MGA student speaking in class

McKenna Center for Human Development and Global Business

McKenna Center for Human Development and Global Business

The McKenna Center seeks to better understand the critical role of global business in reducing poverty and inequality.

Stimulate economic growth and develop markets in societies that struggle with poverty, underemployment, and inequality.

Foster collaboration among the private sector, government, universities, and nonprofit development and humanitarian organizations to advance integral human development.

Build and reinforce corporate cultures characterized by integrity, responsible stewardship, and environmental sustainability.

“The McKenna Center places the private sector’s entrepreneurial creativity and resourceful problem-solving in the service of creating economic prosperity for people currently struggling to find their niche in the marketplace of goods, services, and ideas.”

Scott Appleby

Marilyn Keough Dean of the Keough School

Programs for the South Bend Community

The South Bend Entrepreneurship and Adversity Program empowers disadvantaged community members to create and grow their own businesses. As part of the program, participants complete the Community Bootcamp for Entrepreneurs, which introduces them to basic tools, concepts, and principles relevant to launching and growing a successful venture.

Learn about Community Bootcamp

McKenna Center Global Partnership for Poverty

Programs for research and teaching

The Global Partnership for Poverty and Entrepreneurship (GPPE) is an online portal to support research, education, and community engagement. Members include universities, colleges, and nonprofits. Through collaboration and best-practice sharing, the McKenna Center and its GPPE members hope to better understand and facilitate the role of entrepreneurial behavior in alleviating poverty across the globe.

Learn about GPPE

Programs for Students

Entrepreneurship and Empowerment in South Africa (EESA) is a six-week immersive program where students help historically disadvantaged entrepreneurs in the townships around Cape Town, South Africa.

Students work closely with South African students and entrepreneurs, producing tangible deliverables that the entrepreneur can use to make their ventures sustainable. Teams develop marketing and financial plans, create bookkeeping systems, improve operations, renegotiate contracts, and more.

Learn about EESA

Programs for entrepreneurship professors

The Experiential Classroom is an annual three-day clinic for faculty from across the globe who are relatively new to the teaching and building of entrepreneurship programs. The clinic is jointly offered by the University of Notre Dame, the University of Tampa, and the University of Florida.

Learn about the Experiential Classroom

Graduate Student Fellowships

The Keough School is committed to attracting the most promising students into the Master of Global Affairs, regardless of their financial background or circumstances, and to ensuring that students do not graduate with debt that would prevent them from pursuing their professional calling in public service. Fellowships are awarded to incoming students based on academic promise and merit.

The McKenna Center Fellowship provides funding for one master of global affairs student each year to receive a full-tuition general merit fellowship.

Learn about student fellowships

Ngoc Thang, MGA Class of 2019 McKenna Fellowship Recipient

Babajide Adebiyi, MGA Class of 2020 McKenna Fellowship Recipient


Andrew J. McKenna Sr., a University of Notre Dame alumnus and emeritus chairman of the Board of Trustees, made a leadership gift to his alma mater for the establishment of the Andrew J. and Joan P. McKenna Center for Human Development and Global Business.

A member of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees since 1980, McKenna served as vice chair from 1986 to 1992 and chair from 1992 to 2000. He holds honorary degrees from Notre Dame and St. Xavier University and was Notre Dame’s Laetare Medalist in 2000.

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Andrew J. McKenna headshot

Ray Offenheiser headshot


Distinguished professor of the practice and seasoned policy executive Ray Offenheiser serves as the interim director of the McKenna Center for Human Development and Global Business.

A widely known nonprofit leader and innovator with a broad range of international development experience in Asia, Africa and Latin America, Offenheiser served as president of Oxfam America for 20 years. Under his leadership, the agency grew eightfold and repositioned itself in the United States as an influential voice on international development, human rights and governance, humanitarianism, and foreign assistance.

View director profile

News & Events

The McKenna Center partnered with the Pulte Institute for Global Development, Citi Foundation, and the City of South Bend to host a two-day conference on the future of work. The conference convened thought leaders from the private sector; international NGOs; foundations; academia; and local, state, and federal governments.

View event details