Dr. Jack N. Behrman was born March 5, 1922 in Waco, Texas, son of Marguerite and Mayes Behrman. Behrman was married over 70 years to the love of his life, Louise Sims (dec). Together, they shared an amazing life journey and created a loving, contributing family. Jack Behrman was father of four children: Doug, Gayle (dec.), Paul (dec.), and Andrea; grand-father of Kyle Jaster, Emma Jaster, Wyatt Jaster, Brett Behrman, Todd Behrman, Madi Bateman, and Callie Bateman Bradshaw, and great-grandfather of Ellis Pearson, Owen Bradshaw, and Nash Bradshaw. He passed away at 94 years of age on August 19, 2016 at Carol Woods Retirement Community in Chapel Hill, N.C.
He was preceded in death by his siblings: Mayes, Paul, and Barbara.
Dr. Behrman served the UNC Business School over 27 years as Professor of International Business, Director of the MBA Program, Associate Dean of the Faculty, and Luther Hodges Distinguished Professor of Ethics.
After graduation from Davidson College in 1943 with Honors in Economics, he received an MA in Economics from UNC and an MA and PhD from Princeton; later an honorary LLD from Davidson. He taught at Davidson, Princeton, Washington and Lee, George Washington, and the University of Delaware.
Prior to joining UNC, he served as Assistant Secretary for Domestic and International Business in the U.S. Department of Commerce under Secretary Luther Hodges in the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations; his portfolio included international trade and investment policies and programs and preparation for wartime mobilization of the economy.
After returning to academia in 1964, he continued as an advisor to the Departments of State, Commerce, and Treasury, the National Academy of Science, and National Academy of Engineering — and in New York to the United Nations, Committee for Economic Development, American Management Association, Council on Foreign Relations, Council of the Americas, and the Fund for Multinational Management Education.
He was a pioneer in the fields of comparative management, foreign licensing of technology, international business and government relations, and the role of multinational enterprises – subjects on which he published over 40 books and monographs and more than 150 professional articles, including two books on the role of ethics in business and the professions. While in the government, he initiated and helped form the International Executive Service Corps, which provided volunteers from among retired executives to advise private enterprises in developing countries.
In 1990, he initiated the formation of the MBA Enterprise Corps, supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development and private corporations and foundations; it sent volunteers from MBA Programs of a Consortium of the top 50 graduate business schools to formerly state-owned enterprises in Central Europe, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Latin America, and Africa for tours of a year or more. He remained its Chairman and CEO for 15 years.
Dr. Behrman’s career in international economics and business began in 1945 with a position in the International Labor Office in Montreal, Canada, working on post-World War II plans for a new international economic order, preparing full employment policies. He was continually involved in that prospect over his lifetime, interviewing and speaking to numerous groups of executives and government officials in 70 countries on the relations between international business and governments, changes in the world economy, and foreign economic policies of the U.S. and other governments.
His bio is included in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, and Who’s Who in the World.
He was a co-founder of the Academy of International Business, later its President and member of its Fellows. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of several corporate enterprises and non-government organizations.
His service included leadership roles in the Boy Scouts of America, membership on the Board of Directors of the Ethics Resource Center (Washington); Walco National Co. (NY); Troxler Electronics (Raleigh); Elder of the University Presbyterian Church; co-General Partner of the West Franklin Preservation Partners (Chapel Hill); and directorships in several other North Carolina organizations, including the NC World Trade Association, the NC/Japan Center, the District Export Council, and the Research Triangle World Trade Center.
Whether you knew him as ‘Dr. Behrman’, ‘Jack’, ‘Dad’, ‘Pops’, ‘Grand-Dad’, or ‘Poppee’, we were all truly fortunate to have this man of great character and ideas in our lives. He was mentor, friend, and inspiration to all.
There will be a private family burial in Chapel Hill. Donations in memory of Dr. Behrman may be made to The Davidson Trust, P.O Box 7170, Davidson College, Davidson, N.C. 28035.