Richard Coughlan is an award-winning educator who has delivered engaging talks to academic and professional audiences across three continents over the last 20 years. In addition to his role on the faculty at University of Richmond, he serves as a keynote speaker, strategic advisor, and facilitator for a variety of corporate and non-profit clients. His views on business and business education appear regularly in national media outlets and his research has been published in leading academic journals.
After earning an undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia in 1989, Coughlan spent nearly five years in the hospitality sector, where he served as a national sales manager for hotels and resorts in California. His hotel career culminated with a position on the management team at Pebble Beach Resorts, where he worked with clients in banking, financial services, technology, and law and served on the Operations Committee for the 1992 U.S. Open Golf Championship.
Coughlan joined the faculty of the Robins School of Business in 1998 after completing both an MBA and a Ph.D. in judgment and decision making at the University of Arizona. During his time at Richmond, he has taught courses on business ethics, organizational behavior, and negotiations to audiences ranging from undergraduates to chief executives. In recognition of his work in the classroom, he earned the University’s Distinguished Educator Award in 2004.
Outside the classroom, Coughlan hosts a pair of popular interview programs. In 2011, he created C-Suite Conversations, a series of unscripted, on-stage interviews featuring senior executives. Guests have included PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem, Fortune 500 CEOs including Michael Dan of Brink’s and Tom McInerney of Genworth, as well as Shawn Boyer (Snagajob), Melanie Healey (Procter & Gamble), Hiter Harris (Harris Williams), and others.
In 2013, Coughlan launched Dialogue on Decision Making, a weekly podcast in which he and Richmond’s Men's Head Basketball Coach Chris Mooney talk about the parallels between decision-making in sports and decision-making in business. In 2017, the series will expand to include interviews of decision-makers from business, non-profit organizations, and other sectors.
Coughlan currently serves on three boards of directors: Association for Corporate Growth (Richmond), Goodwill Industries of Central and Coastal Virginia, and InnerWill, a non-profit organization focused on enhancing the understanding and practice of values-based leadership. He also serves on the faculty of the Virginia Bankers Association’s School of Bank Management, where he leads sessions on ethical decision-making for banking professionals.
Over the last two decades, Coughlan has served as an advisor and facilitator to a diverse set of organizations including CarMax, DuPont, Capital One, The Martin Agency, and Agilent Technologies. He has also addressed a variety of audiences from national and international associations including Virginia Society of Association Executives and the Professional Convention Management Association.
Coughlan’s latest research focuses on creating accountable cultures in organizations. His previous research, on loyalty in organizations, earned him the Robins School’s Outstanding Scholar Award.
Managerial Decision Making