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William V Rapp

William V. Rapp, PhD, is the first Henry J. Leir Professor of International Trade and Business in the School of Management at New Jersey Institute of Technology. His teaching and research focuses on international business, IT strategy, and financial institutions, especially using technology to gain competitive advantage.

Rapp has had an extensive international career in academia, business and government and joined NJIT after completing a year in Japan as a Fulbright Scholar and APSIA Visiting Professor at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. While in Kyoto, he assessed the political economic impact of Japan’s rapidly aging population while lecturing on the Asian Financial Crisis and the History of Investment Banking.

Most recently, Rapp is leading the Financial Bubble School of Management Research Project funded by the Ridgefield Foundation. He has developed an undergraduate distance learning course on international business under a NJ-I Tower grant and a graduate distance learning Capstone course on strategic management. In addition, he recently finished a research project on Japanese convenience stores and has begun another on globalization of major US law firms. He is now leading a real-time online case study initiative that includes studies on UPS, Dendrite, Pfizer, Toyota and Apple. Other responsibilities include: School of Management faculty secretary, member of the NJIT Intellectual Property committee; member of the School of Management Themes committee; and member of the School of Management graduate curriculum committee.

Rapp has been the Chair in Economic Relations with Japan and International Business at the University of Victoria in Canada, a Senior Research Fellow at Columbia University's Center on Japanese Economy and Business and its East Asian Institute, and the Toyota Visiting Professor of International Business at Columbia. He continues as a Senior Research Associate at Columbia, where he has directed two multi-year projects under grants from the US-Japan Friendship Commission and the Sloan Foundation examining US, EU and Japanese firms’ use of information technology to improve global competitiveness.

Before entering into full-time teaching and research, Rapp was active in business and government as Executive Director for Bank of America's Corporate Finance Group in Tokyo responsible for North Asia, Vice President at Mitsui Nevitt Capital Corporation in charge of Mergers and Finance, and Commercial Counselor at the US Embassy in Tokyo. Prior to his leave with the Federal Government, he was group head Bank of America's Project Finance Section for Mining and Minerals worldwide and a Vice President with JP Morgan. Earlier in his career he was a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group in Boston and Tokyo, an adjunct professor at NYU and Fordham Universities, and an economist for AID in Korea and Vietnam. Elected a director of the Japan Fund in 1991, he continued in this capacity until 2005 and was a member of the executive, audit and valuation committees.  He was a board member of the Association of Japanese Business Studies from 2003-2005.

He has written more than 80 individual and joint publications on various aspects of trade, international business, and corporate strategy plus presented many papers, given congressional testimony and public speeches on these topics: major fields of policy, economic and business research include product cycles, trade and investment strategies, industrial policy, international finance, intellectual property, information technology, US-Japan competitive interaction, and Japanese economy and business. He also completed under a Sloan Foundation grant a book, Information Technology Strategies, published by Oxford Press in 2002 and 2004 that was translated and published in Japanese in 2003. 

Rapp received his doctorate from Yale University in economics as a National Science Foundation Fellow. His master's degrees in economics and Japanese Studies are from Yale and Stanford Universities, the later as a Ford Foundation Fellow. His bachelor's degree in economics is from Amherst College, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

Last update: March 23, 2011

Topics: international trade, international business, financial institutions, corporate strategy, globalization of law firms, e-commerce, japanese convenience stores, strategic management