Executive Director, Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise
Clinical Associate Professor, Peter T. Paul College of Business & Economics
Fiona Wilson, D.B.A., is Clinical Associate Professor of Strategy, Sustainability and Social Entrepreneurship at the Peter T. Paul College of Business & Economics. She is the Executive Director of UNH’s Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise, a joint venture between the Carsey School of Public Policy and the Paul College of Business and Economics.Her research focuses on how the power of business can be harnessed to help address some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental issues. She focuses on innovative entrepreneurial companies with business models that are good for people, the planet and profits.
Dr. Wilson plays an interdisciplinary connecting and catalyzing role across the UNH campus: She currently serves as a Faculty Research Fellow at UNH’s Sustainability Research Collaboratory, and as Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy (formerly the Carsey Institute) at the University of New Hampshire. She is a member of the Sustainability Institute’s Climate Fellows Program and serves as Faculty Advisor to UNH’s student Net Impact organization.
In 2013, Dr. Wilson was the lead creator for the 1st annual New Hampshire Social Venture Innovation Challenge, an initiative of Paul College and UNH, engaging students and the business community in a competition to help find market-based solutions to global environmental and social challenges. Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus was the event’s keynote speaker. Dr. Wilson continues to serve as the Faculty Director of The Social Venture Innovation Challenge, now university wide event, held each fall, co-sponsored by Paul College, The Carsey School of Public Policy, UNH’s Sustainability Institute and NH EPSCoR.
As a former business leader, Dr. Wilson places a strong emphasis on continuing her engagement with the business community. In 2012 she took on the faculty leadership for an annual Program in Corporate Sustainability Leadership, a 3 day program for business executives, organized in partnership between the Paul College of Business and Economics, UNH’s Sustainability Institute and New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility. She has recently been engaged with the business community to advance Benefit Corporation legislation in New Hampshire.
Dr. Wilson joined the faculty of the Paul College in fall 2011. Previously, she spent nine years on the faculty at the Simmons School of Management in Boston, MA, where she taught MBA and Executive Education courses in business strategy with a special focus on the intersection of strategy and society/sustainability. At Simmons, Dr. Wilson also served as special assistant to the Dean, helping run the school’s Business Advisory Council, played a governance role co-chairing the admissions committee, and worked directly with the Dean on a number of strategic initiatives, including serving on the Dean’s Strategic Advisory Committee.
Prior to her academic career, Dr. Wilson spent fifteen years in industry. She was the VP of Marketing for CMGI (the publically traded internet investment and development company,) where her team was responsible for corporate marketing, as well marketing and strategy consulting for CMGI’s 70-plus internet/technology subsidiaries and investments.
Earlier she also consulted to venture-funded technology companies and served as Vice Consul Commercial at the British Consulate General in Boston, promoting technology trade between Britain and the United States. Prior to moving to the United States in 1993, Dr. Wilson worked for a decade for Ogilvy & Mather Advertising in senior media research, media planning, and international account management roles, serving in London, England and Barcelona, Spain. She was responsible for media strategy, deployment and coordination for international advertisers such as Ford Motor Company, American Express, Guinness Brewing, Reebok, Michelin, Levi Strauss, and Mattel.
Dr. Wilson has undertaken extensive work with mission-driven organizations, including being the volunteer co-founder and director of the social venture the Team with a Vision, an initiative of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind, where she also served on the Board of Trustees. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the board of trustees of the Wolfe Neck Farm Foundation (a Maine-based leader in sustainable agriculture) and Meridian Stories (a non-profit which uses the power of digital media to change educational effectiveness.) She also serves on the advisory boards of Corey McPherson Nash (a marketing and brand strategy firm), Prosperity Candle (a social venture working to provide sustainable employment for women in conflict zones), and Chop Chop (a non-profit cooking magazine for children aimed at combating the obesity epidemic.)
Dr. Wilson graduated with highest honors from the Simmons School of Management MBA program and received her doctorate in strategy and policy from the Boston University School of Management. Her dissertation explored “Socially Conscious Capitalism.”