J. Gerald  Suarez, PhD

J. Gerald Suarez, PhD

University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business

Professor of the Practice in Systems Thinking & Design | Fellow, Center for Leadership, Innovation and Change

Expertise: ManagementOrganizational DesignSystems ThinkingTotal Quality ManagementWork-Life Balance

Dr. J. Gerald Suarez is a premier educator, speaker and consultant in the fields of Organizational Design, Systems Thinking and Total Quality Management. Suarez joined Smith in 2005 as Executive Director of the multidisciplinary Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams (QUEST) Honors Fellows program. He was a Ralph J. Tyser Teaching Fellow and an Executive Education Senior Fellow. From 2008 to 2010 he served as Associate Dean of External Strategy, leading the offices of marketing communications, recruitment and career services. Suarez earned the prestigious Allen J. Krowe Teaching Excellence Award and has been consistently selected a Top 15% Faculty Member at the Smith School. He teaches at the corporate, executive MBA, custom EMBA, international, and undergraduate levels. He is also a Lockheed Martin Visiting Technical Fellow.

Prior to joining the Smith School, Suarez served under two administrations in the White House as the Director of Presidential Quality -- the first such post in the institution’s history. In this capacity, he initiated efforts to inculcate systems thinking and organizational redesign into the White House Communications Agency, the White House Military Office and the Executive Office of the President of the United States. He also served as Director of Customer Support and Organizational Development for the White House Military Office. Suarez traveled aboard Air Force One and Presidential helicopters in numerous missions worldwide. He received many Presidential awards and commendations for his work, including the Exceptional Civilian Service Medal, the White House Distinguished Service Award, the Commander-in-Chief Coin, and the White House Certificate for Meritorious Service.

Prior to his White House assignments, Suarez worked for the Office of the Under Secretary of the Navy’s Total Quality Leadership Office and for the Navy Personnel Research and Development Center in San Diego, California. In these roles, he served as a researcher, instructor and consultant for both the Department of the Navy and the Department of Defense (DoD).

Suarez has been active academically in both the United States and abroad. For ten years, he was a Visiting Professor at the Asturias Business School in Spain and was presented with the 49th Jovellanos Award in 2002, and the 4th Dali Original Sculpture Award in 2008 for his significant contributions to the advancement of social responsibility. At the National Graduate School of Quality Systems Management, he led the development of the institution's academic vision as the Chief Academic Officer, and was subsequently named Faculty Member of the Decade (1993-2003). Suarez has traveled to Shanghai and Tianjin, China as an educator and consultant, and in 2006 he designed and delivered an accelerated MBA train-the-trainer program to a select team of faculty members of the Islamic University of Gaza in Cairo, Egypt.

Suarez has produced several publications and instructional videotapes on teamwork, organizational redesign, and how to manage fear in the workplace. He collaborated with the late W. Edwards Deming and served as facilitator during his famous 4-day quality seminars. His publications and training strategies for educating the Defense workforce in quality management received DoD-wide distribution. His work has been showcased in international publications such as the Harvard Deusto Business Review as well as in national publications such as Quality Progress, the Journal for Quality and Participation and Executive Excellence. His research on “Fear in the Workplace” was featured on public television and showcased in the commercially available video series, "Better Management for a Changing World."

Suarez holds a master's degree and a Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico, and he has been certified as a Chief Information Officer by The National Defense University Information Resources Management College. He is a frequent keynote speaker at national and international conferences. Currently he resides in Fairfax County, Virginia with his wife and three children.

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Pursuing Work-Life Balance Isn’t a Want, It’s a Need for Success

UMD Smith expert gives five keys for supervisors and workers to enhance their approach to work-life balance.
18-May-2023 12:40:16 PM EDT

The State of Remote Work Three Years After COVID Emptied Offices

UMD Smith’s Gerald Suarez examines post-pandemic employer-worker dynamics.
15-Feb-2023 02:00:08 PM EST

Employee advice for office re-entry during COVID-19

Transitioning back to the office during the coronavirus crisis can be not only draining, but also treacherous because of potential emotional landmines. To ease into this period of workplace reentry, Maryland Smith organizational psychology expert Gerald Suarez offers advice.
23-Jul-2020 08:05:06 AM EDT

How to Weigh and Implement a 4-Day Workweek

26-May-2020 01:45:58 PM EDT

Books like this "offer valuable insight to the student in a business school who has no clear insight on what it really takes to be an entrepreneur," said Suarez, who was not familiar with the Perdue book. "The narrative of a success story can really prepare a student who needs a little inspiration

- Book offers business wisdom from Frank Perdue

"The issue with busyness and things to do is that we forget life ought to be around 'how to be,'" Suarez says. "With every little task we accomplish without mindfulness, we forfeit our joy."

- Enjoy the Season: Slow down, enjoy the present, and be intentional about celebrating

"They want to be unshackled by policies and regulations that restrict them from seeking new possibilities," Suarez said. "They like to work with people who inspire them and pull the future into the present."

- Enjoy the Season: Slow down, enjoy the present, and be intentional about celebrating

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