Born in Flushing, N.Y., Daniel Laufer, BS ’91, immigrated to Israel with his family when he was 12, later serving as an officer in the Israeli army.
One of his uncles, an Israeli businessman, encouraged Laufer to pursue accounting, and the reputation of the UB School of Management’s accounting program led him to Buffalo.
“The quality of the academics and the caliber of the faculty in the accounting department are very impressive,” Laufer says.
In particular, he notes that Professor Ann Cohen played an important role in his education. “Not only was her course excellent, but her practical experience from working in public accounting was very valuable as well,” he says.
After graduating, Laufer worked in public accounting at two of the Big Four accounting firms, first in Buffalo and then in Texas, where he earned his MBA at the University of Texas at Austin. He later founded his own consulting company, IsraeLaufer Consulting.
His connections to Israel led him to create a course called “Business Environment in Israel,” which he originally taught at the University of Texas. That classroom experience became the impetus for Laufer’s return to school for a doctorate in marketing and international business.
He went on to serve in faculty positions at the University of Cincinnati and Yeshiva University in New York City. He also returned to UB to teach in the MBA program.
Currently an associate professor of marketing at the Victoria Business School in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, Laufer has built a successful career in researching how the public reacts to a crisis. He also is quoted frequently in the media as an expert.
Since 2014, Laufer has served as the head of the School of Marketing and International Business at the Victoria Business School, where he leads more than 20 academic and administrative staff, and oversees teaching and research programs.
“My academic career has taken me around the world, and the topic of crisis management is of great interest everywhere I go,” he says.
“The best way to deal with a crisis is to prevent it from happening. Research is critical in terms of creating new knowledge, and it also has important practical implications that can help companies manage tough situations.”
Laufer says that embracing networking opportunities and new experiences leads to a successful career and rewarding life.
“The people that help you the most in your career are often people who are not close connections — you never know what meeting new people may lead to,” he says.
“And be open to new opportunities. Moving to New Zealand was one of the best decisions I ever made. If I hadn’t been open to the opportunity, I would have missed out on one of the most exciting and fulfilling experiences of my career.”
When he’s not in the office, Laufer loves to hit the trails.
“New Zealand is the most beautiful country in the world, and it’s a great place for hiking,” he says.
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Written by Jessica Dudek and Kevin Manne