The Deanship’s objective is to ensure that education and scholarship at EHL are progressive and of the finest quality. Embracing the pioneering spirit of EHL, the Deanship promotes the development of new programs that meet industry needs and champions the EHL’s position as a leading academic institution.

EHL's Deanship:

  • Dr Inès Blal, Executive Dean
  • Dr Stéphanie Pougnet, Associate Dean Undergraduate Programs
  • Mr Patrick Ogheard, Associate Dean of Practical Arts Programs
  • Dr Achim Schmitt, Associate Dean Graduate Programs
  • Dr Luciano Lopez, Dean of EHL Campus (Singapore)


Dr. Inès Blal

Executive Dean


The first woman and youngest person to hold the position since the creation of the school in 1893, Dr Inès Blal assumed the deanship in August 2017. Inès holds a PhD in Strategic Management in Hospitality and Tourism from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, an MBA in Hospitality Administration from Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, and a bachelor’s degree in International Business from the INSEEC Group.

Dr Inès Blal joined EHL in 2006, as a lecturer, while she was completing her doctoral dissertation. She designed and taught undergraduate, graduate, and executive courses and managed multiple applied research and consulting projects for the hotel industry. During her eleven years of experience in research and teaching strategic management for the hospitality industry, Dr Inès Blal served as the co-director of Graduate Studies and held an active role in the steering committees overseeing EHL programs. She gained expertise in curriculum development, implementation of innovative teaching practices, academic governance, and program accreditation in Europe, North Africa, and the United States.

Her research and consulting works focus on the asset light model, the execution of expansion strategies, the financing possibilities for small and medium hotels, and the effect of distribution choices on sales performance. Inès publishes in the leading hospitality journals, collaborates with executives and presents at industry conferences. Prior to her academic career, Inès worked in the catering business and joined the board of a hotel group in 2004.

Dr. Stephanie Pougnet

Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs

Dr Stephanie Pougnet holds a PhD in Management Sciences from Grenoble University, France. She has worked for almost 15 years for EHL where she has taught topics from social sciences, to organizational behavior and talent management, in the Bachelor and the Master programs, as well as for EHL Advisory Services and Hong Kong Polyu’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. She has also taught in the Master Innokick, CTI – Innosuisse, and at the International Academy of Sport Science and Technology.
At the age of 15, she started working in restaurants in France and the U.S. Then, she worked in marketing for an insurance company, before joining the University of Lyon III and then Negocia – Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris in France as a professor and apprenticeships & internships coordinator.
She co-founded a Swiss online shop selling sporting goods. She coaches entrepreneurial EHL alumni in developing their start-ups. She is also a member of the People & Culture Advisory Board of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International - HSMAI. Her teaching, training, consulting, and research activities aim to help employers better attract, develop, and retain talented employees, who would optimize the client’s experience. Ultimately, her students are at the core of her activities, as future employers and future employees.

Mr Patrick Ogheard

Associate Dean of Practical Arts Programs


Mr Patrick Ogheard has a dual path combining industry experience and academia. A trained chef with a Master’s Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, Patrick has worked for over 20 years in France and abroad, with renowned chefs such as Jacques Maximin or Alain Ducasse for whom he wrote “Les Grand Livre d’Alain Ducasse”; a reference work. Naturally attracted by the transmission of knowledge, Mr Patrick Ogheard then turns to academic activities. In 1990, he opened the Training Center Alain Ducasse and in 1990, he set up the operational part at the opening of the Paul Bocuse Institute Research Center.

Mr Patrick Ogheard has been working at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne since 2012, and was part of various projects such as the revision of the Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality (SSTH) ES program. He also took over the responsibility of the DHR program for two years and is now a member of the Deanship as Associate Dean of Practical Arts. Patrick is also passionate about applied research, and regularly collaborates on several projects in this field with stakeholders in the agri-food industry.

Dr Achim Schmitt

Associate Dean Graduate Programs


Dr Achim Schmitt is a Full Professor at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and Associate Dean of Graduate Programs. He led the creation of three new Graduate Programs; the MSc Global Hospitality Business, the blended MBA in Hospitality, and the Hospitality EMBA. Dr Achim Schmitt holds a PhD from the University of Geneva, obtained his Habilitation at the University of Paris-Dauphine in France, and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Geneva as well as an Associate Researcher at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. Before joining the academic world, Dr Achim Schmitt was a strategy consultant for 4 years in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He has gained academic experience at Audencia Business School in Nantes (France), Columbia Business School (USA), HEC University of Geneva (Switzerland), Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota (Colombia) and China Europe International Business School (CEIBS, China).

Dr Achim Schmitt’s research focuses on organization theory and strategic management, with particular interest in organizational ambidexterity, organizational decline, corporate turnarounds and strategic renewal. His articles and papers have been published in diverse outlets including the International Journal of Management Research, Journal of Management Studies, Long Range Planning, and Management Learning. He currently serves on the scientific board of the International Association of Strategic Management (France) and the Editorial Board at Long Range Planning.

Dr. Luciano Lopez

Dean of EHL Campus (Singapore)
Dr Luciano Lopez joined EHL Group in February 2018 as a visiting lecturer in Economics, while completing his PhD thesis on foreign aid at the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland), at the time. In the same year, he obtained a position as Assistant Professor in the EHL faculty.

As an economist, Dr Lopez's research focuses on applied economics, particularly on circular economy practices in the hospitality industry.
His outstanding teaching skills were recognized with the Credit Suisse "Best Teaching" award in 2016 and the EHL "Best Distance Teaching" award in 2020.

Dr Lopez's mission at EHL Campus (Singapore) is to provide intellectual and academic leadership to the Institution, while supporting the campus' Managing Director, Ms. Jenny Ang, in the implementation of the Group's strategy.