Rick Smith portrait

Richard R. Smith, PhD

Professor of Practice and Vice Dean for Education and Partnerships
Academic AreaManagement & Organization
Areas of InterestStrategic Human Capital, Global Strategy, Strategic Management and Leadership

Rick Smith is the vice dean for education and partnerships as well as a professor of practice. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins University, he served as the deputy dean of education programs at Singapore Management University, where he was also a professor of strategic management.

Prior to joining academia on a full-time basis, Rick spent more than 30 years in business, primarily in the consulting industry as a senior partner with Accenture, where he held a variety of leadership roles across industries, geographies, and services. During his business career, Rick has had the opportunity to live and work in Asia, Europe, and America with more than 15 years in the growth markets of China, Singapore, India, and Indonesia. In addition to his work with global firms, he also served as the CEO of a start-up in China and has supported several entrepreneurial ventures.

Underpinning Rick’s research and teaching interests is the focus on human capital as a strategic resource for competitive advantage. He teaches graduate courses on Strategic Management and Human Capital Leadership. As a frequent guest speaker and executive education instructor Rick is the proud recipient numerous teaching awards. Rick’s work on cross-border leadership provided significant media attention in Asia where he was featured as guest on CNBC’s ‘Squawk box’ and ‘Talk Asia.’ Recently, he turned his attention to management education and co-authored the book, Rethinking the Business Models of Business Schools.


  • BS, Industrial Management/Engineering, Purdue University
  • MS, Industrial/Organizational Behavior, Penn State University
  • PhD, General Management, Singapore Management University


Selected Publications

  • Smith, R. (2020). The COVID-19 Challenge: An Update from Singapore. EFMD Global Focus, Issue 2, Vol 14, pp 76-81. 
  • Goh, K., Smith, R., Tan, C., & Dhevarajulu, D. (2020). Healthcare Innovation from the Inside-Out. Asian Management Insights, Emerald, Vol 7-2, 52-58.
  • Smith, R. (2020). COVID-19 HR Challenge: Lessons from Vigilant Singaporeans, People Matters, April Issue, pp 95-97.
  • Smith, R. (2020). A Dispatch from Singapore. Inside Higher Education, 10 March
  • Smith, R. (2020). Gender equality in Asia: It might get uncomfortable, People Matters, March Issue, pp 89-94.
  • Smith, R. (2020). Managing talent in the gig economy: Human capital implications, People Matters, February Issue, pp 78-81.
  • Smith, R., Kwek, E. & Thorpe, T. (2019). Building Great Places to Work for All: The untapped power of gender diversity in Asia. Research report published by the Great Place to Work Institute, Asia.
  • Smith, R., & Tan, S.C. (2019). Managing Across Borders in Asia. Asian Management Insights, Emerald, Vol 6-1, 32-37.
  • Smith, R. & Tan, V. (2018). The Making of Successful Teams: A study on psychological safety and great workplaces in Asia Pacific. Research report published by the Great Place to Work Institute, Asia.


  • Peters, K., Smith, R., and Thomas, H. (2018). Rethinking the Business Models of Business Schools: A Critical Review and Change Agenda for the Future. Emerald Group Publishing; Bingley.
  • Thomas, H., Smith, R., and Diez, F. (2013).  Human Capital and Global Business Strategy. Cambridge University Press; London.



  • Human Capital and Global Business Strategy
  • Asian Business Management
  • Strategy Execution
  • Mosaic of Leadership


  • Strategic Management

Honors and Distinctions

  • Research Fellow, India School of Business
  • Most Outstanding Faculty Award, Singapore Management University – EMBA
  • SMU Dean’s Teaching Honor List – Top Post-Graduate Faculty
  • SMU Dean’s Teaching Honor List – Top 20 Faculty Members
  • SMU Teaching Excellence Award, Innovative Postgraduate Course Development
  • Best Instructor Award, Singapore Management University MBA Program

Impact and Engagement


  • Advisory Board, AACSB Council for Asia Pacific (2019-2020)
  • Board of Directors, Singapore Civil Service College (2017-2020)
  • Board of Directors, International Consortium for Executive Development Research (2015-2019)
  • Board of Directors, Strategic Solutions International, APL (2007-2015)


  • Advisory Board, Young Entrepreneurs Development Council, Hong Kong (2007-2008)
  • Advisory Board, QUEST Women Leadership Council (2016-2019)
  • Board of Directors, Singapore Sports Council/Rollersports Federation (2014-2018)


  • Invited Keynote Speaker, AMBA Conference – Asia Pacific, Melbourne
  • Invited Keynote Speaker, Great Place to Work Singapore Awards, Singapore
  • Invited Keynote Speaker, Human Capital Summit, Hyderabad
  • Interview on Channel News Asia, regarding human capital in Asia
  • Chairman and Host, Asia CEO Forum, invitation-only conference
  • Invited Conference Speaker/Moderator, Singapore Human Capital Summit
  • Invited Keynote Speaker, India National HRD Conference, Mumbai
  • Interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” live broadcast on building leadership in Asia