November 15, 2023
On November 14th, the French-American Foundation—United States hosted a Transatlantic Forum dinner at Monterey, a brasserie in Midtown Manhattan. We welcomed Forum members and guests for a discussion with Frank Brown, Advisory Director at General Atlantic and Former Dean of INSEAD business school.
FAF President Caroline Naralasetty presented the evening’s moderator, Alexandre Chenesseau, Managing Director at Evercore and founding member of the Transatlantic Forum. Alexandre introduced Frank Brown and guided the conversation over an enjoyable dinner with the group.
Frank recounted his journey as Dean of the international business school from 2006 until 2011, and as a leader in the private sector. He reflected on the many overlaps between the demands and responsibilities of the two professions and shared his thoughts on the skills and techniques needed to become a transcultural leader. While at INSEAD, Dean Brown boosted the school’s profit margin, deepened INSEAD’s international impact by opening a campus in Abu Dhabi, and grew the alumni network. Of his proudest accomplishments, Frank named his work to advance meritocracy on campus, especially for faculty members. Frank recounted his memories of implementing a faculty evaluation system. This system was put in place under the guidance of staff input and worked to develop close one-on-one relationships and encourage a more collaborative educational community.
During a variegated Q&A session, Forum members and guests – including a few INSEAD graduates – touched on topics such as ideological divisiveness on college campuses and crisis management. Frank stressed the importance of setting up infrastructure for communication during the early stages of relationship building. He explained that with this preemptive structure in place, unexpected situations become easier to navigate, as there is a preexisting culture of trust and open communication. The conversation also touched on the diversity of MBA programs, an issue that Frank stressed was of the utmost importance. “To build a global team,” he imparted to the Forum as the evening came to a close, “you have to build a diverse team.”
Thank you, Frank, for spending the evening with us. The discussion was riveting and thought-provoking. We are also grateful for the presence of our audience of Forum members and guests, without whom the engaging conversation would not have been possible.