Dr. Nicholas Pearce - "The Wait Is Over"


Kellogg School of Management
Clinical Associate Professor of Management & Organizations

Dr. Nicholas Pearce serves as an award-winning Clinical Associate Professor of Management & Organizations at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and as the founder and chief executive officer of The Vocati Group, a global executive advisory services firm. He is a leading scholar, lecturer, and trusted strategic adviser on values-driven leadership, collaboration, and change in organizations. He has served leaders of corporations, social impact organizations, governments, and communities of faith on six continents, including Abbvie, Advocate Health Care, Allstate Foundation, Aon Hewitt, Archdiocese of Chicago, Boston Scientific, BP, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago United, Chicago Urban League, Council of State Governments, Cristo Rey Schools, Deluxe, DiversityInc, The Episcopal Church, FMC, Google, The Heads Network, Hearst, Jones Lang LaSalle, JPMorgan Chase & Co., KIPP Foundation, McDonald's, Monsanto, NASA, Nike, Northwestern Medicine, Novartis, Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Perkins Coie, Philanthropy Club of Chicago, The PrivateBank, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Sicredi, Surge Institute, Teach for America, Unitarian Universalist Association, United States Olympic Committee, USG, Whirlpool, WomenHeart, Women's Foodservice Forum, Young Presidents' Organization, and ZS Associates.

Dr. Pearce also serves as Assistant Pastor of Chicago's historic Apostolic Church of God, where he is responsible for overseeing Christian education and discipleship for Apostolic's 15,000-member congregation. He is emerging as one of his generation's most trusted and influential voices, with a ministry that has already impacted tens of thousands of lives across cultural, generational, and denominational boundaries. He is also deeply committed to civic engagement and philanthropy, serving on the boards of the Chicago Children's Museum, Chicago Community Trust's African American Legacy Fund, ACCESS Community Health Network, and Seminary Co-Op Bookstores.

Dr. Pearce has been a Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago since 2015 and has also been named one of Chicago's 40 Game Changers (under 40) by WVON/Ariel Investments, a Galbraith Scholar by Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Public Voices Faculty Fellow by The OpEd Project, and Kellogg's MSMS Professor of the Year (2015). He has also been honored for excellence by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Mustard Seed Foundation, Wentcher Foundation, National Black MBA Association, and Union League Club of Chicago. He and his award-winning work have been featured in global media outlets including The Atlantic, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Chicago TribuneThe Chronicle of Philanthropy, Crain's Chicago Business, Fast Company, Forbes, Fortune, The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Marketplace, MSNBC, The New York Times, Newsweek, Time,, and The Washington Post.

Dr. Pearce holds the Ph.D. in Management & Organizations from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and the S.B. in Chemical Engineering & Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with a concentration in Religious Studies earned in conjunction with Harvard Divinity School.

Connect with him on Twitter @napphd and learn more at

Areas of Expertise Leadership
Nonprofit Management
Organizational Change
Organizational Culture
Organizational Learning
Organizational Structure and Relationships

Education Ph.D, 2012, Management and Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Kellogg PhD

M.S., 2009, Management & Organizations, Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management

S.B., 2007, Chemical Engineering and Management, Concentration in Religious Studies, School of Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Academic Positions Clinical Associate Professor of Management and Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2016-present

Clinical Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2013-2016

Visiting Assistant Professor of Management & Organizations, Management & Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2012-2013

Other Professional Experience Founder & Chief Executive Officer, The Vocati Group, 2017-present

Assistant Pastor, Apostolic Church of God, 2012-present

Aon Hewitt Global Diversity and Inclusion Consulting Practice, 2012-2012

Northwestern University Center for Leadership, 2011-2012

Research Associate, MIT Sloan School of Management, 2005-2007

Deloitte Consulting, LLP, 2004-2005

Honors and Awards Professor of the Year Award, Russell Fellows Program, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

Fellow, Leadership Greater Chicago

Named one of Chicago's 40 Game Changers Under 40, Ariel Investments/WVON

Northwestern Public Voices Faculty Fellow, The OpEd Project

H. Naylor Fitzhugh PhD Fellowship Award, National Black MBA Association

Harvey Fellow, Mustard Seed Foundation

John Kenneth Galbraith Scholar, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government

Education Academic Positions Other Professional Experience Honors and Awards

Read about executive education


Perkins, Susan E., Katherine W. Phillips and Nicholas A. Pearce. 2013. Ethnic Diversity, Gender, and National Leaders. Journal of International Affairs. 67(1): 85-104.

National leaders have the ultimate responsibility to balance the needs of a diverse set of constituents in society while using their countrys unique set of resources to grow the economy and to gain comparative advantages.Diversity is known to be an extremely challenging factor to reconcile nationally and is negatively associated with GDP growthin fact, high levels of ethnic diversity are associated with a 2 percent decline in GDP growth. In most countries throughout modern history, the role of the national leader has been played by men.Women historically have had limited opportunities to lead their countries and in many early cases, only by the failing of their husbands health, or death, do they ascend to power.However, in the last decade, more women have been elected to lead their countries such as Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the post-war torn Republic of Liberia, Angela Merkel who entered politics after the reunification of the Federal Republic of Germany, and most recently, Park Geun-hye in the Republic of Korea under the political platform of harmonious unification with the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. With the rise in female national leaders, it begs the question of whether there are some conditions in which women might be more effective leaders than their male counterparts. This study examines the intersection of ethnic diversity, gender and leadership to explore the effectiveness of male versus female leadership in highly diverse societies, as compared to those that are ethnically more homogeneous.We examine a unique dataset of 5,709 observations of national leaders in 139 nations over more than five decades. We find that in more ethnically diverse nations, the presence of a female national leader is correlated with a 6.9 percent increase in GDP growth in comparison to having a male leader. We offer some plausible rationale for these patterns and discuss the policy implications of our findings.

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