Kwong Recognized as a Leader in Higher Education by Pacific Coast Business Times
Pacific Coast Business Times honored Anna Kwong last week as one of its 12th Annual Top 50 Women in Business across the tri-county region of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura. Kwong, who was recognized as a leader in higher education, has been chair of Antioch University Santa Barbara’s (AUSB) Master of Business Administration program in Social Business, Non-Profit Management, and Strategic Leadership since 2016.
The award recognizes top female executives and business owners in finance, higher education, professional and insurance services, nonprofits, agriculture, technology, industry, real estate, and construction. Pacific Coast Business Times is a weekly business journal that is now in its seventeenth year of publication.
“I am honored and humbled to join the list of outstanding recipients who I have long admired and respected,” Anna said. “As the Chair of the MBA Program, this would not have happened without the dedication and support of the entire AUSB MBA team. These include the faculty, staff, advisors and community leaders who have worked …side-by-side with me. The students have been amazing as well. Thanks for the encouragement of my own family, particularly my daughter.”
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Anna also lived in the UK and Canada before becoming a U.S. citizen in 2002. She has more than 25 years of experience in business, leadership, and management in various types of overseas trading and joint ventures.
Prior to joining Antioch, Anna was a faculty member in California Lutheran University’s MBA program for more than 20 years. Anna also served as interim chair of AUSB’s MBA program before the position became permanent in February 2016.
As program chair, Anna has added flexibility to the MBA curriculum to allow students to customize their educational experience. Innovations have included a face-to-face version of the program that works side-by-side with the hybrid track and multiple start dates throughout the academic year. She has also emphasized the importance of hiring faculty who have strong practical experience in the business world. In addition, she introduced an early alert system to support at-risk students to ensure the highest graduation rates.
Anna serves as a role model for aspiring women business leaders. More than 80 percent of the students currently enrolled in the MBA program are female. “I was inspired to see AUSB’s MBA chair honored because it shows the investment the university has placed on having a rigorous and respected socially conscious business program here in Santa Barbara. The program helped me launch several initiatives that promote social justice,” says MBA program alumni Kathy Burba, who is also a retired colonel from the U.S. Army.