Anna Nagurney, the Eugene M. Isenberg Chair in Integrative Studies, is known for her expertise in supply chains, logistics, and disaster management. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she has spoken regularly to local, national, and international media outlets about the product supply chain issues, blood supply disruptions, and vaccine distribution questions that have arisen.
Her media outreach has recently been stepped up again, with her expertise sought as a result of the war on Ukraine. On top of the logistics and disaster questions that the war poses, Nagurney has a special interest in Ukraine: Her parents were Ukrainian, and left the country as refugees of WWII to settle in Canada—where Nagurney was born.
“Ukrainian is my first language,” Nagurney says. “I did not learn English until my family immigrated to the US and I entered kindergarten. I attended a Ukrainian Catholic elementary school and have been to Ukraine several times.”
A few years ago, Nagurney was appointed to the International Academic Board (IAB) and the Board of Directors (BOD) of the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE)—the leading school of business in Ukraine. “It is a great honor to serve on the IAB with a Nobel leaureate in economics and on the BOD with a former US Ambassador to Ukraine,” she says. “After the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, I was elected co-chair of the board of directors of KSE.”
In April, Nagurney wrote an op-ed for the Chicago Sun-Times explaining that a new Marshall Plan must be developed to mitigate the war's impact on Ukrainians (including refugees both inside and outside of the country) and on countries that depend on food grown in Ukraine during the humanitarian disaster that is unfolding there. She was also quoted in an AP article that was featured in several publications, including the Los Angeles Times, about U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's efforts to focus world finance leaders on the issue of food insecurity caused by the war. Yellen's meeting “speaks to the growing fear and the increasing understanding that the world may be on the verge of a hunger catastrophe,” Nagurney told the reporter.
In March, Nagurney was quoted in two separate articles in the New York Times, helping explain in one that the departure of western brands including Ikea and Levi’s from Russia would send a signal to shoppers that their government was not telling them the whole truth about the global situation. In another, she discussed the potential for exacerbated global shipping delays as a result of sanctions placed on Russia because of the war.
For an article written by the Associated Press and syndicated by multiple outlets across the country, Nagurney spoke about the disruptions to food supplies that the war is causing—particularly with Ukrainian workers fighting or fleeing violence and transportation lines closed out of the country. She further amplified the discussion of disruptions and impacts on food insecurity of the war in another Associated Press article.
Nagurney has spoken on the John Moore radio show in Toronto, Canada, and—along with fellow KSE BOD members—was interviewed by John Batchelor for his “Eyes on the World” nationally syndicated radio show, where they spoke about how KSE is “open for business” while under fire and how the faculty and students are engaged in humanitarian efforts. Because of her passion for and research on agricultural supply chains and Ukraine, she was also on “Feedstuffs,” hosted by Sarah Muirhead.
Nagurney has also spoken to local media. For an article on MassLive, she described the work she has been doing meeting via videoconference with colleagues at the Kyiv School of Economics, with the intent of supporting the school’s programs and its students, faculty, and staff through the country’s bombardment. She was also interviewed by WWLP, which asked for her thoughts on how effective cyber-security efforts have been in stalling Russian attacks in both Ukraine and western countries.
And the professional society of INFORMS produced a podcast (with transcript) featuring Nagurney's recommendations for humanitarian aid for Ukraine and its critical role as the world's breadbasket.
What keeps Nagurney going now is the incredible courage, stamina, dedication and vision of her colleagues in Ukraine, who are battling for democracy and the freedom of their country. She says that through her outreach and interviews with the media, she is honoring her relatives, both living and deceased, and many friends and teachers, who helped to preserve the Ukrainian heritage and the beautiful language and culture, despite having to flee Ukraine as refugees. “Given the resilience of Ukrainians, I am sure that the present generation will continue to do so.”