Skip to main content

AACSB Recognizes Georgia Southern University College of Business Alum and Major General for the U.S. Army Leslie C. Smith as 2018 Influential Leader


Third annual Influential Leaders Challenge celebrates 29 change-makers and their impact on global issues

TAMPA, Fla., USA (February 8, 2018)—Today, AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the world’s largest business education network, celebrated the positive impact business school graduates are making in communities around the globe as part of the 2018 Influential Leaders Challenge. As an annual initiative, the challenge honors notable alumni from accredited schools whose inspiring work serves as a model for the next generation of business leaders.


Georgia Southern College of Business alum Major General Leslie C. Smith was recognized at AACSB’s 2018 Deans Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, among a group of 29 business pioneers, from 13 industry sectors, whose careers are addressing today’s most pressing social, economic, environmental, and educational challenges.


MG Smith serves as Inspector General, Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Army. After graduating with an accounting degree in 1985, Smith entered the U.S. Army as a chemical officer. In 2001, he assumed command of the 83rd Chemical Battalion, where elements of the Battalion deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Following command, he served on the Army Staff in the G-8 as the Deputy Division Chief and Chief, NBC Branch for the Full Dimensional Protection Division. In 2005, MG Smith assumed command of the 3rd Chemical Brigade at Fort Leonard Wood, later serving as the G-3, 20th Support Command (CBRNE), and from 2008 – 2010, the 25th Chief of Chemical and Commandant of the United States Army Chemical, Biological Radiological and Nuclear School. In 2010, he became the fourth Commander of the U.S. Army 20th Support Command (CBRNE – Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High-yield Explosives). Prior to his current position in the U.S. Army, MG Smith was Commanding General of the United States Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood. In 2017, he was named the Georgia Southern University College of Business Alumnus of the Year. Smith has an impressive record having earned the expert parachutists’ badge, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star with an Oak Leaf cluster, and the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster. MG Smith has received 22 medals, awards and badges throughout his years of service to our country.


“Each honoree from the 2018 class of Influential Leaders reflects the mindset, knowledge, and passion that impactful business leaders must embody to impart positive change in today’s society,” said Thomas R. Robinson, president and CEO of AACSB. “We would like to thank MG Smith for demonstrating the true excellence and leadership we wish to see in the world, and we congratulate Georgia Southern’s College of Business for their role in helping to mold a new generation of global business leaders dedicated to driving impact that results in global prosperity.”


Major General Smith and his peers in the 2018 Influential Leaders class were recognized across three categories, including:

  • Alumni Business Leaders Working in Nonprofit or Community-Based Organizations

Leaders serving nonprofit and community-based organizations are making game-changing impacts—from a local level to a global reach—creating a better society for us all. With initiatives that include navigating the Hurricane Harvey crisis, transforming the lives of more than 150 million children around the world annually, and combating the root causes of poverty, AACSB graduates demonstrate that some of the world’s most impactful work occurs within smaller-sector opportunities.

  • Alumni Business Leaders Advancing Diversity and Inclusion

Advocates for diversity and inclusion are driving transformation across the corporate sphere by upholding a culture of mutual respect and championing the exchange of open ideas. Such efforts are furthered by leaders who forge and refine inclusion practices—based on appreciating differences—to break down cultural stereotypes and patriarchal norms. They also look to inspire today’s youth in under-represented populations to pursue their dreams in non-traditional fields of study and professions.

  • Business Leaders Influencing Business Education

Businesses need students to be workforce ready upon graduation, making the present a critical time for schools and businesses to work together to meet each other’s needs. Outside of academe, some business leaders are driving fruitful partnerships between the two groups by cultivating a spirit of entrepreneurship and cross-collaborative mindsets. Others are developing free study services—available via a simple digital exchange—to more than 350,000 students globally, advancing access to success for everyone. Inside academe, leaders are transforming institutional culture by encouraging open dialogue between alumni, faculty, staff, business, and students, while investing in promising entrepreneurs across advantaged and disadvantaged regions.  


“We are very excited to have one of our alumni recognized among AACSB’s Influential Leaders,” stated Allen C. Amason, dean of the Georgia Southern College of Business. “General Smith is an outstanding representative of our College and University. He personifies the sense of excellence and accomplishment that we try to instill into all of our students. And, his success serves as an example to us all. So, we applaud him for his success and we celebrate this recognition.”


For more information on the Influential Leaders Challenge, and to view a full list of honorees, visit




About AACSB International

As the world’s largest business education alliance, AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) connects educators, students, and business to achieve a common goal: to create the next generation of great leaders. Synonymous with the highest standards of excellence since 1916, AACSB provides quality assurance, business education intelligence, and professional development services to almost 1,600 member organizations and more than 795 accredited business schools worldwide. With its global headquarters in Tampa, Florida, USA; Europe, Middle East, and Africa headquarters in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore, AACSB’s mission is to foster engagement, accelerate innovation, and amplify impact in business education. For more information, visit


About Georgia Southern University College of Business

The Georgia Southern University College of Business is one of eight colleges at the University and accredited through AACSB-International. The College offers four graduate degree programs, nine undergraduate degrees and ten certificate programs. The College of Business is known for producing career-ready professionals, utilizing theoretical and practical knowledge, through an engaging learning environment, research and service.


Posted in Uncategorized