University of San Francisco and the Commonwealth Club of California to Co-Host Katherine M. Gehl and Michael E. Porter in Conversation on Political Innovation and Economics on March 29

SAN FRANCISCO (March 12, 2019) -- The University of San Francisco School of Management and the Commonwealth Club of California will co-host former CEO and Political Innovation Activist Katherine M. Gehl and Economist and Harvard Business School Professor Michael E. Porter on Friday, March 29th from 12:00 to 1:10 p.m. in discussion on the topic of “Why Competition in the Politics Industry is Failing America - A Strategy for Reinvigorating Our Democracy.” The ticketed event will take place in the Taube Family Auditorium at the Commonwealth Club, located at 110 The Embarcadero in San Francisco.

With the abysmal results coming out of Washington D.C. almost every week, many Americans are left wondering if things will get any better for the country. Renowned business leader Katherine Gehl and Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter will share their thoughts on America’s political system and discuss how the country should refocus its political system through the Gehl Porter politics industry theory. They will maintain that our political problems are not due to a single cause but rather to a failure of the nature of the political competition that has been created—a systems problem.

“Gehl and Porter together addressing the complex issues we face in today’s political landscape is of vital importance,” stated Elizabeth Davis, dean of the USF School of Management. “I’ve used Michael Porter’s theories in my strategy classes for years, and it would be hard to find an MBA student unfamiliar with his work. Likewise, Katherine Gehl’s expertise in political reform given her powerful work as an entrepreneur exemplifies real innovation.

Katherine M. Gehl is a business leader, author and speaker. In 2018, she co-founded Democracy Found, a Wisconsin-based initiative mobilizing a bipartisan group of leaders to implement electoral innovations in Wisconsin. She was president and CEO of Gehl Foods, a $250 million high-tech food manufacturing company in Wisconsin, where she led a transformational growth strategy, receiving multiple awards, before selling the company in 2015—in part to dedicate more time to political reform.

Gehl’s career includes roles in the private and public sectors including at Oracle Corporation, Bernstein Investment Research and Management, Mayor Richard M. Daley’s office at the city of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame and holds an MA from Catholic University and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Michael E. Porter is an economist, researcher, author, advisor, speaker and teacher. Throughout his lifetime career at Harvard Business School, he has brought economic theory and strategy concepts to bear on many of the most challenging problems facing corporations, economies and societies, including market competition and company strategy, economic development, the environment and health care. He is the author of 19 books and over 130 articles and is the most cited scholar today in economics and business.

Porter graduated from Princeton University and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a doctorate from Harvard’s department of economics.

DATE: Friday, March 29, 2019
TIME: 11 a.m. check-in, 12 p.m. program
PLACE: The Commonwealth Club, 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco, 94105

  • Premium (tickets include priority seating in the first few rows)  | $45
  • General Admission: Nonmember | $30
  • General Admission: Member | $20
  • USF Students (must present current USF Student ID Card at the door)  | $15

Prices subject to change

Media interested in attending the event are required to RSVP by contacting USF Media Relations Specialist Kellie Samson, at (415) 422-2697 or

About the USF School of Management

Founded in 1925, University of San Francisco’s School of Management is on the forefront of educating the next generation of conscious, mindful business leaders. Each year those students join the over 40,000 School of Management alumni around the world to create ethical and innovative change in the private, public, and non-profit management sectors. The School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Visit the USF School of Management website for more information.

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world’s most innovative and diverse cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco’s first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student’s passion for social justice and a desire to “Change the World From Here.” For more information, visit USF Home Page.