W. P. Carey School names American Airlines Chairman and CEO Doug Parker 2019 Executive of the Year

April 11, 2019

Chairman and CEO of American Airlines Doug Parker was awarded the 2019 Executive of the Year Award by Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business. The award honors business leaders who have created and sustained superior organizational performance and whose presence exemplifies a model for future business leaders.

In recognition of his leadership, integrating US Airways and American, and his strong support of the airline’s employees, the school honored him at a luncheon at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort on April 4. Chairman and CEO American Airlines Doug Parker Chairman and CEO of American Airlines Doug Parker. Download Full Image

"It's an honor to recognize Doug Parker as this year's Executive of the Year," said W. P. Carey School of Business Dean Amy Hillman. "He is a beacon of reliability in an industry that has gone through a lot of changes. “Doug has led the airline with tremendous vision and integrity, and the results have shown through both financial and operational performance."

Parker was named chairman and CEO of American Airlines Group in 2013. Previously, he was chairman and CEO of US Airways. Before the merger of US Airways and America West Airlines in 2005, Parker was chairman, president and CEO of America West.

"What's been driving me and why we did these mergers was not because I wanted to be a CEO of a bigger company," Parker said at the event. "People who are hardworking should have a company they don't have to worry about. That was the way to give them a safe harbor."

Parker is a strong supporter of the people of the airline industry, and American is emblematic of the transformation that has occurred in the industry. American has produced record financial results in recent years, allowing the airline to make unprecedented investments in its team members and product while returning money to shareholders.

Prior to joining America West in 1995, Parker served in multiple leadership roles with Northwest Airlines and American Airlines. He received a bachelor's degree in economics from Albion College in 1984 and an MBA from Vanderbilt University in 1986.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, American Airlines offers an average of nearly 6,700 flights daily to 350 destinations in 50 countries. American has more than 130,000 team members around the globe and serves more than 200 million passengers annually.

Parker married his wife, Gwen, in 1990, and they have three children: Jackson, Luke and Eliza.

He is the 36th Executive of the Year chosen by the Dean’s Council, a national group of prominent executives who advise the W. P. Carey School of Business.

The event to honor him was part of the annual Economic Club of Phoenix speaker series.

Shay Moser

Managing Editor, W. P. Carey School of Business


ASU graduate student recognized for outstanding research

April 11, 2019

Arizona State University's Graduate and Professional Student Association recently announced winners from six different award categories. The GPSA recognizes graduate and professional students who exemplify excellence in education and classroom instruction.

Matthew Nielson, a family and human development graduate student from the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, was among those who received the outstanding research award. Picture of Matthew Nielson and his Spouse Matthew Nielson and his spouse, Brynn Embley-Nielson.

Nielson feels like he has “come in to his own” regarding his academic pursuits in the last few years.

“Research and teaching are increasingly becoming sources of confidence and joy, and I think this award reflects that,” he said.

His research, centered around the pressure that boys feel to live up to masculine appearance ideals, is proving to be more far-reaching than he initially thought.

“I generally struggle to connect my research to policy change or other applied intervention-type avenues. However, my male body image project has allowed me to share my findings with various communities. I talk about the outcomes of the research with the students I am teaching this semester, and I am holding conversation hours with local community groups of young men,” Nielson said.

Nielson’s current research project is overseen by his faculty advisor, Carol Martin. “Matthew is a well-read and skilled researcher who brings enthusiasm and energy to solving problems that are important but may be neglected by gender development researchers; in particular, his interests center on issues that affect boys and men, such as felt pressure to conform to gender norms,” said Martin. 

Picture of Matthew and 7 members of his mens group.

Matthew Nielson (top center) with men from a community group.

In reflecting on the importance of his current research, Nielson says his driving motivation to do research is because he is intensely interested about learning more about gender identity development for himself.

What is masculinity and how come some boys/men feel so alienated by it? How do parents, peers and the media socialize rising generations about “appropriate” gender behavior? How do gender rules and norms change across the lifespan?

These are the questions that continue to energize his research.

John Keeney

Media Relations Coordinator, T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics