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Darla Moore School of Business


Sanjay Ahire

Title: Michael J. Mungo Distinguished Professor
Co-Director, Operations and Supply Chain Center
Department: Management Science
Darla Moore School of Business
Phone: 803-777-2647
Office: Darla Moore School of Business, Room 401F
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [PDF]
Sanjay Ahire headshot


Sanjay L. Ahire is a Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management at the Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina (USC). Dr. Ahire holds a Ph.D. in management science from the University of Alabama (1992). He also holds a master’s degree in management studies (1985) and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering (1982), both from the University of Bombay (India). Dr. Ahire is the Co-Director of the USC-Operations and Supply Chain Center. He heads the unique industry-validated Sonoco-USC Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification initiative that has graduated more than 1,600 students with this valuable certification before graduation.

Dr. Ahire was the founder of the University of Dayton’s Operations Management Program (2000-2006). He convened a powerful Operations Management Advisory Council that included top executives from General Motors, GE-Consumer Products, GE-Aviation, GE-Consumer Finance, Fifth-Third Bank, Wendy’s, Standard Register, NCR, and other leading firms in the Midwest. In his current job (2006-current), Dr. Ahire was a co-founder of the USC - Operations and Supply Chain undergraduate program, and he has played a prominent leadership role in designing, implementing, growing, and propelling the program within just 14 years to Rank 3 in North America in 2022 Gartner Research Rankings of Undergraduate Supply Chain Programs. His personal efforts have resulted in the program’s 5 graduates winning the prestigious R. Gene Richter Scholarship for Top 10 Undergraduate Supply Chain Students in the nation. Dr. Ahire has helped graduates secure attractive careers in leading global firms like 3M, Accenture, Amazon, Bank of America, BMW, Boeing, Cummins, Deloitte, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, McKinsey & Company, Michelin, PwC, Raytheon, and Rolls Royce.

In March 2012, Dr. Ahire became the first tenured university professor to be certified as a Six Sigma Master Black Belt by the American Society for Quality. This was in recognition for his demonstrated expertise in strategic and tactical supply chain and internal operations consulting to manufacturing and service firms, his mentoring experience, and his research accomplishments. He has led more than 125 operations/process improvement consulting projects for diverse clients, such as Avaya Telecom, Carolinas Healthcare System, Collins Aerospace, Colonial Life, Cummins, General Electric, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, McLeod Health, MeadWestvaco, Michelin-Snider, NCR, Palmetto Health, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Siemens, Sonoco Products Company, UPS, Walmart, and Westinghouse Electric. These projects have helped the client firms tackle diverse challenges, including sourcing strategies, supplier collaboration, logistics and distribution networks design and optimization, and internal operations improvement in manufacturing and service organizations. Dr. Ahire has also conducted numerous significant operations improvement projects in non-profit social organizations such as American Red Cross, EdVenture Children’s Science Museum, Family Shelters, Free Medical Clinics, Harvest Hope Food Banks, Ronald McDonald House of Charity, SC Immigrant Violence Network, SC HIV-AIDS Council, SC Thrive, Sisters of Charity of South Carolina, and Soup Kitchens. With more than 40 humanitarian projects under his belt, Dr. Ahire is currently leading Moore School’s Operations and Supply Chain Humanitarian Initiative to improve the operations and supply chain capabilities of socially-missioned non-profits such as food banks, homeless shelters, and other social service organizations.

Dr. Ahire is an accomplished teacher of operations and supply chain improvement strategies and techniques. He received the 2002 Wickham Skinner Award for Teaching Innovation Achievements from the Production and Operations Management Society, the 2005 Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Dayton, the 2005 Teaching Excellence Award from the Southwestern Ohio Council on Higher Education, and the 2015 Alfred Smith Award for Best Professor of the Darla Moore School of Business, the university-wide 2015 Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award, and the university-wide 2021 University of South Carolina Michael J. Mungo Distinguished Professor Award from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Ahire received the prestigious global 2018 INFORMS Award for Teaching of OR/MS Practice. In 2019 and 2020, Dr. Ahire led the Operations and Supply Chain Program to the Final Round (one of three Finalists) in the prestigious INFORMS UPS George Smith Prize for the most practical and innovative program preparing students for practice of operations research/management science and analytics. He was ranked as one of 2021’s Top 50 Undergraduate Business Professors by Poets and Quants Ranking Organization. Dr. Ahire was felicitated with the 2023 inaugural edition of the global Excellence in Industry Engagement Award by Production and Operations Management Society. Dr. Ahire received the highest academic recognition from the University of South Carolina when he was awarded the 2024 Carolina Trustees Professorship from USC Board of Trustees.

Dr. Ahire has published several research articles in various leading journals, including Management Science, European Journal of Operational Research, Journal of Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, Decision Sciences and IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management. With 7,900 Google Scholar citations, his research has been recognized and used by researchers and practicing managers globally. One of his articles on quality management has accrued more than 3,185 citations in scholarly literature (, and has been judged as the fifth most cited refereed research article published in the reputed Decision Sciences Journal over its 50-year publication history. Dr. Ahire has also published extensively (10 articles) in Interfaces, the flagship refereed applied research journal of INFORMS. In 2005 INFORMS annual conference, Dr. Ahire was a finalist in the prestigious Harvey Wagner Prize global competition for operations research consulting for his consulting on inventory optimization with GE consumer products division. Dr. Ahire has conducted executive education and consulting in strategic supply chain and process improvement in various sectors over the years.


Empirical evaluation of operations improvement strategies; practical application of operations improvement techniques; application of operations strategy and supply chain management principles to OM academics; high-value consulting for enhancing returns from Lean Six Sigma campaigns.


  • Ph.D., The University of Alabama, 1992
  • M.M.B., University of Bombay, India, 1985
  • B. Chem., University of Bombay, India, 1982

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