College of Business > News & Events > Nezih Altay Named Vincent de Paul Professor

Management and Entrepreneurship Professor Nezih Altay to Join Prestigious Society of Vincent de Paul Professors


Nezih Altay Headshot
A Driehaus professor known for his trailblazing research studying the logistics of humanitarian supply chains is among the newest members of the Society of Vincent de Paul Professors.

The highly selective group brings together faculty from across DePaul University who exemplify outstanding teaching, scholarship, and commitment to advancing the university’s Vincentian values. Professor of management and entrepreneurship Nezih Altay, an award-winning scholar and teacher, will be among those inducted into the society at convocation in August.  

For Altay’s colleagues, the recognition comes as no surprise.  

“Nezih’s impactful research on humanitarian supply chain management, combined with his dedication to the university and the community, exemplify the teacher-scholar model that the society represents,” said Alyssa Westring, professor of management and entrepreneurship and chair of the department. “As a member of the Society myself, I’m thrilled to welcome Nezih to our community and confident that he will be integral to advancing the mission of the society through our efforts related to mentoring, social justice, and scholarly impact.”  

“I cannot think of a colleague more deserving of membership in the Society of Vincent de Paul Professors,” said Sulin Ba, dean of the Driehaus College of Business. “Professor Altay embodies the Vincentian mission and values in everything he does. His work applying business insights to make the world a better place exemplifies the mission of the college.” 

Altay’s contributions are as varied as they are impressive. His contributions range from innovative scholarship that has garnered national recognition to his award-winning work as a teacher.  

For Altay, it all started with firsthand experience.  

Altay and his wife were in Turkey, preparing for their wedding, when a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck. In the wake of the catastrophe, which killed 17,000 and caused more than $6.5 billion in damage, the government failed to provide relief. Local NGOs were virtually nonexistent. 

Read more: Management Professor Teaches Human Side of Supply Chain Logistics

“This experience made me think that there must be a process behind providing relief to survivors,” Altay said. “That is how my journey in humanitarian operations management started. I published my first paper on the topic in 2006 and never looked back.”  

More publications followed: over 40 peer reviewed journal articles, six book chapters and two books, many of them published during his 15-year tenure at DePaul. Among fellow researchers, Altay is now considered a founder of the subfield of humanitarian supply chain management.  

What knits Altay’s work together is his focus on building community. At DePaul, Altay is the founding director of the supply chain management program and the faculty advisor to the supply chain management society. He created and still runs an annual conference to bring together supply chain experts and practitioners in the Chicagoland area – a nationally significant logistics hub. 

Outside the university, Altay has worked tirelessly to ensure that his research reaches those who need it most. He serves as a volunteer lecturer for the American Red Cross and as the technical advisor for Field Ready, a humanitarian NGO working in the innovation space.  

Altay in his office in 2016
As Altay looks ahead, what motivates him most is seeking further connections.  

“Humanitarian aid is incredibly multifaceted,” he said. “Legal frameworks, leadership styles, political pressures – all of these things impact the logistics and supply chain operations of humanitarian organizations.”  

Altay is currently at work on a book chapter that examines these factors. He is also studying the interface between artificial intelligence and social good.  

“I thrive on working with people from outside my realm and incorporating their perspectives into my field of research,” Altay said. Membership in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Professors, he said, will help him seek out further connections. 

I hope that membership in this society will help me understand my constraints, encourage me to step outside of my field’s boundaries and discover creative new ways of teaching and scholarship,” he said. “It will allow me to weave myself even more deeply into the yarn of DePaul’s Vincentian culture.”  

Hear Altay discuss his work alleviating disasters and crises.