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Member Profile: Juan Pablo Murra

Juan Pablo MurraAt Tecnológico de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico, Juan Pablo Murra loves the opportunity to dream big and make those dreams a reality.

There, he and his team "implement different, disruptive, novel [ideas] that have a positive impact on people and society," says Murra, vice president for development and external affairs. "That's the best part of my job."

This March, creative thinkers and leaders from around Latin America and the world will gather at Tecnológico de Monterrey, which is hosting CASE's Congreso.

"I am happy we are going to host Congreso next year for Latin America," he says. "I'm eager to participate."

Here, Murra shares the challenges (and opportunities) for advancement in the region, along with what's on his must-read list.

What led you to advancement and Tecnológico de Monterrey?

After studying industrial and systems engineering at Tecnológico de Monterrey, I worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company for 11 years, where I participated on projects with McKinsey's social sector office. Later, Tec became our client for two years in a project that the university's board of trustees launched during a transition phase of the institution. In 2011, when Salvador Alva arrived as president of Tec, he invited me to create an area of planning and transformation for the institution. That's how I started my career at Tec.

What's your favorite spot on your campus?

When I was a student I loved the hall outside of the old library. Today my favorite place is still the library, now renovated. It is a vibrant space where the collision of ideas is lived and the love of learning.

What's one work achievement that you're particularly proud of?

I coordinated the efforts to generate the 2020 Strategic Plan for Tecnológico de Monterrey. This involved setting up the planning and transformation office, which has guided the transformation of Tec in the last six years. I had the privilege of coordinating important groups both to conceive the plan and to support it to become a reality. We are still far from what we aspire to be but it is a great satisfaction to witness that we are on the right track.

What's the best part of your job?

I have the opportunity to work with very talented and driven people. These are inspiring leaders who are capable of imagining and dreaming a better world, while at the same time articulating projects and programs to make those dreams come true. The ability to dream and at the same time implement different, disruptive, novel things that have a positive impact on people and society: that is the best part of my job.

What do you think are the biggest challenges for higher education leaders in Latin America?

The challenges are so large that trying to fix the current system will not be enough. What we need to do is re-imagine a whole different approach to quality higher education that is relevant and adequate for the future of work and life. The biggest challenge will be how to change the mindset and the vision of the current leaders of higher education institution and of the authorities that regulate and support educational systems in our countries.

What's a great book you've read lately or the best piece of career advice you've ever gotten?

Chronology of Progress by Gabriel Zaid. Gabriel is EXATEC and a very prolific author. It is a book about the progress of humanity and of the world, through the various inventions and ideas of humanity history. It is always interesting to take a very long view of history and how different technologies, ideas and philosophies have shaped our world.

What's something interesting you keep on your desk?

The Ideario Cuahutemoc. It brings together 17 ideas, values and concepts written by our founder, Eugenio Garza Sada, about how to behave personally and professionally. It is a great daily reminder of our culture and how to treat others. 

This article is from the November 2018 BriefCASE issue.