"Students in the IE Brown Executive MBA not only have the opportunity to obtain knowledge, but also to incorporate this broadened understanding into daily leadership practice.”

Jill W. Paine, Spain

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Jill W. Paine

About me

Jill W. Paine’s research lies at the intersection of organizational change, leadership and motivation. Her main focus is on how leaders use targeted communication to strengthen follower engagement and commitment in today’s business climate. During her career, she has edited a book, Organization Change: A Comprehensive Reader (with W. Warner Burke & Dale Lake) and has published several journal articles. In addition, she has served on the editorial boards of The Leadership Quarterly and The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. She earned a PhD and master’s degree in social-organizational psychology from Columbia University and a bachelor's degree (magna cum laude) in English literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

She currently teaches in the International MBA, PhD, and DBA programs at IE Business School, and in the IE Brown Executive MBA program. Recently, she was nominated by her students for the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Business Professor of the Year.

Jill W. Paine , Spain


Associate Professor, International MBA, PhD, DBA and IE Brown Executive MBA programs.

How did you end up becoming a faculty member for the IE Brown Executive MBA program?

Following the inaugural year of the program, Professor David Bach, who was the original lead for the IE Brown Executive MBA program at IE Business School, asked me to join the program faculty to teach the ‘Leading People, Teams and Organizations’ course. I have been teaching this course and the ‘Leader Vision’ workshop ever since.

Could you please tell us about your experience being a faculty member for the IE Brown Executive MBA program?

I am deeply honored to serve as a faculty member in this program. Our students are interested in expanding their perspective and using their expertise, talent and passion to lead in a way that makes a meaningful difference. They perceive the IE Brown Executive MBA as an opportunity to enhance their effectiveness as change leaders in the areas that are most important to them.

For instance, one former student, Alejandro, uses his expertise in microfinance and his passion to lift individuals out of poverty to help female entrepreneurs in Latin America gain access to capital where traditional sources, banks and investors are less available to them.

Another example is Shira from the class of 2021, who was a Chief of Emergency Medicine during the global pandemic of COVID-19 throughout her EMBA studies. While serving patients and leading her team of physicians on the frontlines, she not only implemented her learnings directly into her work, but also embraced the opportunity to contribute to our broader understanding of crisis leadership through her Key Reflection Project. Together with two fellow cohort members, Shira conducted a qualitative study with senior leaders in healthcare and government to assess effective leadership responses to the pandemic. The team’s findings are timely, relevant and directly applicable to all leaders facing this unprecedented crisis. I was humbly privileged to serve as the faculty advisor for this meaningful project and to learn alongside these outstanding cohort members.

What do you enjoy most about teaching in the IE Brown Executive MBA program?

The IE Brown Executive MBA encourages the immediate practice of relevant learnings based on rigorous understanding. Through cases, simulations, group projects within the field, and self-reflection and coaching, our students not only have the opportunity to obtain knowledge, but also to incorporate this broadened understanding into their lexicon and daily leadership practice. My own orientation as a scholar-practitioner is perfectly aligned with this approach to knowledge acquisition, adoption and practice.

What sets this MBA apart from other MBA programs?

I’ll focus on two factors that make this program particularly unique among MBA offerings.

First, the IE Brown Executive MBA program encourages a systemic perspective of issues with a pedagogical orientation centered not only on business, but also on technology and society. The curriculum offered by faculty from IE Business School and Brown University cultivates an entrepreneurial mindset that is grounded in a social and cultural awareness.

Second, the IE Brown Executive MBA is composed of diverse cohorts with students coming from different industries, nationalities, religious backgrounds, ethnicities and ways of seeing the world. Our students view themselves as global citizens and come to the program seeking to enhance their global awareness. Many of our students have lived, been educated, and worked in multiple countries and cultures. They’re comfortable working with teams comprising culturally diverse backgrounds and are welcoming of different perspectives. Regardless of their experience with different cultures to date, they are open to seeing the world through new lenses and challenging their own point of view.

Combining these two factors, our students come away with a rich experience and knowledge set that broadens their approach to complex challenges and enables them to effectively lead others toward innovative solutions.