Faculty Research Profiles


“Projects linking finance and East Asia fascinate me,” says Pat Schena, Adjunct Assistant Professor of International Business. Schena became a professor at Fletcher in 2003, but his relationship with the school started in 1979, when he was a MALD student. Though his initial academic focus was on Asia, Schena discovered his second passion, finance, after he started his dissertation research at Fletcher.

In 1981, Schena’ intended to write his dissertation on security studies, international politics and Asian studies; a Fletcher fellowship in China sponsored by Shell oil reinforced this goal. After returning from China, Schena took a position in the International Treasury Department at Wang Laboratories in Lowell, and thus his passion for finance was born.

In addition to his work at Wang Laboratories, beginning in the mid-1980s, Schena began teaching finance part-time as he wrote his dissertation. It was then that he decided to combine his two specialties — finance and Asian Studies — in his Ph.D. research. “In trying to do a finance-oriented Ph.D. on Asia, the obvious choice for a focus was Japan,” Schena recalled. Japan was a country that in the late 1980s and early 1990s had the most developed business systems in East Asia, after all. “In 1990, there was basically no such thing as Chinese corporate finance. If Google.com had existed then, searching ‘China and Finance’ might have given you two hits. China’s corporate system had not really been established yet.”

Schena left Wang Laboratories in 1990 for a 25-year entrepreneurial career, working in executive roles with partners to establish and build two successful tech and consulting companies, both servicing the investment industry.

Schena received his Ph.D. in International Finance from Fletcher in 2000 and joined the faculty in 2003 as Adj Asst Professor of International Business. In addition to his consulting, his regular teaching assignments include Global Investment Management and Global Private Equity. While he continues to explore his interest in East Asia as a Research Associate at Harvard’s Fairbank Center, his research interests have expanded with the scope of his teaching. In 2009, Schena became Co-Head of SovereigNET: The Fletcher Network for Sovereign Wealth and Global Capital and also a Senior Fellow of Fletcher’s Council on Emerging Market Enterprises. 

Schena’s recent publications – book chapters, co-authored works and independent papers – reflect his current work on sovereign investment management and strategic development, including most recently “Sovereign Wealth Fund Investment in Economic Transformation: Toward an Institutional Framework.” He is currently working on several paper projects and a co-authored book-length study.

Schena works actively with several student groups - The Fletcher Social Investment Group and The Fletcher Political Risk Group - and also serves as faculty adviser to Fletcher’s CFA Research Challenge Team. He refers to his work at Fletcher as his “most serious commitment,” with dedication that is obvious to his students, who praise him for his availability and devotion. “I believe the key to effective teaching is to focus on application, i.e. to help students see the application of ideas and concepts at work in the 'real world' and to ensure that students have the confidence to put what they have learned into practice as soon as they are comfortable,” he said.

He can be reached at patrick.schena@tufts.edu.