Henry Bradford has built a reputation as an authentic and inspiring leader in corporate strategy, finance and governance. And now, he’s joining the IE Community as the Associate Dean of the Bachelor in Business Administration, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to this dynamic role. With a deep conviction in the transformative power of education in society—matched by an impressive professional profile—Henry is ready to inspire and mold the next generation of innovative business leaders.
In a successful career spanning more than 20 years, Henry has held a range of roles across various areas of business: management and administration, banking, financial consulting, product management and, more recently, business education. An analysis of his professional life reveals a common theme: his passion to help others, inspire teams to transform organizations, and constantly challenge the status quo. For Henry, the greatest reward is watching those around him expand and achieve their goals.
As he steps into his new role, Henry hopes to promote ambitious new agendas and enhance the programs, activities and student experience within the Bachelor in Business Administration, all while crafting and implementing the program’s strategy for the future.
Meet Henry, the man behind the titles
Henry is a multifaceted individual with a strong grasp of the fundamentals of business. A Colombian by birth, his identity holds a unique Spanish flair, gained after a seven-year stint working in Spain in the late 1990s.
He completed his undergraduate studies in business administration at Colegio de Estudios Superiores de Administración, or CESA as it’s commonly known—one of the most prestigious institutions in Colombia. Henry’s academic path then brought him to IE University, where he went on to earn his MBA. Currently, he is a doctoral candidate in the school’s Doctor in Business Administration (DBA) program.
Henry describes his professional experience so far as “very diverse, both in terms of corporate positions and in interacting with a wide range of people.” His early years were spent in the financial sector where he held treasury and investment roles in banks including Citibank in both Bogotá and Spain, and BBVA in Bogotá. He has also worked as a manager for financial consulting at AFP Porvenir and is a member of various boards of directors—including organizations such as the Colombian Institute of Corporate Governance (ICGC), AMV Colombia, and many more.
In the last 12 years, he has steadily worked to make the shift from finance to education. Henry began this journey as the vice dean of CESA before moving on to serve as their rector for the past seven years. He has also grown to become an influential thought leader, speaking at conferences all over the world.
Throughout his professional life, Henry has been an ardent champion of people; helping them reach their potential and achieve their goals has been one of the highlights of his career. As a master of disruption, his work life is marked by organizational transformation and numerous instances of out-the-box thinking. His contributions to the world of business have earned him several accolades, including being recognized among the top 100 leaders of society in 2015, and among the top 500 business leaders by La Nota Económica in 2016.
Despite a busy career, Henry is a family man at heart, preferring to spend as much time as possible with his wife and daughters. Henry’s older daughter, Isabela, works at Amazon in Madrid while the younger one, Laura, is currently a second-year student pursuing the Dual Degree in Business Administration + Data & Business Analytics at IE University.
A new perspective
After seeing the positive impact education can have on the development of families, communities and countries at large, Henry firmly believes in its power to change the world. He is eager to demonstrate how synergies can be used to spark this transformation—a vital concept in an increasingly interconnected world and essential in the training of future-forward professionals.
Henry is driven by a desire to provide “future leaders with a high-quality business administration education within a global context.” For him, this includes sharpening their “fundamental principles and values” in order to develop professionals that can “contribute to the welfare of society and the progress of business worldwide.”
The number of students that take on the program, and the number of goals he aspires to achieve, make this new role a big challenge for Henry. However, he already has a clear three-point plan of action in place to help him along the way. He hopes to enhance the academic quality of the program while providing students with maximum flexibility; develop several concentrations, allowing students to focus their career on their main areas of interest and giving them advanced knowledge and skills; and strengthening their training in soft skills, essential to succeeding in today’s world of work.
Towards positive impact
Henry sees himself as a mentor along students’ journeys towards building the best version of themselves. For him, this role requires a focus on “developing a student-centered education, providing high-quality training from professionals of international stature, and ensuring a path that provides future leaders the tools to transform the world with a purpose.” He centers all this on three pillars aimed at enriching the student experience: career, purpose and impact.
Well aware that he would need a stellar team to make this possible, he appreciates the high-caliber and world-class faculty present at IE University. So far, he has noticed that every department involved with the Bachelor in Business Administration has proven its “commitment to supporting students in identifying their life goals and understanding their individual strengths and capabilities.” This, he says, will ensure that any student who passes through its programs has the right tools required to enter the world of work anywhere in the world and leave a lasting, positive impact.
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