Center for International Business

Director - Shih-Fen Chen 

Shih-Fen Chen is currently the Kaiser Professor of International Business and Director of the Center for International Business at Western Washington University



Shih-Fen Chen is the Kaiser Chair of International Business at the College of Business and Economics at Western Washington University. He also directs the Center for International Business in the College.

Shih-Fen was born and raised in Taiwan. After earning his BBA in Industrial Management at National Cheng Kung University, he served as an army officer for two years and later took the position of product planner at Ford’s subsidiary in Taiwan. His experience at Ford was instrumental to the decision of pursuing an MBA at Michigan State University. He returned to Taiwan and continued to work in various executive capacities at several companies for more than six years.

During that period, Shih-Fen became full of passion for teaching and writing. He taught executive training courses at three universities in Taipei and was a regular contributor to the two major business newspapers in Taiwan. He translated two books from English into Chinese and co-founded a management magazine. In 1991, Shih-Fen quit his business job and returned to school to pursue an academic career.

Shih-Fen obtained his Ph.D. in International Business from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1996. His doctoral thesis provides theoretical and empirical accounts for why many foreign manufacturers sell their products in the US under the store name or other private labels controlled by retailers, a practice called private branding. His other research interests cover foreign investment, global banding, and offshore outsourcing.

Shih-Fen’s work has been published by the most prestigious journals in his field, such as the International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Retailing, Strategic Management Journal, among others. His comments can also be found in Boston Globe, Business Week, Financial Times, New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post, plus numerous local media and blogs around the world.

Prior to moving to Western Washington University, Shih-Fen was a tenured full professor at Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario (2006-2018). He was also on the faculty of Brandeis University (2009-2006) and Kansas State University (2007-2009). His primary teaching areas include Global Strategy and Global Marketing. He has more than 19 years of case teaching experience. Over the past 12 years, he ran executive training seminars and case workshops in Asia and North America. Up to now, his case workshops have attracted more than 7,000 professors from leading business schools in Australia, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

Shih-Fen and his wife now live in Bellingham, Washington.