Accomplished practitioner, educator, and thought-leader Karen Hebert-Maccaro has been named the CEO of Babson Executive Education.
Over the course of her career in industry and academia, Hebert-Maccaro has developed extensive expertise in the areas of talent management, leadership development, influence and change management, and innovative pedagogical design. Most recently, she held leadership roles in learning product and content development, talent management and learning and development in the media, healthcare technology, and biotech industries. She earned her PhD from Boston College, her EdM from Boston University, and her BA from the University of Massachusetts.
“Whether it’s been individually teaching or coaching a small group or in a one-on-one setting, or whether it’s been in roles where I think about an entire organization, I’ve been committed to this notion of helping individuals and organizations grow over my entire career,” she said. “I can’t think of a better place to continue with that work than within the context of Babson Executive Education.”
“Higher education, and executive education in particular, are undergoing significant disruption,” said Provost Mark Rice. “Karen’s experience and skillset make her an excellent fit to lead Babson Executive Education as CEO. She is a creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial leader with a track record of successfully managing turnarounds.”
Prior to her corporate roles, Hebert-Maccaro spent 15 years in academia and independent consulting, including at Babson’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business.
“I’m thrilled to be returning to Babson to lead executive education after nearly a decade in other academic and industry posts,” said Hebert-Maccaro. “I believe Babson is in a uniquely powerful position to bring the skills of entrepreneurial leadership and adaptability to a workforce who need it more than ever before.”
Performance Adjacent Learning
As a certified executive coach, Hebert-Maccaro has spent many years coaching mid- and senior-level leaders inside organizations across different industry verticals. From that experience and her time designing learning products and programs for corporations and individuals, she has come to believe that learning itself has evolved—and the professional development industry must evolve along with it.
“Learning is no longer solely programmatic or event-based. It’s become what I call performance adjacent,” she said, defining performance adjacent as within the workflow itself, not solely confined within classroom walls. “It’s learning what you need to know, when you need to know it—and technology has made it possible for learning to be truly ubiquitous. Learning can and should happen all the time, continuously adjacent to work itself to support the individual and the organization.”
She aims to bring those lessons to the corporate executives and entrepreneurs who turn to Babson Executive Education for help developing an entrepreneurial mindset to address challenges and identify opportunities for future breakthrough growth.
“The opportunity to build upon Babson’s already strong foundation of excellence in professional development is exciting,” she said. “This is especially true at this point in time, when lifelong learning is no longer a nice-to-have but is now a need-to-have for the success of an individual’s career and for the success of the organizations in which they work.”
“There is real opportunity to take all of the capability inherent in Babson and bring it to the world in new ways. I want to be part of that.”
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