St. Bonaventure University

Kearns Global Business Lecture Series


The annual Kearns Global Business Lecture Series brings industry leaders to campus to underscore the need for today's business students to develop a global mindset as they prepare to enter the work world.

Richard P. Kearns, retired chief administrative officer of Zurich Financial Services Group and a 1972 St. Bonaventure graduate, has four decades of experience in global markets, including 10 years in Switzerland as part of Zurich's senior management team.

He draws on that experience when he says it's not enough for today's students to leave campus with a head full of facts.Just as important as being "right" is your ability to apply your knowledge in real-world situations. The better you understand your world — how you conduct yourself, how you demonstrate to others that you are ethical and sincere and that you can be counted on — the greater your chances of succeeding and leading in the world marketplace, says Kearns.

To that end, Kearns and his wife, Maureen, fund and lead the strategy for the Kearns Global Business Lecture Series at St. Bonaventure. Their goal is to engage students with business leaders who offer diverse perspectives on global business matters. The series offers students the unique and powerful opportunity to ask questions of top people in their field.

Kearns is a distinguished alumnus who spent many years of his career living and working in Europe, and this lecture series provides vital insight into working across countries and cultures.

Kearns began his career at Price Waterhouse in 1972 and was admitted to the partnership in 1984. He was appointed leader of Global Partner Affairs following the merger that created PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1998. In September 2002, Kearns joined Zurich’s senior management team in Switzerland and continues to act as a senior advisor.

He served on St. Bonaventure's Board of Trustees from 2000 to 2009.


2021 Kearns Global Business Lecture


Getting Back to Work: Challenges in the Post-Pandemic World

Is there a new normal?


Dick Kearns and his 2021 business globetrotters discuss the impact of COVID-19 on three key areas: 1) the workplace and corporate culture; 2) advances in technology; 3) supply chain in industry and economic winners and losers.

Joining Dick Kearns on the 2021 panel:

  • Brian Kearns, vice president & CFO of B.H. Aircraft, a leading manufacturing company serving the aerospace and defense industries.
  • Donard P. Gaynor, group chairman and non-executive director of Glanbia, an Irish-based global nutrition group with operations in 32 countries..
  • Thomas McCarthy, ’10, ’13, hotel sales executive for Marriott in Nashville, Tennessee, and chair of One Marriott, an associate network fostering an open workplace of diversity and authenticity. 
  • Jennifer Torneden, senior vice president of Legal & General American Insurance, who previously served in global and national leadership roles at Aon and Zurich Insurance. 
Visit our 2021 lecture photo gallery