KLI Board Member Spotlight: Andrew McGregor P’15
By Jeremy Anderson ’19
Mr. McGregor is currently an active investor and mentor for regional firms in Colorado. He serves on both the Board of Directors for Rockies Venture Club, and as an industry advisor for the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network. Prior to becoming an investor and mentor, Mr. McGregor served as President, COO, and CMDO for international design and manufacturing firms such as Herman Miller Inc. and Knoll International. Fortune Magazine cited firms under his leadership on the list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” and as “One of the Most Admired” for multiple years. Mr. McGregor received his undergraduate degree in Psychology and Pre-Med from the University of Texas at Austin, and completed postgraduate work at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business.
With extensive experience in the professional world, Mr. McGregor understands how effective leadership can change the trajectory of a business or nonprofit, believing it to be a key factor in the success of any career or organization. In business, he views leadership as establishing a collaborative culture and a joint expectation of performance and believes leaders should portray a consistent, clear message while continuously reevaluating and learning.
The topic of leadership development was a regular dinner conversation between Mr. McGregor’s wife, Lynn, a clinical psychotherapist, and their son Charles. Charles ’15 is a Claremont McKenna College graduate, who majored in Biophysics, performed research at KLI for Professor Ron Riggio, and counts Professor Jay Conger as a mentor.
Inspired by working with Peter Drucker and Peter Senge early in his own career, Mr. McGregor wishes to continue and expand upon KLI’s mission to create students who are ready to lead both here in the US and abroad, especially in the emerging industries of information technology and bioscience. He believes that CMC can teach students “to view the role of leadership as a translator” between business and finance, and science and technology.
“Biotechnology and information technology are both such rapidly expanding fields and the organizations they create or influence need future leadership. What business or not-for-profit isn’t impacted by technology? Technology is enabling change on multiple dimensions. Being located with strong ties throughout the West Coast presents a dramatic opportunity for CMC and the Claremont Consortium to more aggressively go into this sector to unlock opportunity for capable future leaders.”
Mr. McGregor asserts that it is imperative that students view leadership as cross-disciplinary and their coursework should reflects this. He will work with CMC and KLI to increase collaboration, as initiated by CMC President Chodosh, across CMC’s institutes and departments to provide coursework that bridges academic silos common in other liberal arts colleges.
During his first KLI advisory board meeting in October, Mr. McGregor was impressed by the comfortably confident leadership and interaction under new board chairman, Douglas Peterson ‘80 P’14 P’15. The members of the board, emerging from a diverse yet balanced set of backgrounds, were cohesive in their desire to serve the student body of CMC through KLI. They candidly understood where there is opportunity for improvement, and all genuinely hoped to engage more directly with students and collaborate further with other CMC research institutes and academic disciplines. The Board discussed enabling KLI and CMC to continue to differentiate itself from other liberal arts colleges through focus on practical skills and leadership across the private, public, and social sectors. Mr. McGregor is confident that together, KLI and CMC, will provide the kind of experiences that Former President Stark and Henry Kravis recognized most students were waiting until graduate school to experience.
Mr. McGregor was also impressed with Peter Uvin, CMC’s Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty. “Peter truly understood the difference between CMC and other top tier liberal arts schools. Coming from his experience at Amherst, Peter immediately recognized that leadership is an integral part of the CMC brand.”
In three years, Mr. McGregor hopes KLI will represent Jack Stark and Henry Kravis’ joint plan to be a “premier academic center for the promotion and understanding of responsible, innovative leadership and to provide unique opportunities for CMC students to develop as outstanding real world leaders in the public, private and social sectors.” If CMC conducted a survey of major graduate schools and businesses, Mr. McGregor would want them to recognize CMC as one of the only liberal arts schools in which students gain leadership skills across all disciplines, and as providing leaders who demonstrate respect and understanding for those they lead.
“It is imperative that leaders know and listen to the talented people they lead. It’s clearly not just about the leader, but also about understanding and respecting who’s being led. People will eventually know if you are genuine or not.”
Mr. McGregor, with his peers on the Board, wants to create an environment where undergraduate students are curious and comfortable enough to explore in order to build a foundation of cross-disciplinary experience. He urges students to take their liberal arts foundation, learn from KLI research on leadership, and seek out internships to build real confidence as a future leader. Mr. McGregor looks forward to his work with and on behalf of KLI and CMC.