Rob MacKay '88 to Become Vice Chair of USD School of Business Board of Advisors

Tuesday, January 19, 2021TOPICS: AlumniLeadership

USD School of Business Board of Advisors Vice Chair, Rob MacKay, in a light blue vintage Ford auto
begin quoteI'm excited to take on a larger role on the board this year because we are in a position to provide a point of view that will shape the direction of the new Knauss Center for Business Education and with it, a new enthusiasm on campus.

“This is probably the most exciting time to be part of the Board of Advisors,” said Rob MacKay ‘88. As a new year begins, the University of San Diego School of Business advisory board welcomes Rob Mackay into the role of vice chair, bringing a new leadership perspective to the table. 

“I’m excited to take on a larger role on the board this year because we are in a position to provide a point of view that will shape the direction of the new Knauss Center for Business Education and with it, a new enthusiasm on campus,” said MacKay.

MacKay first joined the USD School of Business Board of Advisors in 2008 after bumping into his former accounting professor, Diane Pattison. She casually mentioned that the board had an opening for a new member and that he might be a good fit. Soon after, Mackay joined the board with the goal of bringing a voice that represented accounting alumni. Though he always felt connected to the Torero community, he considers joining the board to be his first big step toward getting more involved with USD. 

During his time as an accounting student at the USD School of Business, MacKay was also a member of the nationally ranked men’s tennis team, serving as team captain his senior year. He credits his professional successes to the lessons he learned at USD as a student athlete and to the support he received from his dedicated accounting professors.

“Actually, Professor Diane Pattison was instrumental in preparing me to get a job at the Big 8 firms. She coached, advised and supported me along the interviewing process, all in an effort to help me secure my first accounting position,” said MacKay. 

Building upon that first accounting job, MacKay developed a career in corporate finance that spans 30 years. Until September 2018, he served as senior vice president, controller and chief accounting officer at S&P Global in New York City. And prior to that, he held several senior finance roles at PepsiCo for over 18 years.

In 2010, USD awarded MacKay the Author E. Hughes Achievement Award for his career achievements.

When students ask for advice, MacKay says, “be careful of who you sit next to in the cafeteria...”

That’s because USD is more than just the place where he thrived as a student and as an athlete — it’s where he met his wife. He fondly recalls the last day of junior year when he fatefully sat down next to fellow business student, Aida. They struck up a conversation and the rest is history. They are happily married today with two kids, one of whom graduated from USD in 2016.

Today, MacKay is retired and devoting his time to giving back to the community, a life change he was inspired to make after he began serving on the board of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Rome. Since then, he’s been on the lookout for ways to do more to help people, including accompanying refugees and asylum seekers who were part of the 2019 caravan of people who left Guatemala for the United States. 

As vice chair of the Board of Advisors at the USD School of Business, MacKay will be leading the expansion of the board of advisors to include a diverse group of members that will hold unique perspectives representing different generations and different backgrounds. 

“I'm excited to work alongside our chair, Jacqueline Akerblom, and the new dean, Tim Keane, to play a part in recruiting new board members who will bring great ideas that will positively shape the future of the USD School of Business,” says MacKay.

 

— Amber Kaplanis, Gabrielle Horta

Contact:

Gabrielle Horta
ghorta@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4468