Mike Zafirovski is founder and President of The Zaf Group, a management consulting and investment firm. The Blackstone Group is the firm’s principal client where Mike is an executive advisor and also serves on the board of directors of three Blackstone companies: non-executive chairman of DJO Global Inc and PGI Inc, and independent director for Apria Healthcare Services. Since 2004, he has also served on the board of directors of Boeing, and since 2012, on the board of Stericycle.
Previously, in a 34-year corporate career, he served 21 years as President/CEO/COO at Nortel, Motorola, and five GE businesses in the high tech, industrial, consumer, and financial services industries. Demonstrated ability to develop strategy, simplify complexity, attract and develop strong teams, and drive execution (in the 21 years of P&L responsibility, revenue growth exceeded 8% per year and EBITDA gains averaged 350 BPs per year).
Among his philanthropic activities, he is vice chairman and leads the strategy committee for AUSL, the organization that helps turnaround the most challenged public schools in Chicago. He is a co-founder and director of Macedonia 2025, an organization dedicated to enhancing the country’s economic and democracy developments. He is also a vice chairman of UI Labs, a research and commercialization collaborative focusing on digital manufacturing, design innovation, and “smart city” solutions. He is a visiting lecturer at the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He and his wife, Robin, are past national chairs for Duke University’s Parents’ Committee. Mike, Robin and their three sons Matt, Kirk and Todd are officers of the Zafirovski Family Foundation, formed in 2005 focusing on education and health issues.
From 2006 to 2010, Mr. Zafirovski was a presidential appointee to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC). NSTAC provides analytics and recommendations to the President of the United States on a wide range of policy and technical issues related to telecommunications, information systems, information assurance, infrastructure protection, and other national security and emergency preparedness concerns.
Zafirovski holds a B.A. in mathematics from Edinboro University in Pennsylvania where he captained the intercollegiate soccer and swimming teams. In 2002, Edinboro University awarded him an honorary doctorate degree in public service. A native of Macedonia, he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2004 and the Medal of Honor from the President of Macedonia in 2013. He also received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the NY Hall of Science in 2008.