UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Shaping Leaders, Driving Results

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
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Jayashankar M. Swaminathan

GlaxoSmithKline Distinguished Professor of Operations

McColl 4717
CB# 3490
Chapel Hill, NC

 office: (919) 843-8341


Jayashankar (Jay) Swaminathan is the GlaxoSmithKline Distinguished Professor of Operations. 

Dr. Swaminathan has held several leadership positions at UNC Kenan-Flagler, including associate dean of the Global OneMBA Program from 2013-17. He also served as associate dean of the UNC-Tsinghua EMBA Dual Degree Program, senior associate dean of academic affairs, chair of the operations area and director of the Global Business Center.

He is an internationally recognized thought leader in innovations and productivity improvements related to global operations and supply chain management. His areas of expertise include global health operations, supply chain management, global execution models, emerging markets, retailing, sustainable enterprise, operations management and e-commerce. He teaches courses in global operations, global supply chain strategy and management, and doing business in India.

The Production and Operations Management Society (POMS) inducted him as POMS Fellow, a lifetime honor that recognizes exceptional intellectual contributions through research and teaching, in 2015.

Dr. Swaminathan has published dozens of articles in leading academic journals and is author of Indian Economic Superpower: Fiction or Future? He has received numerous awards, including the NSF Career Award, George Nicholson Prize, Schwabacher Fellowship and Weatherspoon Distinguished research and teaching awards. He was as a principal investigator on grants from the National Science Foundation, Obama-Singh Knowledge Initiative and U.S. Department of Education.

He has consulted with a number of firms over the last two decades, including AGCO, Agilent, CEMEX, Cisco, IBM, Kaiser, McKinsey, Nokia, Public Health Institute, Railinc, Samsung, Sara Lee, Schaeffler Group, TVS Motors, UNICEF and the U.S. Navy. His work with UNICEF led to major changes in the global supply chain planning and execution for Plumpy’Nut (RUTF) into Africa. His work to configure-to-order assembly using vanilla boxes impacted the electronics industry in the 1990s.

A sought after expert speaker, his insights have appeared in media outlets including the Financial Times and Businessweek.

He is a fellow of the Academic Leadership Program in the Institute of Arts and Humanities at UNC and a member of the Academic Advisory Council at Deloitte LLP. He served as vice president of INFORMS and president of POMS College of Supply Chain Management.

He received his PhD and master's in industrial administration from GSIA (now Tepper) at Carnegie Mellon University and his bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.