Last modified: Wednesday, December 5, 2007
John T. Chambers, Doctor of Science
A highly honored businessman, philanthropist, and humanitarian, John T. Chambers is an international leader in information technology. As chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems, he has demonstrated that business success can be combined with exemplary community and global citizenship.
Chambers graduated from the Kelley School of Business with a Master of Business Administration degree in finance and management in 1975. He had previously earned Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in business in 1971 and a law degree in 1974 from West Virginia University. Chambers worked for IBM and Wang Laboratories before he joined Cisco Systems in 1991. Under his leadership, Cisco's revenue has grown from $1.2 billion to nearly $35 billion annually. John has personally been recognized for his business leadership including The Most Influential Person in Communications (Telecom Magazine, 2000), Best CEO in America (Institutional Investor Magazine, 2003,2007), and Man of the Year (San Jose Magazine, 2005).
Chambers continues his commitment to the business school with his membership in the Kelley Academy of Alumni Fellows and Kelley Business Dean's Council. He initiated a business internship program to provide students with real-world experiences in technology companies by donating $1million to the Kelley School. His colleagues have supported his commitment to education by contributing $1.2 million to establish an endowed chair in the business school, the John Chambers Chair in Information Technology, in his honor.
Part of the Kelley School's mission is to create change in people and society, and "none have done more to 'live' the Kelley mission than John Chambers," says Daniel C. Smith, dean of the Kelley School of Business. "He has literally changed the world through his leadership."
At Cisco Systems, Chambers has run a highly successful business while creating a workplace culture that is respected globally. Fortune magazine has named Cisco one of the "Top 100 Places to Work" for 10 years running, as well as included it among the magazine's list of "Most Admired Company" 2003-2006. In 2004 Chambers received the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership, which honors companies that maintain positive relationships with their employees and the surrounding community.
He has received numerous awards for his philanthropic efforts, including the first-ever Clinton Global Citizen Award in 2007. In late 2006, in partnership with the U.S. State Department, Chambers co-led a delegation of U.S. business leaders to form the Partnership for Lebanon, helping provide critically needed resources for the ongoing reconstruction efforts in Lebanon. Chambers was also awarded the Excellence in Corporate Philanthropy Award from the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy in 2006 and the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship in 2004. He also spearheaded the 21st Century Schools Initiative to aid Hurricane Katrina victims.
In addition, Chambers has served two U.S. presidents; most recently as Vice Chairman of the President George W. Bush National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC), where he provided industry experience and leadership to help protect the United States' critical infrastructure. He also served on President George W. Bush's Transition Team and Education Committee, and previously served on President Bill Clinton's Trade Policy Committee.