Viva Barkus

Viva Bartkus

Viva Bartkus is an Associate Professor of Management at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Bartkus graduated summa cum laude from Yale University with masters and bachelors degrees in economics, and then completed her doctorate and masters in international relations at Oxford University, while on a Rhodes Scholarship. She started Business on the Frontlines with former Dean Carolyn Woo based on her conviction that business needs to be part of the development equation, particularly in formerly war-torn countries and based on her deeply held belief of the inherent human dignity in a good day's work.   Through her guidance, Business on the Frontlines has become a core feature of the Notre Dame MBA, having been recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the ten most innovative MBA courses. Her stories from the frontlines, from South Sudan to Tibet to the fall of the Berlin Wall, inspire BOTFL students to use their skills to serve those most in need.

Her first book investigating nationalism, self-determination, and why groups attempt secession, The Dynamic of Secessionwas published by Cambridge University Press (1999). Her current research and teaching interests concentrate on two distinct areas: the leadership approaches most effective in solving complex business problems and the social capital of communities that enables collaboration. She also authored two books that were published in 2008: Getting It Right: Notre Dame on Leadership and Judgment in Business, with Ed Conlon and Social Capital: Reaching Out, Reaching In, with Jim Davis. Prior to joining the faculty at Notre Dame, Dr. Bartkus spent ten years serving healthcare, industrial, retail, and high tech clients to overcome their strategic, operational, and organizational challenges while at McKinsey & Company, the last four years as a partner of the firm. She can be reached at

Bill Nichols

Bill Nichols

Bill Nichols is a Professor of Accountancy at the Mendoza College of Business. He served the College as its Associate Dean for Graduate Programs from 1995 to 2000 and Associate Dean for Faculty and Research from 2002 to 2008 and 2012 to 2015. Bill earned his doctorate degree at Florida State University.

Bill’s teaching and research interests are in both financial reporting and sustainability reporting. He has published numerous articles in accounting and finance journals and four times was voted the College’s outstanding teacher of the year by students in either the undergraduate or graduate programs. Bill served as a visiting professor at Washington University for an academic year, the University of Notre Dame – Australia for a semester, Northeastern University for three summers, and a term as resident director of Notre Dame’s London MBA program.

Bill can be reached at

The photo was taken in country when Bill was faculty advisor to the BOTFL VII Rwanda team.

John F. Dunbar, Jr.

John Dunbar Jr

John Dunbar began his work in the Mendoza College of Business as a Faculty Advisor for Business on the Frontlines (BOTFL) projects in Uganda and Sri Lanka. In 2015, he began teaching Mergers & Acquisitions as an Adjunct Associate Professional Specialist in the Master of Science in Finance program.

John graduated magna cum laude earning a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University at Buffalo. John also played football for the UB Bulls and is a licensed Professional Engineer. He started his career spending five years in project management and operations with Exxon Chemical working on various worldwide petrochemical assignments. The next twenty-five years were in private equity with Strategic Investments & Holdings, Inc., completing over 80 acquisitions in diverse manufacturing, distribution and service businesses and aggregating revenue of over $6 billion. John, who retired from Strategic Investments as President in 2012, originated, structured and closed equity investments in leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and new ventures. He received an award for his Achievements in Entrepreneurship from the University at Buffalo.

As an Adjunct Professor at his alma mater, John has developed and taught M&A for the past 13 years in the School of Management MBA and EMBA programs. John is also Chair Emeritus of the Food Bank of Western New York and past Chair of the Shea’s Buffalo Theatre.

John was inspired to join the BOTFL program to use his business skills for the greater good and grow his relationship with Notre Dame from proud parent of two ND graduates. As a BOTFL Faculty Advisor he can apply his business and analytical skills working with talented and dedicated ND students to help those less fortunate struggling in post-conflict or developing countries. During his career, John has volunteered many hours and resources to projects ranging from the building of a new church, restoration of a Buffalo landmark and providing over 1 million pounds of food per month to the hungry in Western New York. During the BOTFL in-country experience he enjoys capturing the journey behind his camera lens.

John can be reached at

Joe Sweeney


Joe Sweeney

Joe is the Associate Director of Admissions for Mendoza's Graduate Business Programs. A 2006 Notre Dame undergrad with majors in Political Science and Arabic and a 2012 Notre Dame MBA, Joe first joined the BOTFL family as a student. His BOTFL IV team travelled to Egypt in 2012 in the wake of the Arab Spring to partner with international and local NGOs. After graduation from the MBA program, he spent four years in brand management roles for Winebow in Seattle and Terlato Wines in Chicago. He continued to be involved in BOTFL training programs with the US Military during this time. Joe joined the Mendoza Graduate Business Program staff in September 2016 and returned as a Faculty Adviser for Team Ghana in BOTFL IX and Team Colombia in BOTFL X.

Joe can be reached at

Lisa Gibboney

Lisa Gibboney

Lisa Gibboney is a Senior Finance Manager at Nalco Water in Naperville, Illinois. In her current role, she is responsible for managing the 5-yr Strategic Business Review and Plan processes for a $3B global business sector. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Hampshire in French and Biology, as well as a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to attending Notre Dame, Lisa worked in small business management. As a second year student at Notre Dame, Lisa traveled to Cambodia with the joint Notre Dame-Catholic Relief Services Team Cambodia initiative, working to address maternal and childhood malnutrition. Subsequently, as a Notre Dame alumna, Lisa traveled to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, with the United States Special Operations Command on a project to explore ways to decrease gang violence in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Lisa’s continued involvement in the BOTFL program is a testament to her deep-seated belief in harnessing the power of business to address the needs of the most world’s vulnerable peoples. Lisa is passionate about travel, food and, above all, people.

Lisa can be reached at

Teaching Assistants:


Nathan Nekvasil

Nathan Nekvasil

Originally from southwest Michigan, Nathan Nekvasil graduated in 2005 from Clearwater Christian College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and History. In 2002, Nathan worked as a volunteer 6th and 8th grade teacher at the ABWE Center for the Blind in the West African nation of Togo. In 2006, Nathan earned his certification for Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) from the Prague Language Center, in Prague, Czech Republic through the Trinity College of London. In 2007, Nathan moved to the Washington, D.C., area for work in the Intelligence Community. After nearly a year and a half, Nathan returned to teaching at Faith Christian School in Coleman, Wisconsin. In 2009, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a Special Forces candidate, where he was assessed and selected for Special Forces training. After completing the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2011, Nathan spent five years as a Green Beret on a Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha (SFODA), deploying three times to Afghanistan. While in the Army, Nathan earned a Master’s Degree in Diplomacy with a concentration in International Conflict Management from Norwich University. Currently, Nathan is a second-year MBA candidate at the University of Notre Dame and BOTFL TA. Nathan enjoys reading, working out, skydiving, and anything else that gets him outside.

Nathan can be reached at

Sonakshi Bahety

Sonakshi Bahety

Sonakshi is a TA for BOTFL. She is from India and is a second-year MBA student at the Mendoza College of Business. She pursued her Bachelors of Business Administration from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai and graduated as the valedictorian of her class. In the past, she worked as a Currency & Equity Research Analyst in an Indian brokerage house and continued working in the finance and strategy team of her family business. Her experiences while teaching underprivileged slum children in India inspire her to work in the social impact and education sector. She loves to dance.

She can be reached at