What drew you to be a part of the OKGIT?
I first learned of the OKGIT and its mission through Drs. Steve Miller and Jim Hromas, when I was a graduate student at OSU in 2004. Their involvement in the OKGIT and passion for promoting the state of Oklahoma around the world was contagious. Thirteen years later, I had the opportunity to represent the Spears School of Business and to connect our land-grant mission with the GIT.
Tell us about your international experiences and how that is reflected in your life and work in Oklahoma.
I was raised in Chihuahua, Mexico, and frequently traveled to Texas during my childhood. I attended the University of Texas at El Paso for a year, and this exposure to international higher education was the beginning of my journey in global education. I returned to attend college in Mexico, but my curiosity for learning from other cultures continued, and I had the opportunity to attend seven higher education institutions in four countries (US, Mexico, the Netherlands, and France) while obtaining my academic degrees. When I attended Oklahoma State University for my master’s, I experienced as an international student the unique hospitality and openness that you can only find in Oklahoma. It has been my goal since then to treat all the students and visitors the same way I was treated.
Why is it important for you that Oklahoma has strong international ties?
Trade is critical to the success of essential sectors in our economy. Strengthening the international relations of the state of Oklahoma could have a positive economic impact on our country. Establishing and building global partnerships is an investment that will generate new opportunities for Oklahomans. Across the globe, states that invest in people-to-people diplomacy and collaboration have a competitive advantage. As a business professor, it is fulfilling to be part of a diverse group that is working towards deeper collaborations with our international partners.
About Dr. Sagarnaga
Dr. José A. Sagarnaga is Director of the Center for Advanced Global Leadership and Engagement (CAGLE) at the Spears School of Business and Assistant Professor of Professional Practice of Management, specializing in corporate social responsibility and global business. Before assuming this position, Sagarnaga served in multiple roles at Oklahoma State University for ten years, including Assistant Director of OSU’s Ph.D. in Business for Executives program at the Spears School of Business; and Manager of the OSU Mexico Liaison Offices at Stillwater, Okla., UDLAP and UPAEP University in Puebla, Mexico.
Sagarnaga received his Doctorate in Economic Development from UPAEP University in Mexico, his Master of Science in International Business and Economic Development from OSU, and his Bachelor of Arts in Financial Administration from Monterrey Tech in Mexico. He has also completed executive programs at Harvard Business School in Corporate Social Responsibility and the Leadership Initiative for Excellence Program at CIMBA Italy.
Dr. Sagarnaga conducts research and lectures on various cross-cultural and international management topics. He is primarily interested in business sustainability and cross-cultural leadership.
Sagarnaga has developed academic and professional programs in sixteen countries and has traveled to forty-five countries in five continents. Sagarnaga was appointed as a member of the Oklahoma Governor’s International Team in 2017.