About David

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“Obstfeld’s network theory is cutting edge and sets a new research agenda for those interested in getting new things done.”

Ted Baker
Farris Chair in Entrepreneurship,
Rutgers Business School

David Obstfeld, Founder of the Social Capital Academy, is an Associate Professor of Management at College of Business and Economics, at California State University, Fullerton, and an Affiliated Research Scientist at the USC Center for Effective Organizations. He is a recognized authority on driving creativity, innovation, and change through the power of networks and is the author of Getting New Things Done: Networks, Brokerage, and the Assembly of Innovative Action (Stanford Business Press, 2017)

David is well-known in the field of social science and is the author of multiple highly cited, high-impact articles that have shaped the conversation on how we coordinate action through networks to catalyze innovation. The relevance of his work spans business, social, educational, and artistic landscapes.

His most recent research applies his social network and social capital focus to improve the educational success of first generation and underrepresented minority students. In this work, he has designed a new program called The Social Capital Academy. The goal of the program is to teach students to use social and cultural capital to access career-related jobs and broadened career vision. Students harness their stories of resilience and multicultural capacity working alongside successful career professionals to meaningfully overcome the constraints of social inequality.

David is the recipient of numerous grants and recognitions including major grants from the National Science Foundation as well as the recipient of The American Sociological Association’s W. Richard Scott Award in recognition of his work’s outstanding contribution to the organizational discipline over the preceding three years.

David received his A.B. from the University of Chicago and his PhD from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and has served on the faculty of New York University’s Stern School of Business and the University of California, Irvine’s Merage School of Business. He currently lives in Irvine, California.

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