Whitman Supply Chain Professor Elected VP of Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Society

Burak Kazaz, Ph.D., was elected vice president of the Manufacturing and Service Operations Management (MSOM) Society, one of the largest societies within the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS). The position not only recognizes Kazaz’s contributions but also highlights Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management’s supply chain program and faculty. 

Kazaz joined the Whitman School in 2007. He is now the Steven Becker Professor of Supply Chain Management in the Whitman School of Management and the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence for Syracuse University. He also serves as the director for the Brehten Operations Management Institute. Kazaz’s research interests include mitigating risk in global supply chain operations, supply chain financing, and designing socially-responsible supply chain operations. His publications received numerous best paper awards reflecting the impact and quality of his scholarly projects.

A member of INFORMS since he was a doctoral student at Purdue University, much of Kazaz’s work employs analytical methods including operations research and management science. From 2018 to 2020, he chaired the iFORM (Integration of Finance Operations and Risk Management) special interest group under INFORMS. In his new role, he also became a member of the MSOM board of directors. His responsibilities as vice presidents of MSOM include organizing the content for two annual conferences, as well as including the selection of papers to be accepted for presentation.

“It’s not easy to have your work selected for presentation at this conference,” he says, noting that fewer than 50% of the submission are accepted. The chosen authors, however, ultimately hope to be included in the M&SOM journal, of which Kazaz is the associate editor. “Only the cream of the crop will get into the journal due to the rigors of the work. It’s a pretty critical group,” he explains. 

“It is very important for the Whitman School to have an officer in a leading position in this organization,” he explains. “I don’t think there has ever been a Whitman faculty member in this position at MSOM and/or INFORMS until now. Aside from being honored to have been elected, I also believe this encourages our junior faculty to see that the Whitman School is a leading institution and that their work is premier. It helps the reputation of the entire school, as most who are chosen for positions like this come from well-known prestigious universities.”

Kazaz helped organize the 2020 INFORMS Conference in November and the Whitman School of Management hosted the business meeting of the MSOM Society. Initially, the conference was scheduled to be held in Washington, D.C., but due to the global pandemic, it became a virtual event. Still, it attracted  the best and the brightest in the field from around the globe. 

“The INFORMS membership consists of scholars from around the world, as well as business school faculty, engineers, mathematicians, information scientists and analytics experts. Some of our members are Nobel laureates,” he explains. “I am very honored to have been chosen for the position of vice president and to represent the Whitman School as a member of this organization.”