Busy Conference

Keynote Speakers

​Professor Robert Handfield

Affiliation: North Carolina State University

Rob Handfield is the Bank of America University Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management at North Carolina State University and director of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (scm.ncsu.edu). He also serves as an adjunct professor with the Supply Chain Management Research Group at the Manchester Business School. 

Keynote Title: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines of the COVID-19 US Supply Chains: A Look Back

Abstract: Rob Handfield served as a pro bono consultant to the Joint Acquisition Task Force (US Air Force) working to find PPE and ventilators for U.S hospitals between March -June 2020. During this period, he spoke with hospital's ICU physicians, federal emergency management agencies, state Chief Procurement Officers, military personnel, members of the White House Response Committee, and active members of the Strategic National Stockpile. After this episode, he and his colleagues wrote some important lessons learned from this disaster, and identfied important characteristics of federal pandemic responses for the future. He will describe his experiences during this time at this discussion.

Lisa Ellram.png

Professor Lisa Ellram

Affiliation: University of Miami

Lisa M. Ellram, Ph.D., C.P.M., CMA, Scor-S is University Distinguished Professor and the Rees Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management  in the Department of Management at the Farmer School of Business, Miami University in Oxford, OH. 

Keynote Title: Supply Chain Theory, Practice and Everything Else

Abstract: There has never been a time in history when supply chain management has received as much visibility and attention. Granted, much of the visibility right now is unfavorable, but at least most people are now aware that supply chains exist, and are important. In spite of all the negative implications of supply chain disruptions, we have an amazing opportunity right now to communicate the benefits of well planned, managed and executed supply chains, and gain stature and recognition in both academia and practice. In this talk, I will share ideas about supply chain theory and practice, how they are and should be related, and what we should be doing to move supply chain theory ahead. Why is it important to have supply chain theory? What are some areas that could benefit greatly from supply chain-related theory? Can theory help advance practice? I will include many examples from the news and my own research. I am very interested in hearing your ideas on these topics.


Professor Chris Tang

Affiliation: UCLA

A foremost scholar on supply chain management, having published more than 100 articles in academic journals, magazines and newspapers as well as five books, Distinguished Professor Christopher S. Tang holds the Edward W. Carter Chair in Business Administration. 

Keynote Title: Improving Supply Chain Resilience: Pandemic Motivated Research Ideas


Abstract: Prolonged shortages of PPE, vaccines, and semiconductor chips during the Covid-19 Pandemic exposed the vulnerabilities of global supply chains. In this plenary talk, I share my observations and discuss potential steps that government representatives, industry leaders, and INFORMS members can take to improve supply chain resilience.