By Adam Zoltowski
Issue 5 Fall 2010
Denise Tahara is a professor and business consultant who believes in the power of design. With a Bachelor’s from Cornell’s Hotel Management Program, an MBA from NYU Stern and a PhD from NYU Wagner, Tahara has had a long and illustrative career that exemplifies the use of strategic design.
Originally drawn to the finance side of business after graduating from Cornell, she soon switched to operations and finally to teaching. She transitioned after meeting Ed Deming at NYU, who inspired her pursuit of operations management and her Ph.D. She met Mary McBride while working on a capstone simulation project at Stern.. The two have been friends ever since, working on a number of projects together over the years.
After working at Ernst & Young Tahara took up as an operations management consultant while she simultaneously pursued her PhD and taught at NYU and currently at NYMC. She was drawn to the healthcare industry because of her passion for process and how they are designed. She firmly believes that major change can be achieved through improved process design and altering major steps in the service delivery process.
Currently she is working on projects that center on how education can impact health decisions. Tahara believes that people will ultimately make better decisions if provided with the education necessary to make them. Her upcoming projects will explore using design and the design process to improve health behaviors that will improve lifestyle changes.
In addition to her work as a consultant and professor, Tahara has also been closely involved in advising the CATALYST team since the publication’s inception in May of 2009. She has also been affiliated with The Design Management program since 1995. Dr. Tahara is, without question, committed to the power of strategic design.