Lead Faculty Dennis Shaughnessy
Founder & Executive Director
Dennis Shaughnessy founded the Social Enterprise Institute, an academic unit within the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, and is its first and only Executive Director. Professor Shaughnessy provided the seed capital to start SEI in 2007, and remains its principal donor. Professor Shaughnessy created the undergraduate curriculum for social enterprise studies at NU in 2008, which now lead to either a business major within the entrepreneurship concentration or an interdisciplinary minor. He also introduced social enterprise to the MBAprogram at NU. His courses range from an introduction to global social enterprise and economic development, to impact investing and microfinance, as well as field research programs in the Dominican Republic (Haiti), South Africa and Nicaragua. These unique field programs and on campus courses and seminars have led to NU’s social enterprise program being one of the largest and most diverse among undergraduate institutions worldwide, with nearly 500 students from NUand partner institutions engaged in social enterprise research, learning and service each year. He also created and teaches seminars in social enterprise in NU’s Honors Program, including impact investing programs in which students invest capital from outside donors in organizations providing enterprise solutions to global poverty. Professor Shaughnessy is also the faculty advisor to the SEI Student Association, the SEINewsletter and the SE Review, and has won numerous awards for his teaching. In addition to his role as Executive Professor at NU, Professor Shaughnessy is also a Distinguished Visiting Professor at TSiBA of Cape Town, South Africa (a free university for disadvantaged students) andINTEC of Santo Domingo, DR, where he teaches courses in social enterprise. Professor Shaughnessy is an investor and a philanthropist as well, supporting social enterprises that bring innovative and high impact solutions to global poverty. In addition to his work at NU and SEI, Professor Shaughnessy has more than 25 years of experience as a business executive, corporate director, lawyer and public servant. His advanced degrees include a doctorate in law (Univ. Maryland), and masters degrees in business (NU) and social policy (Univ. Michigan).
Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Sophie Bacq, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the College of Business Administration. Professor Bacq received her PhD in Economic and Management Sciences from the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. Her research interests include social entrepreneurship, governance and management issues in hybrid organizations, and international new ventures. She has published book chapters and articles in international peer-reviewed journals and is the author and editor of several forthcoming books. Professor Bacq’s teaching experience covers entrepreneurship, corporate strategy, social entrepreneurship, as well as field trip experience in India, among others.
Prior to joining Northeastern University, Professor Bacq was a Visiting Scholar at New York University Stern School of Business. She holds a Master’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Engineering from the Université Catholique de Louvain and studied a semester at the National University of Singapore in 2005.
Executive Professor, Assistant Academic Specialist
Dr. C. Sara Minard is a socio-economist, lecturer, writer, development practitioner and policy analyst with 15 years of experience working in the areas of economic development policy, market-based approaches to development, design methods for development practice, social entrepreneurship, social finance, and program design, monitoring and evaluation. Before joining Northeastern, Dr. Minard taught for five years in the Economic and Political Development concentration at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) where she launched the school’s first courses in social entrepreneurship for development and social enterprise in India, and taught the core courses in methods for development practice.
Prior to Columbia, Dr. Minard’s economic policy research expertise includes five years at the OECD (Paris) leading research and policy dialogues on private sector development, informal economy and policy coherence for development in 18 countries in West Africa, and consultancies with the World Bank, IFC and UN agencies where she has designed strategies on socially responsible investing and banking, as well as policy strategies for creating enabling environments for social enterprise, including the tools for social impact assessment and reporting. She served for two years as the Chair of Columbia University’s Advisory Education Sub-Committee on Socially Responsible Investing and sits on several social enterprise boards.
Dr. Minard earned her PhD in Economics from Sciences Po in Paris (highest honors) and a dual-degree Masters in International and Public Affairs from Columbia/SIPA and Sciences Po. She is fluent in French, Spanish and Wolof, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal.