New opportunity for execs to advance careers comes to Denver

Washington University in St. Louis brings top-ranked Executive MBA program to Colorado capital

Business professionals looking to take their careers to the next level and sharpen their leadership skills will welcome the arrival of a top-ranked Executive MBA program in Denver that promises a rigorous and relevant deep-dive graduate degree in management.

Brookings Hall on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis. (Credit: Joe Angeles)

Washington University in St. Louis will offer its 20-month Executive MBA program — ranked No. 2 worldwide by The Wall Street Journal — in Denver beginning in September.

“For many years, the economic growth and opportunity in Denver — coupled with a lifestyle that is second to none — have attracted talent from coast to coast to our community,” says Ralph J. Nagel, president of Denver’s Top Rock LLC and a member of the Washington University Board of Trustees.

“I think the marketplace will welcome the addition of Washington University’s top-ranked Executive MBA program, giving companies and individuals alike an added resource for leadership development in our own backyard,” says Nagel, who earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture from Washington University.

Mark S. Wrighton, chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis, and Mahendra Gupta, PhD, dean of Olin Business School, led a public kickoff event for the new degree Feb. 20 at the Innovation Pavilion in Centennial, Colo.

Nagel emceed the event, which was hosted by Vic Ahmed, founder of the Innovation Pavilion, who earned degrees in computer science and systems engineering from Washington University.

“Attracted by the growth and entrepreneurial spirit of Denver and its business environment, we are bringing our prestigious and globally celebrated Executive MBA program to serve the talent advancement and leadership development needs of this dynamic community,” says Panos Kouvelis, PhD, senior associate dean and director of Executive Programs at Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Business School.

“With the access to a brand-name degree well-proven to be a passport to success for so many of our alumni all over the globe, Denver executives will no longer need to get on a plane to pursue their career acceleration aspirations that only a top-ranked program can provide,” Kouvelis says.

Classes will begin Sept. 15 at a location to be announced.

The program is designed to accommodate busy executive schedules with classes meeting once a month in addition to three residencies, two in St. Louis and one in Shanghai. Classes will be held locally in Denver for the first half of the program and at the Charles F. Knight Executive Education Center on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis during the second half, giving executives the opportunity to share the classroom with the St. Louis cohort.

Members of Olin Business School’s full-time, tenured faculty teach all courses using case method, interactive lectures and team-oriented projects. For classes held in Denver, Olin Business School professors will travel to Denver, giving both Denver and St. Louis cohorts the same academic experience.

A two-week international residency in Shanghai is one of the highlights of the program and is taught in conjunction with Washington University’s partner institution in China, Fudan University.

“The Olin Executive MBA program equipped me with the tools to conduct and drive business on a global platform, and gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams,” says Victor Dawson, Washington University Executive MBA graduate and founder and president of Summit Group International, a global sourcing services and consulting company based in Denver.

“By a combination of the cutting-edge research the professors teach and more than 500 years of business experience via peers in the classroom, my strategic and critical thinking was greatly enhanced. I transformed from a local executive to a global founder and driver of business,” says Dawson, who lives in Denver with his wife.

The Washington University Executive MBA program staff will host two information sessions in Denver, at 6 p.m. March 6 and April 23 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Cherry Creek. Additional dates will be added between May and August.

For more information on Olin’s Executive MBA program and on the information sessions, visit Executive education staff members can be reached directly at or (314) 935-EMBA.

About Olin Business School:

Founded in 1917, Olin Business School is part of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, an institution recognized for its academic scholarship and for its exceptional faculty and students. The school’s mission is to create knowledge, inspire individuals and transform business.

Degree and non-degree offerings emphasize critical thinking, strategic problem solving, global competence, applied learning, creativity and innovation. The business school is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The Financial Times ranked Olin’s Master of Science in Finance program No. 2 in the United States and the Washington University-Fudan University Executive MBA No. 9 in the world. The Wall Street Journal ranked Olin’s EMBA program No. 2 globally. U.S. News & World Report rated Olin’s full-time MBA program No. 19 in the nation.