Robert Mefford

Robert Mefford


Full-Time Faculty


Robert Mefford, Professor of Finance, brings a breadth of international experience to USF, with research emphasis on global supply chains, lean production systems, behavioral finance, and the productivity of global enterprises. Professor Mefford's business acumen is founded on senior management positions with leading health care providers including Blue Cross and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan.

In studying the productivity of off-shore operations, Professor Mefford has explored how management systems based on lean production methods can facilitate both an ethical global supply chain and sustainability. He believes these practices have the potential to minimize sweatshop working conditions and environmental pollution, while yielding substantial gains in quality, productivity, technology transfer and competitiveness. His pioneering work examines the critical role of information technology and the CEO in successful implementation of these new productivity paradigms. Professor Mefford's management development programs have guided executives in global enterprises from Hyundai Precision Industries, China Resources, Guangdong Enterprises, Sanwa Bank. and other firms under the auspices of USF and the University of California.

To Dr. Mefford, the Bay Area represents a nexus of international business initiatives that have inspired his academic, professional and personal explorations. His credentials extend beyond California, having started as a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia, including teaching assignments at the Indian School of Management, Copenhagen Business School, and Korea University. Professor Mefford has been a Visiting Professor at the Haas Business School at UC, Berkeley since 1987 and has presented papers at various professional conferences throughout Latin America, the Far East and Europe.


  • Ph.D., International Business, University of California, Berkeley, 1983
  • M.A., Economics, University of California, Berkeley, 1981
  • M.B.A., Management, University of California, Los Angeles, 1966
  • B.S., Industrial Management, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1965

Awards & Distinctions

  • Assistant Professor, Northeastern University at Boston, 1982 - 1984

  • Assistant Manager, Kaiser Health Plan, Los Angeles, CA, 1976 - 1979

  • Operations Manager, Blue Cross of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, 1973 - 1975.

  • Peace Corps Volunteer, Bucaramanga, Colombia, 1970 - 1973

Selected Publications

  • "The Evolution of Sustainability in a Global Firm and Its Supply Chain" forthcoming in the Journal of Management and Sustainability V.6, No. 2, 2016

  • "Impact of Information Technology on Vendor Objectives, Capabilities and Competences in Contract Electronic Manufacturing," International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 139, No. 1, 2012 (with Zoran Perunovic and Mads Christoffersen)

  • "Offshoring, Lean Production, and a Sustainable Global Supply Chain," European Journal of International Management, 2010

  • "Increasing Productivity in Global Firms: the CEO Challenge," Journal of International Management, 2009