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Fall 2023: European and Asian Adventure
Professor Emeritus

Daniel Duran

Whittier College

Dan is proud to return to Semester at Sea for his third voyage as a member of the business faculty. He has been traveling and experiencing diverse cultures and geographies since he was sixteen when he hitchhiked from the San Francisco Bay Area to his father’s birthplace in Zacatecas and then managed to make his way to Panama before lack of money and time forced him to return home. He is very proud of his Chicano (Latino) background and was the first member of his family to complete high school. He subsequently went on to earn his BA and Masters at UC Berkeley and his PhD. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He worked and paid his own way through both Universities and delights in being both a UC Bear and UW Badger as both are fierce mascots.

Dan has followed his passions in career and life. In his first professional career, he served as an outreach librarian where he developed innovative bilingual programs that melded together print and the “new” media resources to provide relevant information (e.g. health, housing, and schooling) to isolated and/or depressed communities. Upon completing his PhD, he decided to experience the Big Business world and spent ten years with AT&T’s marketing department where he served as an Account Executive, Market Manager, and National Accounts Manager. While at AT&T he was recruited by an international search firm to serve as the head of Japan’s Nippon Electrics Company (NEC) Computer and Communications Pacific Rim Division where he marketed high-tech information and communications systems to Fortune 500 and other global clients. After six years with NEC Dan decided to start his own firm, Pacific Resources and Management (PRM), that was a pioneer in designing and implementing distance-learning and video arraignment systems before the advent of Internet based offerings, including Skype, ZOOM and similar applications.

The international business arena has always fascinated Dan and after leaving PRM he was recruited by another international search firm to serve as the CEO of a satellite based hi-tech firm that was the first to provide bypass telecom services in Mexico. He established their Mexico City operations center that served as a global hub for multinational firms seeking more bandwidth and independence from the government managed telecom providers. It was an exciting time that ended abruptly when the Mexican peso was unhooked from the US dollar and businesses throughout the country crashed. He shook the dust from his feet and was recruited once again by a search firm to work with Southern California Edison (SCE) and other energy companies where he championed for the next several years the use of evolving new technologies to reduce the carbon footprints of diverse businesses and to help make them more sustainable.

After twenty-five years of global travel and work in the big business and entrepreneurial worlds, Dan decided to return to his first love, the academic environment. He accepted a position with the Business Administration Department of Whittier College and swapped dead time at airports for a five-minute commute to his college classes. Dan spent almost twenty years at Whittier College where he taught International Business, International Marketing, Managing Multinationals, Sustainable Development and other courses. To subsidize his teaching salary he founded Energized Solutions, LLC, a California based consulting firm that provided environmental consulting services primarily in the energy and water sectors to utilities, city/county agencies, and private firms. Some of his past clients include Southern California Edison (SCE), Sempra, Avery Dennison, Central Basin Water District, Metropolitan Water District (MWD), Southern California Gas Company, Navigant, Disney Resorts, and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). It was the best of all times as Dan was able to provide paid internships to scores of students who gained real world experience and enhanced their resumes. During his academic time he also served as a Chair of the Department and head of the tenure committee. He also managed to advise and mentor forty to sixty students every semester, primarily students of color.

Dan retired last year (2021) after serving a Fulbright Scholar in Madrid and is now a Professor Emeritus. During his teaching career at Whittier College and his two previous Semester at Sea voyages he planned and led upwards of 200 field trips in more than twenty nations. The students toured field operations and met with senior executives, field operations managers and entrepreneurs. Dan believes that the best educational experiences happen when academic studies meet the real world.

He is excited to join students, faculty and staff on the Fall 2023 voyage and believes it will serve as a beacon that will light the way to learn and better appreciate a diverse world. Dan is especially happy that Alicia (his wife) will make the voyage with him, as she will keep him from going overboard in class and the ship.