Heather E. Cameron has been installed as the Michael B. Kaufman Professor of Practice in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Washington University in St. Louis. A ceremony and reception to mark the occasion were held April 3 in the Brown Lounge of Brown Hall.
Cameron’s primary research interests are focused on comparative urban education and development and social impact strategies. She develops and teaches a transdisciplinary curriculum in social innovation and entrepreneurship in the Brown School, where she also advises master’s and doctoral students and builds career and enterprise pipelines.
The endowed position was made possible by a generous commitment in 2015 from Kaufman, a member of the National Council of the Brown School, from which he graduated with a master’s degree in social work, with an emphasis on social policy and administration. He is the founder of KBT Partners, which facilitates the successful entry of disruptive technologies into the health-care industry via innovative software solutions. He also was a founding partner of SDK Healthcare Information Systems, a company he launched with his father that provided computer-based information systems to hospitals.
“Michael Kaufman is a great friend of Washington University — the Brown School in particular — and this gift is just one example of his generous spirit,” said Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. “Through his leadership as a member of the Brown School National Council and his mentorship of countless aspiring entrepreneurs, he has shared his time, talents and treasure with the university in myriad ways, and we are profoundly grateful.”
“It is a pleasure to be able to recognize Heather Cameron as the Kaufman Professor of Practice,” said Mary M. McKay, the Neidorff Family and Centene Corporation Dean of the Brown School. “Her scholarship is inspiring and impactful, and our students have benefited greatly from her guidance and expertise. This professorship is a well-deserved honor.”
The founder of numerous award-winning social enterprises in the fields of education and sports for community development, Cameron has served on the faculties of Free University of Berlin and the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. In 2010, she received an Ashoka Fellowship in recognition of her work as a social innovator. Her other honors include the German Federal Chancellor’s Special Prize from Start Social and a BMW Foundation Responsible Leader Award. In 2009, the German Association of University Professors and Lecturers named her Professor of the Year for her extraordinary teaching, engagement and innovation.
Cameron earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in social and political thought at York University, Toronto, and completed postdoctoral studies on technology and public space at the Technical University of Berlin.
She is the founder of Boxgirls, an international organization committed to developing strong girls and women and to creating positive social change in communities through sports. She has worked around the world as an adviser and evaluator of development and education projects, including recently for the Ministry of Education in Afghanistan and UN Women, in New York.
About Michael B. Kaufman
In addition to his role on the Brown School National Council, Kaufman also serves as an adviser to the Questrom School of Business at his alma mater, Boston University, where he earned a bachelor’s and a master’s in business administration and founded a mentorship program that matches health-care MBA students with CEOs of organizations in their fields of interest. After earning his master’s degree in social work from the Brown School, he led SDK for 20 years, growing the company to a position of leadership in health-care information systems. In 1997, SDK was a charter company in the formation of Eclipsys Corp., a public entity later acquired by Allscripts Corp.
At Eclipsys, Kaufman led corporate development, acquiring and partnering with numerous early-stage companies, fostering innovation across the health-care information spectrum. This included the automation of both clinical and financial departments as well as the incorporation of new technologies, including mobile and internet devices.
Kaufman joined the Brown School National Council at the beginning of former Dean Edward F. Lawlor’s tenure and has since played an active role with the school, sharing his passion for nurturing and mentoring entrepreneurs with innovative ideas in order to help them achieve success in the marketplace. Throughout his career, he has remained focused on organizations with strong social missions, particularly in health care.
Kaufman’s wife, Claudia, is an oil painter and serves as a marketing consultant, following a long career as a marketing executive in health care IT. The couple has two daughters: Amy, a graduate of the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California and an entertainment reporter for the Los Angeles Times; and Kim, a 2011 graduate of the College of Arts & Sciences at Washington University who earned her law degree from Boston University and is an attorney with Proskauer Rose in New York.