International business scholar appointed to prestigious professorship

Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Michael Enright, a leading expert on international competitiveness and business strategy, who began teaching at Northeastern in 2020, was appointed as the first Pierre Choueiri Family Professor in Global Business at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Northeastern held an installment ceremony for Enright on Friday.

Pierre Choueiri, chairman and CEO of the Choueiri Group, the Middle East’s largest media broker, and his family, have endowed the role—the first at Northeastern to be backed by a parent, and by an international donor. 

Choueiri and his family—including his son, Alexandre Choueiri, who is part of Northeastern’s graduating Class of 2020, his wife Maya, and his mother, Rose—were present during Friday’s ceremony meant to honor Enright. 

“This is the highest honor a professor can receive,” said Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern University. “The chair is going to be with us forever, which means—Rose, Maya—that the children, the grandchildren, the great grandchildren are going to be involved with Northeastern, whether they studied at Northeastern or not.”

The Choueiri Group was founded by Pierre’s father, Antoine Choueiri, about half a century ago. The company has since grown into a leading media representation firm, engaged in markets in the Middle East/North Africa region, Europe, and Japan. The company was also the subject of a business case study, authored by Enright, looking at how it’s managed to keep pace in a rapidly changing global market.

Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Choueiri, who spoke alongside Enright, praised the newly installed chair’s scholarship. He said the case study on his company has helped contextualize his own day-to-day work, and appreciate the decadeslong journey.

Choueiri added that Enright is “much deserving” of the endowed chair. 

“He does fine, fine work, and it’s an honor to be part of something like this,” Choueiri said. 

David Madigan, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Northeastern, introduced Enright during Friday’s ceremony. 

“Endowed chairs are very special things,” Madigan said. “They’re very important to us at Northeastern in terms of attracting great scholars to come and be amongst us. And Michael Enright is indeed one of those.”

Prior to arriving at Northeastern, Enright had taught at the University of Hong Kong for nearly 25 years. His work has focused on the “strategies and organizations of multinational companies, the impact of foreign firms on China’s economy, regional clusters, and the competitiveness of national and regional economies,” Madigan said.

“He is truly an accomplished scholar,” Madigan said. “We are thrilled that he is here with us at Northeastern thanks to the generosity of the Choueiri family.”

Endowed chairs are permanently funded positions that will be held by faculty members for as long as the university exists. Upon retirement, another faculty member will succeed Enright as the Pierre Choueiri Family Professor in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business.

“The chair is going to be with us forever … so the involvement will be intergenerational,” Aoun said. “Professor Enright will be the first holder of the chair, but he won’t be the last.”

Before his stint abroad, Enright lived in Boston, where he obtained an MBA and a PhD in business economics from Harvard University. In his speech following his installment, Enright told attendees that he was also a graduate student in the chemistry department at Northeastern for a brief period in the 1980s. 

“It’s a pleasure and an honor to be here today, and to be back at Northeastern,” Enright said. “I’m just starting to scratch the surface on collaborating with a truly marvelous set of colleges here at the D’Amore-McKim School.”

Enright applauded Northeastern’s experiential learning model, noting that it’s “exactly the type of learning that I like to bring into the classroom.”

“The sort that complements the experiential learning of our co-op program as well as more traditional university content,” he said, “the sort that explores rapid change that crosses international and cultural boundaries in real-world settings.”

“I’ve been fortunate to have done projects in over 30 countries, and most of the cases that I use in my courses come directly out of my own experience,” he said. 

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