Professor; Program Chair, MBA in Global Impact Management

Sandra Dow
McCone Building M211
(831) 647-4187

Professor Dow joined the MBA faculty in 2009 as professor of International Finance. Prior to joining Middlebury she was a tenured professor of finance at the University of Quebec in Montreal where her career spanned 20 years. Professor Dow has published extensively and presented her work at numerous scholarly and practitioner venues. Her teaching interests include corporate governance; corporate finance; and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risk management. 

As chair of the business program at the Middlebury Institute from 2013 to 2017 , Professor Dow and her colleagues completely redesigned the MBA program along with developing and instituting the signature “raw case” pedagogy. In 2017 Professors Dow and Shi were recognized for their pedagogical innovation by the Academy of Management where their article promoting raw cases received the Best Paper Award. Professor Dow and Professor Shi have coached many MBA teams to podium finishes in international case competitions since 2013, including first and second place finishes in the Economist Case Competitions and first and third place finishes in the Corporate Knights Business for a Better World Case Competition. In 2016, Professor Dow was appointed to the Grover Hermann Chair in International Business and in 2017 she was awarded the Middlebury Institute Faculty Excellence Award.

Courses Taught

Courses offered in the past two years.

  • Current term
  • Upcoming term(s)

Successful investing is dependent upon the ability to determine the factors that influence the market's valuation of a company… and then judge the accuracy of that valuation. The goal of this course is to demonstrate how Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors can be used along with traditional financial metrics to assess risks and opportunities confronting firms. As such, this is a course in socially responsible investing taught from a finance perspective. The importance of “extra-financial” factors in evaluating the risks and opportunities confronting the firm is no longer a fringe area for finance professionals. In 2008 the Chartered Financial Analyst’s association introduced ESG into their curriculum. According to a Thomson Reuters survey released in May 2009, 84% of global buy-side investors said they evaluate ESG criteria to some degree when making investment decisions. Moreover, institutional investors are increasingly vocal in their demands that ESG risks be disclosed to the SEC. There are three themes to the course: Objectives of business (wealth maximization versus long term sustainability?), the pillars of socially responsible investing and the development of SRI funds.

Fall 2019 - MIIS

View in Course Catalog

Meeting dates: April 22, 2019 - May 10, 2019

This course connects market-driven impacts and successful private enterprise management directly to the world’s most challenging problems. The role and power of markets to impact positively the sustainable development goals (SDGs) is central to the course’s conceptualization. Students acquire and apply – through a dynamic “raw case” methodology -- business competencies to impact global problems that serve also to assure and enhance the long-term viability and sustainability of the enterprise. Morover, the course introduces students to the concept of not just business impact on problems, but of blended impact – the solution power we produce by aligning private sector, public sector, and nonmarket (i.e., the nonprofit sector) efforts—and the skills, competencies, and tools that permit us to do that. The course aims to build a competent foundation in enabling for-profit enterprises to tackle wicked problems, and a course that students leave with clear ideas of additional business competencies they wish to build while here at MIIS. The educational philosophy of the course is founded on adaptive learning, learning-on-demand, and capacity building in learning-to-learn. Adaptive learning also means incorporating cross-disciplinary perspectives, frameworks, and techniques often in compressed time frames. Students should expect similar complexity, ambiguity, uncertainty, and volatility throughout the raw-case study as dealing with a tough business problem in real life.

Spring 2019 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

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This course covers theory, concepts, and practices underlying the principles of managerial and corporate finance. The Learning Outcomes include the topics as noted on the syllabus. In addition to gaining knowledge of the topics noted, students should demonstrate critical thinking skills and demonstrate ability to apply the knowledge gained in this course to new situations and problems. The course is a mixture of lectures, interactive discussion and problem solving. It provides an overview of the basic concepts of and principles of finance in the private sector. Where possible, we will discuss the differences between the private and public sectors and the implications for the Department of Defense. It is designed to provide insights into the financial decision making processes encountered by commercial enterprises. The major emphasis is on the financial environment, valuation models, risk and return analysis, cost of capital determination, optimal capital structure, and short-term and long-term financing.

Spring 2019 - MIIS, MIIS Second Half of Term

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Areas of Interest

My primary academic interest addresses corporate governance issues. The field is exciting, providing great fodder for both scholarly pursuits and classroom teaching. Robust governance at the global, national and firm level is essential to promoting broad financial and extra-financial goals. I see a central role for business in addressing the world’s most pressing issues from climate change to economic inequality to population growth and displacement. I believe that we need the sharpest and best-trained minds to meet these challenges head-on so that today’s students will effectively contribute as tomorrow’s professionals.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Finance, Concordia University, Montréal, QC, Canada, 1987
  • MA in Economics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada, 1977
  • BA in Economics, Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB, Canada, 1975 

Professor Dow has been teaching at the Institute since 2009.


  • Dow, Sandra. “Managing Stakeholder Expectations”, in Reputation Risk Management in Banks, Petra Merl and Thomas Kaiser editors. RepRisk Books, 2014.
  • McGuire, Jean, Sandra Dow, and Bakr Ibrahim. “All in the family: Social performance and corporate governance in the family firm.” Journal of Business Research, Vol. 65, 11, 2012, pp. 1643–1650.
  • Aggarwal, Raj and Sandra Dow. “Dividends and strength of Japanese business group affiliation.” Journal of Economics and Business, Vol. 64, 3, 2012, pp. 214–230.
  • Aggarwal, Raj and Sandra Dow. “Corporate governance and business strategies for climate change and environmental mitigation.” European Journal of Finance, Vol. 18, 3-4, 2012, pp. 311-331.
  • Dow, Sandra, Jean McGuire and Toru Yoshikawa. “Disaggregating the group effect: Vertical and horizontal keiretsu in changing economic times.” Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Vol. 28, 2, 2011, pp. 299-323.
  • Aggarwal, Raj and Sandra Dow. “Navigating the C2 economy.” The European Financial Review, April/May 2011, pp. 46-51.
  • Dow, Sandra and Jean McGuire. “Industrial networks in Japan: Blessing or curse?” The European Financial Review, February/March 2011, pp. 17-21.
  • Dow, Sandra and Jean McGuire. “Propping and tunneling: Empirical evidence from Japanese keiretsu.” Journal of Banking and Finance, Vol. 33, 10, 2009, pp. 1817-1828.
  • McGuire, Jean and Sandra Dow. “Japanese keiretsu: Past, present, future.” Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Vol. 26, 2, 2009, pp. 333-351.