The Fun Stuff...

Tim Zak is a lifelong (now masters) athlete. He holds a 4th degree black belt in Tang Soo Do with instructor certification and an advanced belt in Tae Kwon Do, with experience in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, kettlebells, and yoga.  In 1999, Tim was a silver medalist at the Tang Soo Do World Championships in Cardiff, Wales. 

He is also a competitive road, cyclocross and ultradistance cyclist (Super Randonneur in 2008 and 2009 for completing 200km, 300km, 400km, and 600km rides in the same year, Paris-Brest-Paris race qualifier), and played in competitive adult baseball and softball leagues well into his 40s.

Most days, you can find him savoring a good cup of coffee outside of Bertha, his 40-foot RV, hugging his wife of almost 30 years (and counting!), Leslie, catching up with his twin 25 year-old sons (Justin, a former college baseball player now working in healthcare analytics and Josh, currently working on a PhD in Chemistry at CalTech), and plotting out his next big adventure.

The More Serious Stuff...

Tim was an Associate Teaching Professor and former Director of the Institute for Social Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College of Public Policy and Management and Information Technology.  He retired from the full-time faculty in 2020 and continues to teach at CMU as an adjunct professor.  He has spent nearly 35 years leading global organizations and advising executives in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. His primary areas of focus include innovation, entrepreneurship, human performance optimization, supply chain management, design thinking, and strategy development from a global perspective. He has lectured, traveled, and worked extensively in over 40 countries and territories around the world.

From 2007-2010, he was the Executive Director of CMU-Australia and, prior to that role, was founder and CEO of the Social Innovation Accelerator which provided direct support and investment for ventures focused on new ways to address vexing social problems. He has held leadership positions at McKinsey, IBM, and two start-up companies, is on the Board of Directors of Diamond Kinetics, and is a venture advisor at AlphaLab Gear, one of the world’s first incubators for early-stage hardware and robotics ventures.

In 2020, he completed a nearly year-long certification process to become a human potential coach, which included 100s of hours of 1-on-1 coaching with real clients and graduate-level study in a wide-array of disciplines including physiology, psychology, productivity, creativity, focus, decision making, resilience and grit, and the science of happiness.  His certification added to decades of work advising 100s of companies and organizations, from start-ups to some of the world's largest multinationals, and directly coaching 1000s of individuals, from college students to CEOs on how to achieve their most audacious goals and become ambitiously content.

Tim earned a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Computer Science and Industrial Management from Carnegie-Mellon University and a Master of Science degree in Engineering Science with concentrations in Manufacturing Systems and Reliability from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He also has an M.B.A. with distinction from New York University in Finance, Marketing, and International Business where he was a Stern Scholar.