The Beard Institute Thanks Jim Byrne for His Leadership of the Institute and Welcomes Bill O'Rourke as the New Executive Director

July 12, 2012

The Beard Institute, a part of the Palumbo Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University, extends its gratitude to Jim Byrne for his leadership of the Institute over the past three years.  Jim represented the Beard Institute in a most professional manner and along with the Beard Institute team enhanced the student programs (the Beard Award, the Distinguished Ethics Speaker Series, student service/active learning and high school outreach programs), the corporate programs (Sustainability Symposium, Corporate Speaker Series, Pittsburgh Ethics and Business Conduct Network and Financial Forums) and the Women's Development programs (Women's Executive Leadership Program and Emerging Women's Leadership Conference).  Duquesne University thanks Jim Byrne for his exemplary leadership and for enhancing the reputation of the Beard Institute.

Succeeding Jim Byrne as the Executive Director of the Beard Institute is Bill O'Rourke who joined the Beard Institute last fall as its Director of Ethics.  Bill retired from Alcoa in September, 2011.  He currently serves on the Board of the Alcoa Foundation and teaches "Values" at the Alcoa Executive Development Programs.  He joined Alcoa as a Patent Attorney in 1975 and held a number of leadership positions including Vice President, Environment, Health & Safety and Sustainability, Vice President of Global Business Services, Chief Information Officer, Vice President of Procurement, Corporate Auditor, Assistant General Counsel and Corporate Patent Counsel.  From 2005 to 2008 Bill was the President of Alcoa-Russia. 

Bill is also a Fellow, in the Ethics area, of the Wheatley Institution in the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University, where on May 23, 2012 Bill was presented with a Master Teacher of Ethics award.  Bill delivered the ethics presentation at the Berges Lecture Series in Business Ethics at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame last fall, and will deliver the ethics lecture at the University of Nebraska this coming Fall.  He is the current Board Chair of Sustainable Pittsburgh, and serves on a number of other civic, charitable and religious organizations.  Bill earned a juris doctor degree from Duquesne University and a bachelor of science in business administration from John Carroll University.

Duquesne University welcomes Bill and wishes he and the Beard Institute Team continued success.

About the Beard Institute:  The Beard Institute, as a part of the Palumbo Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University, advances business leadership through the integration of three established disciplines:  business ethics, sustainability and responsible financial management.  The Beard Institute collaborates with corporate, nonprofit and academic partners to create innovative research and practical strategies that add measurable value to business, the community and society.  For more information on the Beard Institute, visit