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Jayashankar Swaminathan

Jayashankar Swaminathan

GlaxoSmithKline Distinguished Professor of Operations


McColl 4717CB# 3490 Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3490


Jayashankar (Jay) Swaminathan is the GlaxoSmithKline Distinguished Professor of Operations. He is an internationally recognized thought leader in productivity and innovation in operations related to retail, healthcare, customization, sustainability, agriculture, e-commerce and emerging markets.

He teaches courses in global operations, global execution models and global supply chain strategy and management. Dr. Swaminathan has published more than 100 articles on these topics and is the author of “Indian Economic Superpower: Fiction or Future?”

He has received numerous awards, including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, George Nicholson Prize, Schwabacher Fellowship and Weatherspoon Distinguished Research and Excellence in Teaching awards.

He has been a principal investigator on grants from the National Science Foundation, Obama-Singh Knowledge Initiative and U.S. Department of Education.

He is an inducted fellow of the three prominent professional organizations: INFORMS (The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences), POMS (The Production and Operations Management Society) and MSOM (Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Society), a recognition of his lifetime intellectual contributions.

A fellow of the Academic Leadership Program in the Institute of Arts and Humanities at UNC, Dr. Swaminathan has served UNC Kenan-Flagler in many leadership roles including senior associate dean for academic affairs, associate dean for the Global OneMBA Program and UNC-Tsinghua Dual Degree EMBA Program, director of the Global Business Center and chair of the operations area.

He has also served as vice president of INFORMS and MSOM society and as president of POMS College of Supply Chain Management. He currently serves as a department editor for Management Science and Production and Operations Management journals.

Dr. Swaminathan has consulted with numerous 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.

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.