Executive Director of Oregon Executive MBA Retires

Oregon Executive MBA's Julianna Sowash Retires

After more than 20 years with the Oregon Executive MBA, Executive Director Julianna Sowash has retired. Her last day with the program was April 30.

In her decades with the Portland-based program, Sowash played a crucial role in helping it grown and innovate to meet the ever-evolving needs of its students. Her initiatives include

  • Building out three different office and classroom facilities
  • Transitioning the program's delivery model
  • Adding global trips and executive coaching to the program's offerings
  • Reviving marketing and admissions when she returned to the program in 2013 after a three-year hiatus

Sowash started as the program's executive director in 1995 and spent 17 of her more than 20 years with the program in that role. Over the years, she has made a difference in the professional lives of more than 1,100 accomplished professionals, personally recruiting more than 800 of them. Alumni that Sowash recruited include former OHSU president Dr. Joe Robertson; former CEO and president of BendBroadband Amy Tykeson; and former AWS Elemental CEO and cofounder Sam Blackman, to name a few.

The length of Sowash's career at the Oregon Executive MBA would be noteworthy under any circumstances. But given that executive MBA programs as a whole experience a 30 percent turnover in leadership each year, her years of service are especially impressive.

Sowash leaves a program that is stronger than ever. The entire executive MBA team is dedicated to the program's mission, and with Director Rachel Todd and Academic Director Deb Bauer on board, the program is well positioned to continue building on its current success.

Sowash's plans for retirement include spending more time with her family as well as spending more time on horseback. She looks forward to having more time to begin competing again, as well as riding some of the region's wonderful trails.

Thank you, Julianna Sowash, for everything you've done for the Oregon Executive MBA, the Lundquist College of Business, and the University of Oregon.