Born in Germany, Walter Blass was twice a refugee from the Nazis before the age of 11. He spent the early years of World War II in Belgium and France before coming to the United States with his parents in 1941. He graduated from the Choate School, Swarthmore College and received an M.A. in international economics from Columbia University in 1952.
After three years as a U.S. Navy officer and subsequent service as assistant desk officer in the U.S. foreign aid program for Laos and Cambodia, Blass went to work for AT&T, rising to the position of director of strategic planning at the company’s headquarters. He took a leave of absence in 1966 to become country director of the Peace Corps in Afghanistan for two years.
For the past 17 years, Blass has operated his own management consulting company, specializing in strategic planning and telecommunications. His work has sent him around the world three times. He taught in the M.B.A. program at Fordham University for four years and now spends several weeks a year skiing and teaching graduate business classes to a wide range of international students in Grenoble, France. His latest article is “Teaching Case Method in France.”
Blass lives in Warren, New Jersey and has three grown children and two granddaughters. He has served 26 years on the board of trustees of Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina.