time out of his busy schedule to speak with the students, Najjar briefly listed some of the auto-industry magnate's list of seemingly endless accomplishments.

Credited with turning Nissan around and saving it from near-bankruptcy, Ghosn was nicknamed "Samurai" [or, "he who serves"] in Japan, earning celebrity status there. He has also been dubbed "Le Cost Killer" in France, for bringing growth and profits to Renault as well as to Nissan, in which Renault owns 44 percent of shares. In 2003, Ghosn was also named Man of the Year by Fortune Magazine, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the American University of Beirut. "He is the living embodiment of how far you can go with a doctoral degree from AUB," quipped Dean Najjar, prompting laughs from the audience.

In addressing the topic of diversity and cross-cultural management, Ghosn remarked that people's first reaction to difference and diversity is usually criticism, but he encouraged his audience to go beyond that initial reaction and open up their minds in order to learn from their differences, especially since the world we live in is increasingly one with fewer boundaries, where people from different cultures and countries have to work together. "What's important is to respect the other's identity and not try to change them, but to add to your experience and enrich it," he said.

The audience, which remained intensely engaged for all the ninety minutes during which Ghosn spoke, responded with dozens of questions on business and cultural concepts. Even politics had its share, with one questioner asking if Ghosn could confirm rumors that he was considering running for the Lebanese presidency. "If someone wants to succeed at something, they have to really know what they are doing and what they are getting themselves into," responded Ghosn. "I am a businessman, not a politician."