Paul W. Thurman, DBA

  • Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management at CUMC
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Dr. Thurman, a multiple teaching and service award recipient, has extensive advisory and management experience helping a variety of global firms realize value from innovative business, operations, and technology strategies. He has held senior positions at Booz Allen Hamilton and American Express, and has served public and private sector clients on six continents.

Paul's consulting work focuses on facilitation and analytical modeling to support strategic planning and decision-making, cost management, and improved customer experiences. He has also developed solutions around customer segmentation, demand forecasting, and performance improvement. He currently runs his own management and education consultancy and is a frequent conference presenter.

Professor Thurman currently teaches strategic management and data analysis courses at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health.  He has also taught courses in decision, risk, and operations in the full-time and Executive MBA Programs at the Columbia, London, and University of California, Berkeley business schools, and at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs.  Paul was also a Healthcare Research Fellow, Professor, and MBA Program Director at the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO in Russia, and he has held visiting professorships in China, India, Brazil, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Australia, and Iceland.

In addition to his faculty appointments, Paul serves as a clinical professor and affiliated researcher at the National Cancer Institute's Center for Cancer Research at the National Institutes of Health. His recent peer-reviewed research has focused on scientific collaboration and its effect on research quality, and also on cancer drug patents, FDA approvals, and market pricing.  He is the author of MBA Fundamentals Statistics, (Kaplan, 2008; CreateSpace 2016), Pocket Guide to Data Analysis (Kaplan, 2009), and co-author (with Thomas P. Ference) of MBA Fundamentals Strategy (Kaplan, 2009; CreateSpace 2016).

Dr. Thurman is also lead editor and chapter author, with colleagues from around the world, of Female Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Father-Daughter Succession in Family Businesses, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability, and Leadership and Change Management: A Cross-Cultural Perspective, four research compendia published by Gower/Taylor and Rutledge (UK) from 2010-2016.  In 2013, Paul completed a text for the SAS Institute, Propensity Scoring and Adjustment for Causal Inference, and presently, in addition to leading USAID-, CDC-, and HRSA-funded efforts to reform public health education in Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and Democratic Republic of Congo, Paul is working with the World Bank to develop a text and workshop on data analysis and decision-making in fragile states focused on the country of Sudan.  He recently published his 10th book, a text on strategic planning and decision-making, for the SAS Institute.

Finally, Paul has served on the boards of the Greenburgh (New York) Nature Center, the Scarsdale (New York) Teen Center, and currently sits on the advisory boards of a number of entrepreneurial ventures in healthcare, media and entertainment, and information technology security.  Paul received his BS in mathematics from Stanford University and his MBA (valedictorian) from Columbia.  He also completed doctoral work in health policy and management at the State University of New York and received his Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree from the Ecole des Ponts Business School in Paris, France.

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management at CUMC

Administrative Titles

  • Technical Advisor and Faculty, ICAP
  • Executive Director, Columbia Alliance for Healthcare Management

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BS, 1989 Stanford University
  • MBA, 1998 Columbia University (Highest Honors)
  • DBA, 2018 Ecole des Ponts Business School (Paris)

Committees, Societies, Councils

Clinical Professor, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute

Visiting Professor, Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

Visiting Faculty, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University

Editorial Boards

At-large editor, Mathematics, Statistics, and Operations Research content areas, Springer Publishing (US)

Associate Editor, International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Editorial Board Member, Journal of Health Administration Education

Honors & Awards

Margaret Chandler Award for Teaching Excellence, Columbia, London, and UCBerkeley Business Schools, 2002, 2003

Dean's Award for Innovation in the Curriculum, Mailman School of Public Health, 2006

Graduation speaker, School of International and Public Affairs, January 2011


Veteran advisor to for-profit, not-for-profit, and government clients with a focus on strategic planning, data analysis and decision-making, and executive education.

Selected Publications

1. Thurman, P. W.* , Anderson, R., DiMasi, L., Sederstrom, N., & Nathanson, I. (2021). Lung health disparities in America: lessons learned about trust and empathetic medicine from a five-city listening tour. CHEST (American College of Chest Physicians) invited special feature article

2. Thurman, P. W.*, Michaels-Strasser, S., Lukusa, L. F. K., Ngulefac, J., Lukeni, B., Matumaini, S., Parmley, L., Zidana-Ndovi, S., & Malele, F. (2021). Addressing human resources for health needs to support HIV epidemic control: prioritizing site-level interventions in Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2018-2020. Journal of Interventional Epidemiology and Public Health, 4(15)

3. Michaels-Strasser, S., Thurman, P. W.*, Kasongo, M. N., Kapenda, D., Ngulefac, J., Lukeni, B., Matumaini, S., Parmley, L., Hughes, R., & Melele, F. (2021). Increasing nursing student interest in rural healthcare: lessons from a rural rotation in Democratic Republic of the Congo. Hum Resour Health, 19(1):53

Thurman, P. W. (2016). MBA fundamentals: Statistics: Analytics for decision-making. Atascadero, CA, United States: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

Ference, T. P. & Thurman, P. W. (co-first authors) (2016). MBA fundamentals: Strategy. Atascadero, CA, United States: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

Figg, W. D., Smith, E. K., Price, D. K., English, B. C., Thurman, P. W., Steinberg, S. M.(2010). Disclosing a diagnosis of cancer: where and how does it occur? Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 28(22), 3630-3635

Wolfe, M. E., Yagoda, D., Thurman, P. W., Luna, J. M., & Figg, II, W. (2009). NCI designated cancer center funding not influenced by organizational structure. Cancer biology & therapy, 8(10), 869-873

Luna, J. M., Thurman, P. W., Wolfe, M., Yagoda, D., Reed, E., & Figg Sr, W. D. (2009). Private Practice Administrative Costs Influenced by Insurance Payer Mix. Journal of oncology practice, 5(6), 291-297

Figg, W. D., Dunn, L., Liewehr, D. J., Steinberg, S. M., Thurman, P. W., Barrett, J. C., & Birkinshaw, J. (2006). Scientific collaboration results in higher citation rates of published articles. Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy, 26(6), 759-767

Cox, M. C., Figg, W. D., & Thurman, P. W. (2004). No rational theory for drug pricing. Journal of clinical oncology, 22(5), 962-963

Global Health Activities

SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management: Visiting Professor (MBA, EMBA Programs) Former MBA Director Former Healthcare Research Director

Guanghua School of Management, Peking University: Visiting Professor of Management (MBA Programs)

Reykjavik University: Visiting Professor, Health Policy and Management (Executive Programs)

Urban Health Activities

Board Member: Greenburgh Nature Center (Scarsdale, NY)

Board Member: Scarsdale Teen Center

Board Member: Other entrepreneurial ventures including a cancer drug treatment start-up, a technology security firm, and a sports marketing company. Also an Advisory Board member to Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a leading provider of global University rankings and consulting services.