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The New Digital Era and the Implications for Education

The New Digital Era and the Implications for Education

October 27, 2017 | 11:00 a.m.
Mountainlair Ballrooms
Co-sponsored by the College of Business and Economics 

In today’s uncertain global business climate, digitization is one economic promise that holds true. The economic benefits for those who take advantage of the new Digital Era are becoming increasingly apparent: it’s estimated to generate $19 trillion in economic value over the next decade and is the foundation for inclusive growth around the world. Educating and reskilling our current and future workforce with digital skills for the jobs of the future is more important today than ever before.


Picture of John Chambers.

John Chambers 

Executive Chairman, Cisco Systems

John Chambers is the executive chairman of the Board. In this role, Chambers leads the Board of Directors and provides advice and counsel to the CEO and Cisco leadership on the company’s strategy, digital transformation and strategic partnerships. As a working chairman, Chambers is focused on country digitization and building relationships with government and business leaders, shareholders and board members.

Chambers joined Cisco in 1991 as senior vice president, worldwide sales and operations. In 1995, he became president and CEO, a position he held until 2006, when he was appointed chairman of the board. He served as chairman and CEO from 2006 to 2015. Over the course of 20 years at the helm of Cisco, he helped grow the company from $70 million when he joined, to $1.2 billion when he assumed the role of CEO, to $47 billion when he stepped down as CEO.

Chambers has received numerous awards for his leadership, including being named the number two “Best-Performing CEOs in the World” in 2015 from Harvard Business Review, Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,” one of Barron’s’ “World’s Best CEOs,” the “Best Boss in America” by 20/20, one of BusinessWeek’s “Top 25 Executives Worldwide,” and “CEO of the Year” by Chief Executive Magazine. Most recently Chambers was awarded France’s National Defense Gold Medal, the only foreign business leader to ever receive the award in its 35 year history.

In addition, Chambers takes an active role in corporate social responsibility initiatives worldwide and has been recognized for his and Cisco’s philanthropic leadership, including receiving the U.S. State Department’s top corporate social responsibility award (ACE) twice.

Chambers is the chairman of the newly formed U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Inc. (USISP) formerly U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) and is a member of the board of directors for Airware, OpenGov and Pindrop.

Prior to joining Cisco, he spent eight years at Wang Laboratories (1982-1990) and six years with IBM (1976-1982). He holds a Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Arts degree in business and a law degree from West Virginia University and a master of business administration degree in finance and management from Indiana University.

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