Cal Poly

Orfalea College of Business

William Pendergast

William Pendergast

Office 92-C108
Phone 805-756-1742

International Management Professor

William Pendergast

Dr. Pendergast brings to his role as professor of international management more than 25 years of senior management experience including 17 years residence in 6 foreign countries. He served 12 years as dean of three business schools in the US and abroad. During this time he secured naming gifts for two business schools and an international business center building, successful initial AACSB accreditation, and cumulative gifts and contracts exceeding thirty million dollars. Earlier, he initiated Boston University’s international programs in Brussels, London, Rome and other locations in Europe and Asia. Dr. Pendergast served three terms as judge in the Ernest & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Northern California), as a member of the Executive Board of the Fulbright Commission (Prague), and an Executive Committee member of the International Management Division of the Academy of Management. In 2005-06, as Chief of Party in Sarajevo he launched the USAID-funded Sarajevo Graduate School of Business.

The International Management Development Association (IMDA) in 1998 named Dr. Pendergast its “International Business Dean of the Year.” In 2003 he received Special Congressional Recognition for the establishment of university-wide Entrepreneurial Leadership Awards at Cal Poly. In 2001, California State University conferred its prestigious Bautzer Advancement Award recognizing his role in securing the largest gift of cash or securities in the history of the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system. In 2011, Dr.Pendergast was a Fulbright grantee in Thailand.

Dr. Pendergast teaches courses in International and Cross-Cultural Management and in International Business. During 10 years as a full-time faculty member, he published 20 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters on topics including international business strategy, management education, entrepreneurship, management negotiation, emerging markets, central and eastern Europe, export performance, international business development, and foreign policy. He serves on editorial boards of the Journal of Teaching in International Business and the Journal of Transnational Management.

Dr. Pendergast earned his PhD and MA in International Relations at Columbia University, where he was a Herbert H.Lehman Fellow and an International Fellow. His BA (magna cumlaude) is from the University of Notre Dame.


  • B.A. — University of Notre Dame
  • M.A. — Columbia University
  • Certificate, European Institute — Columbia University
  • Ph.D. — Columbia University


  • Dean — Orfalea College of Business, Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Dean — Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, CA
  • CEO & Dean — Czech Management Center, Prague
  • CEO — Sarajevo Graduate School of Business, Sarajevo
  • Judge — Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, San Jose
  • Member — Fulbright Commission, Prague
  • Member, Editorial Boards — Journal of Teaching in International
    Business, Journal of Transnational

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