Rector and Deans

Rector and Deans



Karen Spens

Karen Spens portrait

Professor Karen Spens is the Rector of Hanken since 2015 and she will hold office until 2023.

The rector leads Hanken's operations, and is responsible for the economical, efficient and effective discharge of the university mission. The rector appoints most of the faculty and staff, admits students for degree studies, and decides on matters that, in accordance with Acts, Decrees or internal regulations, are not to be decided by any other administrative body of the School.

Karen Spens is Professor of Supply Chain Management and Corporate Geography at Hanken. Her research has mainly focused on humanitarian logistics in which she has published several books, co-founded the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management as well as the Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Research Institute (HUMLOG Institute).

Rector Spens served as Hanken's Dean of Education 2010-2015. During this time she was in charge of the development of the Assurance of Learning-process, aiming at ensuring and improving student learning.

More information about Karen Spens



At the moment Hanken has four Deans (vice-rectors) with different areas of responsibilities: research and societal impact (David B. Grant), education and Rector's representative in Vaasa (Sören Kock), executive education and corporate relations (Kaj Storbacka), and programme and quality assurance (Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen). Their term of office is until 31.7.2023. The Deans are members of Hanken's management team.

The Board appoints the Deans and the allocation of work is proposed by the Rector.


David B. Grant

David B. Grant

Dean of Research and Societal Impact
David B. Grant, Professor in Supply Chain Management & Social Responsibility

As Dean of Research and Societal Impact, David B. Grant supports the development of research and research-based societal impact, the processes for external research funding, research ethics, data protection and open science, coordination of Hanken's research groups and areas of strength, recruitment and tenure-track processes for researching and teaching staff, and the development and marketing of the doctoral program. He is the Chair of Hanken’s Research Council and the Tenure Track Committee. Professor Grant is also a member of the Research Ethics Committee.

David B. Grant’s own research and expertise focuses on customer service, satisfaction, and service quality, retail logistics, reverse and sustainable logistics, and humanitarian and societal logistics. He has over 250 publications in various refereed journals, books and conference proceedings and is on the editorial board of many international journals. Two of his co-authored books are now in their second editions.

More information about David B. Grant


Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen

Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen

Dean of Programmes and Quality Assurance
Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen, Professor of Marketing

As Dean of Programmes and Quality Assurance, Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen leads the quality assurance work of all of Hanken's four educational programmes, the Assurance of Learning work, and the development of the Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes. She also supports the development of the PhD and the Executive MBA programmes and the management of the Language Centre so that the programmes' learning goals are met. Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen is the chair of e.g. the Quality Assurance Committee, the Committee of the Language Centre, and the AoL Assessment Committee.

Professor Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen's research focuses on management of customer and service-based business, business leaders' mental models, and relationship dynamics. She is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Business Research and her articles have been published in e.g. the Journal of Business Research, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Service Management, Marketing Theory, and Business Horizons.

More information about Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen


Sören Kock

Sören Kock portrait

Dean of Education and rector's representative in Vaasa
Sören Kock, Professor in Management and Organisation

Sören Kock is rector's representative in Vaasa and his tasks include leading the work to develop teaching at Hanken, as well as supporting the development of Hanken's open university. He also contributes to the development of student admissions and supports the development of national collaborative studies.

Sören Kock serves as Chair of the Education Council and the Evaluation Group for academic staff. In addition, he is Vice Chair of the Academic Council and is Chair of the management group for data protection.

Professor Sören Kock’s main research interests are coopetition, international entrepreneurship, and business networks. His research has been published in e.g. Industrial Marketing Management, International Small Business Journal, International Business Research, The Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, European Journal of Marketing and Competitiveness Review.

More information about Sören Kock


Kaj Storbacka

Kaj Storbacka


Dean of Executive Education and Corporate Relations
Kaj Storbacka, Hanken Foundation Professor

As Dean of Executive Education and Corporate Relations, Kaj Storbacka supports the development of Hanken’s corporate relevance and alumni relations, the fundraising activities, the operations of Hanken Business Lab and Quantum, the continuous development of the EMBA program and executive education, and the improvement of integration of academic scholarship with practical experience.

Kaj has made a career out of working on the borderline between academic and applied research within marketing and strategic management. He has more than 35 years of experience as a strategy consultant to global companies in finance, media, travel, retail, utility, manufacturing, and telecommunications.

His research interest focuses on market and business model innovation, market-shaping strategies, and solution business transformation. His research has been published in journals such as Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Business Research, European Journal of Marketing, and British Journal of Management.

More information about Kaj Storbacka