Babson College Announces Dr. Ariel C. Armony as New Provost Babson Thought & Action

As we look ahead to a milestone year for Babson leading up to the fall semester, I am proud to share that Dr. Ariel C. Armony will join our community as Provost and Executive Vice President.

Ariel comes to Babson from the University of Pittsburgh, where he currently serves as Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs and Director of the University Center for International Studies. In this capacity, Ariel is responsible for forging new international partnerships and deepening the University’s reach and impact. This experience positions him well to lead Babson’s global approach to developing the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders. He has been a passionate leader and advocate for faculty research, innovative pedagogy, and diversity in academia throughout his career.

As Vice Chancellor, Ariel played an integral role in advancing the University’s global learning initiatives, research, partnerships, and community engagement. His strategic efforts have consistently focused on an international advocacy and globalization lens. Under his leadership, the University of Pittsburgh’s six international and global centers were designated as National Resource Centers by the U.S. Department of Education, positioning the institution as one of the nation’s leaders in international and global studies.

Ariel’s academic research focuses on democratization, civil society, and human rights issues around the world, work that has been influential in fueling debates about the relationship between democracy and society. An immigrant from Argentina, he has often drawn on his personal and professional experience as a Latino leader in academia and beyond.

His broad interdisciplinary experience and extensive study around the world have positioned Ariel as a leader in the complex relations between China and Latin America. He has received notable recognition following the publication of his most recent book, Emerging World Cities: Origins, Structure and Meaningwhich chronicles the rapid and unprecedented rise of Miami, Dubai and Singapore as new world powers. Ariel has published extensively on such topics in leading academic presses, including Cambridge, Stanford and the University of California.

“Babson’s influence and success as a global leader in higher education and entrepreneurship will certainly be amplified with Ariel at the helm of the college’s academic innovation.”
President Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD on Dr. Ariel C. Armony, Named Babson’s New Provost

Before assuming his role as Vice Chancellor, Ariel rose through the ranks in Pittsburgh, including Vice Provost for Global Affairs and Senior Director for International Programs. He previously directed the University of Miami’s Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas and was a Fulbright scholar, Rockefeller Foundation scholar, and residential fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Babson’s influence and success as a global leader in higher education and entrepreneurship will certainly be amplified with Ariel at the helm of the college’s academic innovation. His ability to connect global thought leaders combined with a dedication to student success will impact all facets of how we teach and learn.

Ariel joins our community with a longstanding appreciation for Babson’s approach to entrepreneurship education. In his personal life and throughout his extensive career in academia, he has met many Babson alumni. From bachelor’s degree holders to MBAs, every Babson graduate has left an impression. I know he is eager to bring his global and entrepreneurial mindset to Babson to help shape the ways we build tomorrow’s leaders.

The national search for the next leader of Academic Affairs was conducted with rigor. Careful consideration was given to the caliber of leader needed to build upon Babson’s proven Entrepreneurial Thought & Action paradigm. I am grateful for the extensive work of the Provost Search Committee, comprised of faculty and administrators, who dedicated significant time to this important process. Their dedication to this effort yielded an inclusive search process, engaging our entire community through multiple input sessions to ensure their work was informed by a broad base of campus stakeholders. I am also grateful for the guidance of the renowned firm Isaacson Miller, who facilitated our extensive search. The committee’s work yielded many exceptional candidates for this role, and I am confident that Ariel will be the leader of this impressive group.

The leadership role Ariel will fill is a direct result of Babson’s community-driven organizational redesign process. Supported by faculty feedback gathered through the COACHE survey and the findings of EY-Parthenon’s organizational assessment, community input was integral to our efforts to bring Ariel to Babson.

Ariel is an avid hiker, a hobby that led him to cross the Himalayas’ Thorong La, one of the world’s highest mountain passes. He has lived on four continents, written for television and directed theater. He is married to Mirna Kolbowski, who has extensive financial experience in banking, higher education and the nonprofit sector. They have two sons, Ian and Alan, who live in New York City. As a family, they enjoy grilling and watching soccer, especially when Lionel Messi is playing.

Ariel will assume this important role midway through the fall semester. I will share additional updates on academic and student leadership at Babson soon. In the meantime, I welcome Ariel to the Babson community of entrepreneurial leaders.

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