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Thunderbird Executive Education programs earn No. 20 in world ranking by Financial Times

Several people sit around a table in a conference room.

Thunderbird’s Executive Education programs help sharpen performance and improve organizational capacity at global institutions that require custom-tailored executive programming. Photo courtesy of Thunderbird School of Global Management

May 26, 2023

The Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University has been recognized by the Financial Times Executive Education rankings for 2023 for its exceptional delivery of custom and open enrollment programs.

Released on May 22, the prestigious global ranking places Thunderbird’s Executive Education custom programs at No. 20 worldwide — ahead of the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge — and No. 4 in the United States, among the top 75 programs globally.

The 2023 rankings also placed Thunderbird at No. 5 in the world for best “overseas custom programs” and No. 11 for “most international participants” in open enrollment programs. Schools are ranked annually and include various criteria, such as program design, teaching methods and materials, level of internationality, overseas programs, innovativeness, value for money, growth, partner schools and faculty diversity. 

“We are proud of our world-class portfolio of executive education programs and our ability to partner with vanguard companies, governments and institutions from across the globe,” said Sanjeev Khagram, director general and dean of Thunderbird. “Our top placement in this year’s Financial Times rankings indicates our ability to not only design but also deliver innovative and transdisciplinary professional learning opportunities for senior leaders and managers practically anywhere in the world.” 

Through Thunderbird’s Executive Education programs, organizations and individuals around the world have benefited from a wide range of custom learning experiences, offering multiday engagements both online and in person. These custom programs have helped sharpen performance and improve organizational capacity at global institutions that require executive programming tailored to their employees or constituent group.

“Through ASU’s Learning Enterprise and other partner schools within ASU, we are able to offer cutting-edge executive learning — from fully immersive to 100% digital — in every modality,” Khagram said.

Thunderbird’s custom programs are tailored to the specific needs of various countries and industries. These programs have been delivered to government officials in Oman, chemical companies in Saudi Arabia, global health care organizations in the United States and Germany, as well as public and commercial entities in Indonesia.

“Thunderbird is at the forefront of cutting-edge executive education programs, making it a vital unit within ASU's Learning Enterprise,” said Maria Anguiano, executive vice president of the Learning Enterprise (LE) at ASU. “As we advance universal access to learning at all life stages at LE, global leadership and management are key skills that are transferable across all industries. Through ASU and Thunderbird, those skills are within reach for everyone.”

Thunderbird’s open enrollment offerings take place at one of the school’s regional Centers of Excellence locations or at Thunderbird Global Headquarters on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. Recent open enrollment programming has included topics such as Agile Leadership: From Strategy to Execution, offered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Space Leadership, Business and Policy, offered in both Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Upcoming open enrollment programs include Blitzscaling: Identifying and Managing New Hyper-Growth Initiatives, taking place Oct. 9–11 at Thunderbird Global Headquarters.

Thunderbird’s open enrollment programs have gained recognition for their capacity to draw a diverse array of participants, with the Space Leadership, Business and Policy program attracting executives from esteemed organizations such as the U.S. Department of State, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the Saudi Space Commission.

“Through these dynamic learning environments, our participants have benefited from engaging in a meaningful exchange of ideas and experiences that nurture global connections,” said Khagram. “We look forward to seeing the impact that our programs will continue to have on the global network of leaders and managers in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and beyond.”

For more information about Thunderbird School of Global Management's Executive Education programs, please visit

A detailed look at the results of the Financial Times Executive Education Rankings for 2023 can be viewed on the Financial Times website here.

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