Janell Townsend


Oakland University

Janell D. Townsend is a Professor of Marketing and International Business, and Chair of the Management & Marketing Department at Oakland University, in Rochester, Michigan, USA. Dr. Townsend teaches marketing strategy in the MSc in Engineering Management program at TU-Wien in Austria, and with the Chair of Technology Innovation Management at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. She has also taught at Michigan State University, Wayne State University and was honored to serve as the prestigious Hedi Fritz-Niggli Visiting Professor of Business at the University of Zurich. She earned her Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Marketing and International Business.

Dr. Townsend is a recognized expert in global marketing strategy, with interests falling within the nexus of branding, innovation, and globalization of the firm. Her research has appeared in top tier business journals such as the Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Marketing Letters, Journal of International Marketing, Industrial Marketing Management, Industrial and Corporate Change, Journal of Business Research, International Marketing Review, and Thunderbird International Business Review, among others. Her research has received commendations and awards for their contributions from top national and international conferences, including from the American Marketing Association and the Academy of International Business. She has served as a chair for a number of annual conferences, including Product Development Management Association (PDMA), the European Marketing Association, and the International Motor Vehicle Program (now PVMI, part of the Mack Institute at the Wharton School). Townsend serves on the editorial review board of the Journal of Product Innovation Management, and edited a special issue on innovation in the global automotive industry.

Dr. Townsend collaborates with industry on research projects, and coaches executives as they deal with transformative strategic issues. Firms she has worked with include General Motors, Stellantis, GfK, Polk (now IHS), LMC, New World Diamonds, among others. She has also served as an expert witness in legal cases involving marketing and innovation issues with automotive and related products.

Professor Townsend has professional experience with firms such as, Clarion Corporation of America, Intel, and Unisys. She actively serves the academic and business communities through work with research, program, academic, student oriented, and professional development organizations. Dr. Townsend has also served as the advisor for student organizations, such as the Graduate Business Leaders, Society of Automotive Analysts, and DECA; and on the board of directors for non-profit organizations, such as the Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation, Let’s Build Character Career Development, and currently serves on PDMA’s Academic Board.