Dennis Shaughnessy

Lead Faculty Dennis Shaughnessy

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 MBA program 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 NU and 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 SEI Newsletter 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) and INTEC 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).