David L. Ager

Dr. David Ager

Advisor, Instructor

David L. Ager is a senior advisor and associate partner at Cambridge Advisors to Family Enterprise, a highly specialized, international advisory firm serving family enterprises. He is a fellow at Cambridge Institute for Family Enterprise, a leading education and research institute on the issues family enterprises face. Both organizations comprise Cambridge Enterprise Family Group, a global organization founded in 1989 that is devoted to helping families achieve multigenerational success for their families, enterprises, and financial wealth.

Dr. Ager is senior fellow and senior director within Executive Education at Harvard Business School, where he leads courses on family business, leadership, and organizations. He is co-chair of the Families in Business: From Generation to Generation executive program, and designs and directs customized executive programs for companies. His teaching addresses leadership development, talent development in the next generation, governance, succession planning, family office issues, strategic planning, M&A, innovation, change management, and team building. Dr. Ager has co-authored over thirty case studies that focus on a variety of management and ownership dilemmas in the areas of leadership, organizational change, family business, strategy, M&A, and international business.

In his advisory work, Dr. Ager advises large, family-controlled enterprises around the world on the strategies for successfully sustaining the family, business, and family office over multiple generations. He advises, teaches, and facilitates conversations on the topics of family enterprise governance design and implementation, succession planning throughout the system, building talent and leadership throughout the system, strengthening the family office, and strategies for growing families to remain united and engaged in support of their enterprise activities.

His advisory career has spanned the private, public and academic sectors. He has advised organizations around the world that operate in diverse sectors that include finance, energy, high technology, hospitality, consumer products, luxury goods, bio-technology, retail, pharmaceutical, and telecommunications, among others.

From 2004 to 2012, Dr. Ager served as a faculty member and the director of undergraduate studies in the Sociology Department at Harvard University. In 2010, Harvard University awarded him the Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize for excellence in teaching and dedication to undergraduate education. Among the early faculty members to introduce the case method of learning to Harvard College, he offered courses on leadership, organizational sociology, and field research methods. Dr. Ager introduced the first undergraduate course on Social Entrepreneurship at Harvard College, with an emphasis on using entrepreneurial approaches to create for-profit, not-for-profit, and hybrid ventures to address social problems and bring about social change.

Dr. Ager earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior, a joint degree granted by Harvard Business School and Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He earned an Honors B.Sc. in Economics and Human Biology from the University of Toronto, an M.B.A. from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, and an M.A. in Sociology from Harvard University.