Academic Steering Committee

Emeritus offers management education programs in collaboration with the executive education divisions of MIT Sloan, Columbia Business School Executive Education, and Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. The founding academic institutions play a pivotal role in establishing the academic rigor of Emeritus. Each founding academic institution is represented in the Academic Steering Committee, which has oversight into the academic matters of Emeritus.

Peter Hirst

Senior Associate Dean

MIT Sloan

Peter Hirst leads the team of professionals who partner with clients and faculty at the MIT Sloan School of Management to develop, design, and deliver innovative executive education programs for individuals and companies. Formerly CEO of the commercialization, consulting, and executive education business of the London School of Economics, he has over 20 years of experience in international strategy, technology consulting, and organizational development. Peter has also served as a director and board adviser to businesses and non-profit organizations on three continents. He is a past president of the British American Business Council of New England, for which he currently serves as a board director, and a founding member of its Energy and Environment and hi-tech Committees. Peter earned a PhD from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, for research in plasma physics and microwave engineering.

Punam Keller

Associate Dean for Innovation and Growth

Tuck School of Business At Dartmouth

A behavior change expert, Punam Anand Keller works with companies, foundations, and government agencies that are interested in changing health and saving behaviors. With a PhD in Marketing from Northwestern University, she currently serves as the Charles Henry Jones Third Century Professor of Management and is a member of the Cancer Control Research Program at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Lebanon. Her current research focuses on the application of social marketing principles and behavioral theory to consumer and employee wellness programs and is supported by the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control, and the National Endowment for Financial Education. Punam also teaches Cause Marketing (marketing causes in for-profit organizations) and Social Marketing (marketing in governments and not-for-profit organizations). She is a recipient of an Award for designing effective health-related communications’ from the National Cancer Institute and an Award for designing effective retirement savings communications from the National Endowment for Financial Education.

Bob Halperin

Academic Director and Chairman of the Academi Board


Bob brings to Emeritus two decades of executive education, consulting, and senior management experience including leadership roles at Harvard Business School (Managing Director, Custom Executive Education), Babson College (Associate Dean), MIT Sloan School of Management (Executive Director of Executive Education), and Young Presidents Organization (Chief Education Officer).

From 2010 to 2013 Bob served as executive director of, MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence, where he is currently a research affiliate. The Center explores how people and computers can be connected so that — collectively — they can act more intelligently than any individuals or groups have done before. Bob has facilitated leadership development programs with Harvard Business Publishing, MIT Sloan School’s Innovation Period, Wharton Executive Education, Dartmouth Tuck Executive Education, Northeastern University’s Graduate Program in Leadership, and the Irish Management Institute, and has presented on leadership development and organizational change topics to executive and academic audiences in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Bob received his MBA from Harvard Business School and his BA in economics from Brandeis University.

Ashwin Damera

Executive Director and Member of the Academic Board


Ashwin is passionate about making quality education accessible to the next generation of leaders across the world. At Emeritus, he focuses his efforts on university outreach and academic collaborations. Additionally, he spearheads the Institute’s strategy and expansion in global markets. Ashwin started his career at Citigroup and spent many years there in multiple roles. He did a brief but eye-opening internship for Dave Barger (current CEO of jetBlue Airways) in New York. In 2005, he co-founded Travelguru, a company that was later acquired by Travelocity in 2009. Since then, he has been working in the higher education space. An angel investor and advisor to multiple startups and entrepreneurs, Ashwin holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.