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Academic Affairs Administration

Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

John Paglia

John Paglia, PhD, CPA, CFA

Dr. John K. Paglia is senior associate dean of academic affairs and professor of finance at Graziadio Business School. He is also an independent corporate director (board member) and audit committee chair for Simulations Plus Inc. (NASDAQ: SLP), and advisor to several startups. He previously served PGBS in a number of leadership roles over his eighteen-year tenure at Pepperdine. Most recently, as inaugural executive director of the Dan and Coco Peate Institute for Entrepreneurship, he led pre-launch initiatives around entrepreneurial education, business incubation, and venture funding to ultimately help student entrepreneurs launch and accelerate their business ventures. He also served as associate dean for part-time (fully employed) programs, director of accreditation, chair of the accounting and finance department, and founding director of the Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project.

Department and Online Programs Chairs

Mark Chun

Mark Chun, PhD


Dr. Mark Chun is an Associate Professor at Pepperdine University at the Graziadio Business School. He recently served as the Interim Associate Dean of Executive Programs. He earned a PhD in Information Systems from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He received an MBA from the University of California, Irvine. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in management information systems from the University of Hawaii. He has worked for companies such as Intel Corporation, Pepsi Co. / Taco Bell, Coopers & Lybrand, and the Bank of Hawaii.

Clemmens Kownatzki

Clemens Kownatzki, PhD

ACCT, FIN, Real Estate

Dr. Clemens Kownatzki received his MBA from the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School and his PhD from Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Kownatzki has been an executive in the financial services industry for well over two decades. In 2010, he joined Pepperdine University as an adjunct professor of finance teaching financial risk management and derivatives to graduate students. Dr. Kownatzki's primary research interest focuses on the important question of how risk and market volatility affects investment returns.

Zhike Lei

Zhike Lei, PhD


Dr. Zhike Lei is an Associate Professor of Applied Behavior Science and the Director of the Center for Applied Research at Graziadio Business School. Her research on team adaptation, psychological safety, and error management, in collaboration with surgical teams, commercial aviation pilots, and frontline engineers, has been published in premier academic outlets. Her research work has been recognized by numerous awards and grants including those from the European Commission and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Lei serves on the editorial review board for premier management journals and is a frequent speaker and panelist at academic conferences, research seminars and workshops and colloquiums for executives. Dr. Lei has taught executive programs and PhD, EMBA, MBA graduates and consulted various multinational organizations across the globe. She is passionate about learning and contributing to a multicultural pluralistic community.

Elizabeth Olson

Elizabeth Olson, PhD


Dr. Elizabeth Olson has over 15 years of management, financial consulting, and international experience. Dr. Olson has worked with both large corporations and small businesses with a focus on financial analysis, forecasting and budgeting, competitor analysis, and management. Dr. Olson began teaching in 2013, lecturing at the College at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. Her primary area of academic research is political economy, which she presents at academic conferences. Dr. Olson received her BA from Hamline University, her MBA from the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School, and her PhD from Claremont Graduate University.

Michael Williams portrait

Michael Williams, PhD

Online Programs Chair

Dr. Williams serves as the Chair of Online Programs and has served in a number of academic and administrative roles at Pepperdine. His research has been published in leading empirical and practitioner journals in Information Systems including European Journal of Operations Research and MIS Quarterly Executive. He is a proud recipient of Pepperdine's highest teaching award, the Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence.