Notre Dame’s Mendoza College names director for new master in finance program

Author: Carol Elliott

Gianna Bern Gianna Bern

The University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business has named Gianna Bern as the director of the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program, a graduate business degree set to launch in Notre Dame’s downtown Chicago campus in January.

Bern, who also is an associate teaching professor of finance at Mendoza, will be responsible for directing strategic initiatives for the new program, including administrative oversight of recruiting and curriculum development and implementation.

The Notre Dame MSF is intended to provide a comprehensive education in finance that prepares graduates to advance in a wide range of careers in the corporate and financial services sectors — especially banking, trading firms and fund management — as well as government and nonprofit industries.

“We’ve seen finance evolve from being focused on the banking and investment industries to becoming ‘the language of business’ — critical knowledge for understanding how the global economy operates,” said Roger D. Huang, Martin J. Gillen Dean for the Mendoza College of Business. “Gianna’s extensive experience in international finance, risk management and energy finance will be a great asset in guiding the development of the Master of Science in Finance. We’re very pleased to have her on board.”

“It is an honor to lead this new program at this world-class university,” said Bern. “The Master of Science in Finance program has a very robust curriculum designed to meet the needs of both corporate finance and investments professionals. Students will receive a superb education delivered by some of the best thought leaders in the field of finance at the Mendoza College of Business.”

Bern is a founding principal of Chicago-based Brookshire Advisory and Research Inc., a research and consulting firm focused on the energy sector. She formerly served as a senior director of Fitch Ratings’ Corporate Finance Latin America Group, a division of the global ratings agency that focuses on oil, gas and utilities research in emerging markets of Central and South America. Bern also has held managerial positions at BP Plc. and Amoco Oil in energy economics, market analytics and risk management. She earned a bachelor degree in accounting from the Illinois Institute of Technology and an MBA in finance from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

A frequent media commentator on energy markets, Bern authored “Investing in Energy: A Primer on the Economics of the Energy Industry” (Wiley & Sons; Bloomberg Financial Series) in June 2011.

The Notre Dame MSF is a one-year program for individuals with little work experience, as well as working professionals seeking to either advance in their current careers or change career paths. Students attend classes at Notre Dame’s Chicago campus at 224 S. Michigan Ave. on alternating Friday/Saturday sessions, plus three extended sessions at the Stayer Center for Executive Education on the Notre Dame campus in South Bend.

The MSF is offered by the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame, a premier Catholic business school that fosters academic excellence while promoting values-based education. The college’s degree programs include the top-rated Undergraduate Studies degree program, which has been ranked No. 1 in the nation by Bloomberg Businessweek for five consecutive years, as well as seven graduate degree programs: the Notre Dame MBA, Executive MBA, Master of Science in Management, Master of Science in Accountancy, Master of Nonprofit Administration, Master of Science in Business Analytics and Master of Science in Finance.

For more information about the Notre Dame Master of Science in Finance, call 574-631-5285 or visit To contact Gianna Bern, call 574-631-0434 or email