A Fourth Fulbright

Kamal Fatehi dc 4.jpg

Business professor heads to Peru to teach strategic and international management

Kennesaw State professor Kamal Fatehi was once accused of being a spy while he served as a Fulbright scholar in Azerbaijan, but that hasn’t stopped him from applying and being selected for the prestigious award three more times since then.

As a professor of management in the Michael J. Coles College of Business, Fatehi was awarded his fourth award, a Fulbright Specialist Grant in Business Administration. Offered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, the Fulbright Specialist Program provides grant opportunities for U.S. scholars to engage in short-term collaborative projects at host institutions overseas. 

Fatehi will travel to the Catholic University of St. Pablo in Peru later this month, where he’ll spend five weeks conducting workshops, seminars and consulting sessions on international business for faculty and graduate students.

This is the first time that Fatehi, an international management expert, was contacted directly by the Fulbright organization for his sought-after management expertise, and the first time he will travel to South America as part of the prestigious award.

“I plan to teach and consult on strategic management and its importance,” Fatehi said about his upcoming Peru trip. “ I will also be talking with EMBA students about international management.”

Fatehi is no stranger to travel. He’s visited more than 35 countries, teaching and offering management expertise. Fatehi’s first Fulbright Award took him to Azerbaijan in 1993, where he spent five weeks, visiting several cities and consulting their higher education institutions.

“This was two years after their independence from Russia, but it was still a crumbling infrastructure,” Fatehi said. “I spent time helping their universities convert from a Russian method to Western style for their undergraduate education.”

Despite his excitement to be awarded a Fulbright, Fatehi said the faculty in Azerbaijan didn’t understand why he would come there to help them. 

“The faculty (in Azerbaijan) were telling everyone I was a spy,” Fatehi said, astounded.  He then pointed out to the faculty that they had been learning from his expertise, but that he had not learned anything from them.  “I asked them, ‘How, then, could I be a spy?’”

Fatehi understood the international impact of expanding educational programs, and he wanted the faculty to understand that it was economically benefitting everyone, even beyond the borders of their country.

“Our best hope for peace is international business,” said Fatehi. “I want to help others become a good producer or customer, which helps them build a strong economy.”

Fatehi’s other two Fulbright Specialist awards took him to Kazakhstan to suggest changes for a new organizational structure for their universities and consult the administration. Fatehi continues to supervise doctoral students at several universities there.

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-- Tiffany Capuano; Photo by David Caselli