Viva Bartkus


Viva Bartkus is professor emerita of management at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Bartkus graduated summa cum laude from Yale University with master's and bachelor's degrees in economics, and then completed her doctorate and masters in international relations at Magdalen College, University of Oxford, while on a Rhodes Scholarship. Her doctorate investigated nationalism, self-determination, and why groups attempt secession, through primary research with guerilla movements and other separatists around the world. Her first book, The Dynamic of Secession, was published by Cambridge University Press (1999).

Dr. Bartkus’ research and teaching interests concentrate on two distinct areas: the leadership approaches most effective in solving complex business problems and the social capital of communities that enables collaboration and were published as books in 2008: Getting It Right, with Ed Conlon (Jossey Bass) and Social Capital: Reaching Out, Reaching In, with Jim Davis (Edward Elgar). She co-led a major research initiative, “The Buck Stops Here,” examining how CEOs make complex decisions. Her most recent research and teaching initiative, Business on the Frontlines, examines the impact of business in rebuilding war-torn societies and was chosen by Forbes as one of the top 10 most innovative MBA courses in the country. Since 2008, her Business on the Frontlines teams have collaborated on over 90 business- and peace-related projects in over 30 countries with humanitarian agencies and multinational corporations. By some estimates, perhaps 30,000 people now have the dignity of work because of businesses and markets BOTFL initiatives have developed.

Dr. Bartkus has also served on the Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services, one of the largest humanitarian organizations in the world. Prior to joining the faculty at Notre Dame, she spent ten years serving healthcare, industrial, retail, and high-tech clients to overcome their strategic, operational, and organizational challenges while at McKinsey & Company, for the last four years as a partner of the firm.

IEI Fellows
  • D.Phil., Magdalen College, University of Oxford
  • M.Phil., Magdalen College, University of Oxford
  • MA., Yale University
  • B.A., Yale University

"The Impact of Business in Post-War Reconstruction," The Quality of Peace, University of Notre Dame Press (December 2011)

"Secession," International Encyclopedia of Political Science, Sage Publications

Social Capital: Reaching In and Reaching Out (with James H. Davis), Edward Elgar

"International Business Dynamics," (with James H. Davis), Business and Society

Viva Bartkus