Catherine Duggan




Professor of Management and Political Economy
Vice Dean for Strategy and Research
African Leadership University (ALU), Rwanda

Catherine Duggan is Professor of Management and Political Economy and Vice Dean for Strategy and Research at the African Leadership University (ALU), Rwanda. Prior to joining ALU, she was a professor at Harvard Business School (HBS) for nearly a decade, teaching courses on political economy and leadership to MBA students and executives. She has also taught in MBA and executive education programs at Saïd Business School (SBS) at the University of Oxford, and the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) at the University of Pretoria.

Professor Duggan’s research examines institutional development, financial sector regulation, investment, and entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa. She is the author of a number of case studies on African firms and countries, including the HBS cases Nigeria: Opportunity in Crisis?; and Uganda: The Constitution of Development, and forthcoming cases including Wecyclers: Seeking Sustainable Development in Lagos; Babban Gona: Growing Amidst Uncertainty in Rural Nigeria; Microfinance in Uganda: Between Financial Abuse and Inclusion; andNigeria: Fates in the Balance. Her recent academic work includes the article Doing Bad by Doing Good? Theft and Abuse by Lenders in the Microfinance Markets of Uganda (forthcoming in Studies in Comparative International Development) and a book The Institutional Foundations of Lending: Indirect Regulation and State-Building (forthcoming from Cambridge University Press).

At ALU, Professor Duggan is developing and teaching in the University’s MBA and executive education programs. She is also writing a series of new case studies on business on the continent, including cases examining finance and private equity, manufacturing and operations, consumer products and marketing, and entrepreneurial incubators. While at Harvard she helped develop and teach courses on the political economy of the business environment in the MBA and executive education programs, and led the effort to add several Africa-focused cases to the required curriculum. She served for many years as the faculty advisor for the HBS Africa Business Club, and was a frequent speaker at the school’s Africa Business Conference. At Oxford she developed an elective course focused on Africa, which she taught in the MBA and Executive MBA programs.

Professor Duggan has won numerous awards. In 2013 she became only the second woman in a decade to receive the Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Required Curriculum at HBS, an award she received for a second time the following year. Also at HBS she received the Charles M. Williams Award for Excellence in Teaching, and was named the Berol Corporation Fellow.

She earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University, where she was the G.J. Lieberman Fellow for the Social Sciences. Prior to attending Stanford, she was an industry analyst for the telecommunications group at the law firm of Mayer, Brown & Platt (now Mayer Brown LLP), and received a B.A. with honors in Political Science from Brown University.

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