Anne L. Christensen, Professor of Accounting in the Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship at Montana State University
Luncheon Speaker, Wednesday, August 9, 12:00pm–1:45pm
Pathways to a Sustainable Future

Anne L. Christensen served as Director of the Master of Professional Accountancy Program, Director of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a member of the Graduate Council, and on the University Service Learning Advisory Board. She was previously a member of the faculty at Portland State University. Christensen earned her Ph.D. from the University of Utah.

Christensen has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals including Issues in Accounting Education, The Journal of the American Taxation AssociationATA Journal of Legal Tax ResearchAdvances in Accounting EducationJournal of Business Ethics, Financial Accountability and Management, and Advances in Taxation. She has served on the Editorial Board for Issues in Accounting Education, Accounting Horizons, The Journal of the American Taxation Association, and Journal of Accounting Education.

Christensen served the AAA as Director-Focusing on Segments (2012-15) and on AAA’s Sharpening Our Vision Taskforce I and II (2013-14). She is a member of AAA’s ABO, ATA, and TLC Sections. She served on the AAA Council (2008-09 and 2001-03), as President (2010-11) and Program Chair (2009-10) of the Western Region, as President (2001-02), Vice President (1999-2000), and Trustee (2010-12 and 2002-04) of ATA, as Chair of ATA’s Publication Committee (2011-12), ATA/Deloitte Teaching Innovation Awards Committee (2008-09), Accreditation & Curriculum Issues Committee (2006-07), Awards Committee (2004-05), and Nominations Committee (2003-04). She has served on the AAA Strategic Region Leader Committee as Co-Chair (2014-15), and as a member of the Council Committee on the Awards Committee (2013-14), Deloitte Wildman Award Committee (2010-11), AAA Journals Task Force (2004-05), and AAA Nominations Committee (2003-04).

Christensen has twenty-eight years’ teaching experience and has received twelve awards for academic excellence including Montana State University’s President’s Excellence in Teaching Award and President’s Award for Excellence in Service Learning; the College’s Distinguished Faculty Award and Dean’s Award for Outstanding Performance in Service; and the ATA’s Ray M. Sommerfeld Outstanding Tax Educator Award and Outstanding Service Award.


Robert S. Kaplan, Senior Fellow and Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development, Emeritus, Harvard Business School
Plenary Speaker, Monday, August 7, 8:15am–9:45am
Reforming Academic Performance Evaluation

Kaplan is the co-developer of both activity-based costing and the Balanced Scorecard (BSC). His research, teaching, and consulting link cost and performance management systems to successful strategy execution. He currently works, with Michael Porter’s Value Based Health Care initiative, to introduce time-driven activity-based costing and value-based bundled payments that motivate the delivery of better patient outcomes at lower cost. He also is applying his strategy execution framework to help organizations create and implement shared value strategies that generate strong financial returns while transforming socio-economic conditions for residents of low-income communities.

Kaplan has authored or co-authored 14 books and more than 175 papers including 25 in Harvard Business Review. Recent books include The Execution Premium: Linking Strategy to Operations for Competitive Advantage, the fifth Balanced Scorecard book co-authored with David Norton, and Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing with Steve Anderson. His previous books with Norton include Alignment, Strategy Maps, named as one of the top ten business books of 2004 by Strategy & Business and amazon.com; The Strategy-Focused Organization, named by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young as the best international business book for year 2000; and The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action, which has been translated into 24 languages and won the 2001 Wildman Medal from the American Accounting Association (AAA) for its impact on practice. He also co-authored Cost and EffectImplementing Activity-Based Cost Management, and Relevance Lost: The Rise and Fall of Management Accounting, which received the 2007 AAA Seminal Contributions to Literature Award.

Kaplan joined the HBS faculty in 1984 after spending 16 years on the faculty of the Tepper School at Carnegie-Mellon University, where he served as Dean from 1977 to 1983. He received a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from M.I.T., a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Cornell University, and several honorary doctorates.

Elected to the Accounting Hall of Fame in 2006, Kaplan received the AAA Outstanding Accounting Educator Award in 1988, and Lifetime Contribution Awards from the Management Accounting Section of the AAA in 2006 and the Institute of Management Accountants in 2008. The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK) granted the 1994 CIMA Award for "Outstanding Contributions to the Accountancy Profession." Kaplan speaks globally on strategy execution, and cost and performance management.


S. P. Kothari, Gordon Y Billard Professor of Accounting and Finance, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Tuesday August 8, 8:30am–9:45am
The Governance Role of Accounting Information: Challenges Facing Users, Producers, and Standard Setters 

S. P. Kothari is the Gordon Y Billard Professor of Accounting and Finance and former Deputy Dean at the Sloan School of Management.  He also serves as the Faculty Director of the MIT-India Program. 

Previously, he served as global head of equity research for Barclays Global Investors (BGI), responsible for research supporting BGI’s active equity strategies, from 2008-09.  The actively managed equity portfolio had in excess of $100 billion in assets, and the research team was comprised of approximately 50 PhDs based in San Francisco, London, and Sydney.

Earlier, Kothari was Head of the Department of Economics, Finance, and Accounting at the MIT Sloan School of Management.  This department included approximately 75 professors and lecturers and an administrative staff.

Kothari’s highly cited research focuses on financial reporting and valuation, asset allocation, explaining the diversity in international accounting practices, use of employee stock options for compensating executives and accounting for stock options, evaluating investment performance, and corporate uses of derivatives for hedging and speculation.  The American Accounting Association (AAA) honored his work with the 2014 Notable Contributions to Accounting Literature Award.  For the past 20 years, Kothari has served as an editor of the Journal of Accounting & Economics, a world-renowned academic research journal in accounting.  He is an expert on economic policy issues and has written numerous opinion-page editorials in The Economic Times.

Kothari has frequently served as a senior consultant with Charles River Associates (www.crai.com), a business-economics and litigation-support consulting firm. He has consulted with many large corporations, including leading U.S. and international banks and asset management companies, Australian television broadcast corporations, U.S. steel companies, E&Y, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the U.S. Department of Justice. Kothari served on the Board of VVisions (http://vvisions.com/) from 1998-2004 and is currently on the Board of FIA Global (http://www.fiaglobal.com/).

Kothari received his BE (Hons.) from the Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani; his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; and his PhD from The University of Iowa.  He has also received an honorary doctorate, Doctor Honoris Causa, from the University of Technology Sydney (May 2013) and a Distinguished Alumnus Award from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (2013).


Steven Pinker
Plenary Speaker, Wednesday, August 9, 8:30am–9:45am
Why The World is Not Declining

Steven Pinker asks audacious questions about the human mind—then boldly sets out to answer them. Named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in The World, he’s a brilliant speaker, is enormously popular in the media, and highly respected in scientific circles. And for good reason. 

Known for his verve, his wit, and his profound ideas—many of them explained by referencing pop culture—Steven Pinker helps non-specialists understanding the science behind human thought and action. One of the world’s leading cognitive scientists, Pinker translates his groundbreaking research into articles (he’s written for The New York Times and Nature) and books that are accessible to the general reader. His books include new title The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century (about the power of communication, language, and good writing), The Better Angels of Our Nature, which garnered a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year award and was chosen for Mark Zuckerberg’s book club, and The Blank Slate and How The Mind Works, both bestsellers, and both finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. His acclaimed “language” series includes The Language Instinct, Words and RulesThe Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature, and The Sense of Style.

A native of Montreal, Pinker is Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and has also taught at Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has won a number of teaching prizes, and was named among Newsweek’s “100 Americans for the Next Century.” His research on visual cognition and the psychology of language has received numerous awards, including the Troland Award from the National Academy of Sciences.


Catherine Schrand, Celia Z. Moh Professor and Professor of Accounting at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Plenary Speaker, Monday, August 7, 8:15am–9:45am
Transforming our Publication Portfolio

Catherine Schrand is the Celia Z. Moh Professor and Professor of Accounting at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where she started her academic career in 1994.  She is the Vice Dean of Wharton Doctoral Programs and the Faculty Director of Undergraduate Research and Scholars Programs.  She has a B.B.A. from the University of Michigan and a M.B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.  She was a staff auditor and audit manager for KPMG Peat Marwick.

Schrand’s research interests are in firms’ risk management practices, the effects of disclosure on a firm’s cost of capital, and earnings quality.  She has published research articles in academic journals including The Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, and Review of Accounting Studies.  She has also published practitioner-oriented articles based on her research for Risk magazine and several textbooks and practitioner handbooks.  She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Accounting and Economics, Journal of Accounting Research, Journal of Financial Reporting, and Journal of Financial Services Research, and she is an ad hoc reviewer for numerous accounting and finance journals.  She is the co-author of a monograph on earnings quality for the CFA Institute (formerly the Association for Investment Management and Research (AIMR)) and for the Journal of Accounting and Economics.

Schrand is the past president of the American Accounting Association’s (AAA) Financial Accounting Reporting Section and has served on or chaired several committees of the AAA, including the Financial Accounting Standards Committee. She was on the founding committee of the Journal of Financial Reporting and the editor of the inaugural issue.  She has served on 17 dissertation committees at the Wharton School (Chair of ten).


Daniel Simons, Psychologist and Author of The Invisible Gorilla
Luncheon Speaker, Tuesday, August 8, 12:00pm–1:45pm
The Gorilla in the Operating Room

Daniel Simons is a professor of psychology, advertising, and business administration at the University of Illinois, where he heads the Visual Cognition Laboratory. His research explores the limits of awareness and memory, the reasons why we often are unaware of those limits, and the implications of such limits for our personal and professional lives. He is best known for his research that show people are far less aware of their visual surroundings than they think.

Simons received his B.A. from Carleton College and his Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Cornell University. He then spent five years on the faculty at Harvard University before being recruited to Illinois in 2002. He has published more than 100 articles for professional journals, and his work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research. He is a Fellow and Charter Member of the Association for Psychological Science, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, and has received many awards for his research and teaching, including the 2003 Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association.

In addition to his scholarly research, he is the co-author (with Christopher Chabris) of the NY Times bestselling book, The Invisible Gorilla. He has penned articles for the NY Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune (among others), and he appears regularly on radio and television. His work has been exhibited in more than a dozen science museums worldwide and includes some of the best-known demonstrations in psychology. You can learn more about him and his work at www.dansimons.com.


Richard G. Sloan, Visiting Professor of Accounting in the Leventhal School of Accounting at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California
Presidential Scholar, Tuesday, August 8, 8:30am–9:45am
Fundamental Analysis Redux

For the 2017-2018 academic year, Richard Sloan is Visiting Professor of Accounting at the University of Southern California and is on leave from the University of California Berkeley, where he holds the Emile R. Niemela Chair in Accounting and International Business. From 2006 to 2009, Sloan was a managing director in equity research at Barclays Global Investors. He has also served on the faculties of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. While at the University of Michigan, Professor Sloan was the founding director of the John R. and Georgene M. Tozzi Electronic Business and Finance Center.

Professor Sloan’s research focuses on the role of accounting information in investment decisions. His research has received numerous awards, including the American Accounting Association’s Seminal Contributions to the Accounting Literature Award (2016), the American Accounting Association’s Distinguished Contributions to the Accounting Literature Award (2010) and the American Accounting Association’s Notable Contributions to the Accounting Literature Award (2001, 2009). He is the coauthor (with Russell Lundholm) of Equity Valuation and Analysis, published by McGraw-Hill Irwin and now in its third edition. He is also an editor of the Review of Accounting Studies and an associate editor of the Journal of Financial Economics. Professor Sloan holds a PhD in Accounting from the University of Rochester and a BCom(Hons) from the University of Western Australia.


Robert J. Swieringa, Professor Emeritus of Accounting, Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean Emeritus, The Johnson School, Cornell University
Plenary Speaker, Monday, August 7, 8:15am–9:45am
Building Connections between Accounting Research and Practice

Professor Swieringa earned a BA degree in economics from Augustana College, a MBA in accounting and economics from the University of Denver, and a PhD in Accounting and complex organizations from the University of Illinois. Swieringa's teaching interests are in the areas of corporate financial reporting, corporate governance, and the use of accounting information for decision making and performance evaluation.

Swieringa was a member of the accounting faculty at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (1968 – 1974) and at Johnson (1974 – 1985) before serving as a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) from 1986 to 1996. FASB is the key policy-making organization for accounting issues in the United States, and Swieringa gained wide visibility and influence in the corporate community through his work with the group. Swieringa was a professor in the practice of accounting at the Yale School of Management (1996 – 1997) before returning to Johnson in 1997 as the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean from 1997 to 2007 and professor of accounting from 1997-2015. Swieringa was a visiting scholar at Harvard Business School in fall 2007.

An outstanding teacher and lecturer, Swieringa won the Justice Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching at Cornell and has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his scholarly and professional work. His research interests are in corporate financial reporting, corporate governance, and behavioral accounting.

Professor Swieringa is a past chair of the board of directors of the Graduate Management Admission Council, which provides the GMAT, the most widely used assessment test in graduate business studies. He is a member of the American Accounting Association and is a past president of its Financial Accounting and Reporting Section. He was a member of the Board of Directors of General Electric (2002 – 2016), a member of the Board of Trustees of Augustana College (2007 – 2015), and has been a member of the Board of Managers of the Partners Group Private Equity Fund (USA) since 2009.