Dr. McKern is a Visiting Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, where he is writing about innovation in China by local companies and multinationals and the strategies of emerging MNCs based in rapidly developing economies. Prior to returning to Stanford, he was Professor of International Business and Co-Director of the Centre on China Innovation at the China Europe International Business School, Shanghai, which he helped to establish with the support of several multinational corporations. He continues to be a Visiting Professor and affiliated researcher in the Centre.
From 2001 to 2010, McKern taught MBA courses in International Business in the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and between 2001 to 2007 he was the Director of the Stanford Sloan Master's Program, The GSB's year-long Master's program for mid-career executives (now the MSx Program).
Between 2008 and 2011, he assisted in the founding and development of the United States Studies Centre in the University of Sydney, and directed the Centre's Merck-funded Research Program on Innovation. He assisted in the development of the University's Executive MBA Program and created and directs the Silicon Valley Module of that Program.
From 1993 to 1997, McKern was Professor of International Business and President of the Carnegie Bosch Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, an institution funded by the Bosch Group and devoted to research and outreach in international management. He established a research program, publications and an expanded suite of executive programs and outreach to the business community.
Dr. McKern gained a BE in Chemical Engineering with Honours at the University of Sydney and worked as an engineer and manager in Canada and Australia, later completing a Doctorate in International Business at Harvard University. His research interests focus on the strategies of international corporations. He is the author or editor of eight books including Transnational Corporations in the Exploitation of Natural Resources (United Nations and Routledge, 1993) and Managing the Global Network Corporation (Routledge, 2003). He has published in academic and professional journals on multinational enterprise, industrial development, and international business, and is the author of a number of recent case studies in the field of international business, distributed by Stanford University and Harvard Business School.
His early research was concerned with explaining foreign investment and industrial structure in the global minerals industry. His most recent research is concerned with the strategies of emerging multinationals and the innovation strategies of local companies and MNCs in China. Some of this work has been published in a special edition of Harvard Business Review China with the World Economic Forum and a second article is forthcoming in the International Journal of Emerging Markets.
Dr. McKern has served as Dean of two Australian business schools. He established and was the first Director of Macquarie University's Graduate School of Management in Sydney; and President and Dean of the Monash Mt Eliza Business School, Melbourne, later merged with Melbourne Business School. MGSM continues to be the only business school in Australia which operates autonomously, while being affiliated with a major university in the city of Sydney.
Dr. McKern has been a Visiting Professor at INSEAD, IMD, other European and U.S. management schools and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and a member of international bodies and government committees. He served as a Board Member of the State Rail Authority of NSW during the corporatisation of Australia's largest commuter and long-distance railroad and was a member of the Ministerial Inquiry into Postgraduate Education in the Australian Defence Force. Dr. McKern was previously a Founding Member of the Global Trade Institute of Pennsylvania, a Council Member of the US-Korea Institute (Washington DC), and a Member of the Academic Council of the Prague International Business School, Czech Republic, from 1993 to 1997.
He is a highly-rated instructor in executive programs for MNCs and Chinese companies and a commentator in the Chinese and international media on issues of innovation and strategy in China.
He is a member of the Editorial Board of Management International Review and speaks on innovation and MNC strategy in many public forums. He is also an angel investor in several start-up firms in Silicon Valley.