Multifaceted gift supports future leaders in global business … – Georgetown University

Joe Baratta, at center, was a commencement speaker for the McDonough School of Business in 2019. His remarks highlight the “hard work, humility, and honesty” of Georgetown graduates. After the ceremony, he received the Dean’s Medal for his service to the school.
Joseph (B’93) and Abigail (SFS’96) Baratta have made an $11 million gift to the McDonough School of Business, building on the foundation of previous gifts by the Baratta family and the success of the Georgetown McDonough Global Business Initiative.
This multifaceted gift supports Georgetown McDonough’s ambition to become the world’s premier destination to study global business.
“Georgetown is deeply committed to global business education,” says President John J. DeGioia. “There is no better place to study at the intersection of business economics, policy, and international affairs than right here at Georgetown.”
The gift comprises three parts: $5.3 million to endow, enhance, and enlarge the Global Business Fellows program; $3.7 million to name, endow, and support the Baratta Center for Global Business; and $2 million to establish the Baratta International Business Curriculum Endowed Innovation Fund. 
Reflecting the donors’ conviction that providing students with real-world connections and engagement in global business will best prepare them for leadership, the gift supports academic programming, international travel, and interdisciplinary research in collaboration with Georgetown’s other schools. 
“Abbie and Joe care deeply for our students and for the experiences our students have here at Georgetown as they seek to find their purpose, their calling in our world,” adds DeGioia.
Interdisciplinary learning with real-world applications
Since 2015, the Global Business Fellows program has allowed student cohorts to spend their junior and senior years gaining a sophisticated understanding of global challenges, developing quantitative analysis skills, and obtaining practical experience in preparation for leadership positions.
The Barattas’ gift will transform and grow the program to include up to 80 students. Fellows will receive a curated menu of academic offerings ranging from global marketing to international political economy. Each participating student will also be required to complete a global residency program.
“All Fellows will have the opportunity to do a consulting project in another country,” explains Ricardo Ernst, Baratta Chair in Global Business. “For example, this year we are going to Spain and they’re going to be working with the management of Uber Spain. We like our students to get hands-on experience solving real global business problems.”
Fellows will build relationships with peers, industry leaders, and alumni of the program through networking and mentorship opportunities such as lectures and small-group events. 
“Our Global Business Fellows apply to the program because it gives them a real focus, a real embrace of both the opportunities and the challenges, and therefore the solutions for global business,” adds Paul Almeida, dean and William R. Berkley chair at Georgetown McDonough.
Connections and innovations for a changing world
Building on the success of the Georgetown McDonough Global Business Initiative, the new gift will also establish the Baratta Center for Global Business. In addition to helping connect students to industry, the center seeks to be the world’s leader in understanding global value chains.
“The Baratta Center for Global Business will act as a bridge between the business environment and the academic population. We want to concentrate on something that is very relevant, ” explains Ernst. “At Georgetown we solve real problems.”
The Baratta International Business Curriculum Endowed Innovation Fund will allow Georgetown McDonough to respond to a constantly changing business landscape with pedagogical innovation. The fund will support four grants a year to select faculty members so that they can develop new courses and experiences to prepare students to succeed in the current global business environment. 
Georgetown McDonough’s curriculum will now be able to nimbly adapt to current issues so that students are better equipped to lead in a fast-paced and ever-changing world. 
“We’ve always been a very important school for global business, but the world is changing. Global business is becoming more complex than ever before. And we have to not just keep up but lead education in this area,” says Dean Almeida.
Supporting Georgetown’s future
The Barattas have a long history of supporting undergraduate scholarships and experiential learning by establishing the Baratta Family Endowed Scholarship Fund, endowing a professorship in SFS, giving to the Wall Street Alliance Scholarship, Undergraduate Global Business Experience Current Use Fund, and more. 
In 2016, they established the Baratta Chair in Global Business, currently held by Ernst, and the Baratta Endowed Global Business Education Fund, which gives undergraduates the same international learning opportunities enjoyed by MBA candidates.
“I think this is the right time to expand the Global Business Fellows program because over the last decade, Georgetown has made real progress in interdisciplinary studies among the schools,” explains Joe Baratta, a current member of the Georgetown McDonough Board of Advisors and previous member of Georgetown University’s Board of Regents and Board of Directors.  “The conditions are now set for business school students to access the broader Georgetown curriculum and create what I hope will be the premier program for undergraduate business students.”
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