John L. Ward

John Ward is a co-founder of The Family Business Consulting Group and consultant emeritus well-regarded for his expertise on continuity, ownership, governance and philanthropy. He is author or co-author of leading books on family business: Perpetuating the Family Business; Family Business as Paradox; Keeping the Family Business Healthy; When Family Businesses are Best; Building a Successful Family Business Board; and many others. With Craig Aronoff, John authored many books from “The Family Business Leadership Series.” 

In addition to his consulting and writing work, John served as co-director of The Center for Family Enterprises at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management where he was Clinical Professor of Family Enterprises. Prior to that, he was the Ralph Marotta Professor of Private Enterprise and Associate Dean at Loyola University Chicago and a Senior Associate with Strategic Planning Institute (PIMS Program) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. John has taught at IMD (Switzerland), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Indian School of Business, and IESE (Barcelona). 

John is also a founding member of the Family Firm Institute and the 1994 recipient of the Richard Beckhard Practice Award that honors distinguished practitioners in the family business field.


  • B.A, Northwestern University
  • M.B.A. and Ph.D., Stanford Graduate School of Business

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