J. Gerald Suarez

Professor of the Practice in Systems Thinking & Design | Fellow, Center for Leadership, Innovation and Change

Ph.D., University of Puerto Rico

Dr. J. Gerald Suarez is a premier educator, speaker and consultant in the fields of Organizational Design, Systems Thinking and Total Quality Management. Suarez joined Smith in 2005 as Executive Director of the multidisciplinary Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams (QUEST) Honors Fellows program. He was a Ralph J. Tyser Teaching Fellow and an Executive Education Senior Fellow. From 2008 to 2010 he served as Associate Dean of External Strategy, leading the offices of marketing communications, recruitment and career services. Suarez earned the prestigious Allen J. Krowe Teaching Excellence Award and has been consistently selected a Top 15% Faculty Member at the Smith School. He teaches at the corporate, executive MBA, custom EMBA, international, and undergraduate levels. He is also a Lockheed Martin Visiting Technical Fellow.

Prior to joining the Smith School, Suarez served under two administrations in the White House as the Director of Presidential Quality -- the first such post in the institution’s history. In this capacity, he initiated efforts to inculcate systems thinking and organizational redesign into the White House Communications Agency, the White House Military Office and the Executive Office of the President of the United States. He also served as Director of Customer Support and Organizational Development for the White House Military Office. Suarez traveled aboard Air Force One and Presidential helicopters in numerous missions worldwide. He received many Presidential awards and commendations for his work, including the Exceptional Civilian Service Medal, the White House Distinguished Service Award, the Commander-in-Chief Coin, and the White House Certificate for Meritorious Service.

Prior to his White House assignments, Suarez worked for the Office of the Under Secretary of the Navy’s Total Quality Leadership Office and for the Navy Personnel Research and Development Center in San Diego, California. In these roles, he served as a researcher, instructor and consultant for both the Department of the Navy and the Department of Defense (DoD).

Suarez has been active academically in both the United States and abroad. For ten years, he was a Visiting Professor at the Asturias Business School in Spain and was presented with the 49th Jovellanos Award in 2002, and the 4th Dali Original Sculpture Award in 2008 for his significant contributions to the advancement of social responsibility. At the National Graduate School of Quality Systems Management, he led the development of the institution's academic vision as the Chief Academic Officer, and was subsequently named Faculty Member of the Decade (1993-2003). Suarez has traveled to Shanghai and Tianjin, China as an educator and consultant, and in 2006 he designed and delivered an accelerated MBA train-the-trainer program to a select team of faculty members of the Islamic University of Gaza in Cairo, Egypt.

Suarez has produced several publications and instructional videotapes on teamwork, organizational redesign, and how to manage fear in the workplace. He collaborated with the late W. Edwards Deming and served as facilitator during his famous 4-day quality seminars. His publications and training strategies for educating the Defense workforce in quality management received DoD-wide distribution. His work has been showcased in international publications such as the Harvard Deusto Business Review as well as in national publications such as Quality Progress, the Journal for Quality and Participation and Executive Excellence. His research on “Fear in the Workplace” was featured on public television and showcased in the commercially available video series, "Better Management for a Changing World."

Suarez holds a master's degree and a Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico, and he has been certified as a Chief Information Officer by The National Defense University Information Resources Management College. He is a frequent keynote speaker at national and international conferences. Currently he resides in Fairfax County, Virginia with his wife and three children.

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