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Karin Cochran

Professor of the Practice of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Executive Director of STAR


404B Kenan Center, CB 3440 Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3490


Karin Cochran has experience in strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and leading change and building organizational capability in a variety of industries.

She teaches courses in consulting skills and frameworks, and is executive director of STAR, the program where MBA and Undergraduate Business students consult on projects for real companies around the world.

Professor Cochran came to UNC Kenan-Flagler after serving as the chief deputy secretary for the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. She led policy changes and managed a $1 billion merger of five divisions including the Zoo, State Parks, Aquariums, Museum of Natural Sciences and the Land and Water Trust into the agency with arts, history and libraries. She established strategic plans across all 20 divisions to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

She was a management consultant with Deloitte Consulting in the strategy and operations practice in Philadelphia, where she traveled in the U.S. and internationally working in strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and IT implementation projects in healthcare and consumer goods. Her clientele included healthcare systems, pharmaceutical companies and the payer industry. She also worked in corporate strategy at Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC.

Professor Cochran was a portfolio manager and equity research analyst for a small and mid-cap growth fund, managing over $1 billion for BlackRock. She focused on the retail, consumer goods, entertainment, hospitality and healthcare industries.

She served on the Board of Trustees for the NC Supplemental Retirement Board of Trustees for North Carolina’s Department of the State Treasurer from 2013-18.

She received her MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler and her BA in Asian studies from Hamilton College.