David Murphy

David Murphy Photo


David Murphy is the Associate Dean of Entrepreneurship for the Colleges of Science and Engineering, as well as faculty member and Director of the ESTEEM (Engineering, Science, Technology, and Entrepreneurship Excellence Master’s) Graduate Program at the University of Notre Dame, having assumed these responsibilities in November of 2011. ESTEEM is the first interdisciplinary, inter-college graduate degree program in the history of the University of Notre Dame and provides STEM-educated talent with an unparalleled opportunity to learn the business and innovation skills they need to commercialize research, launch a start-up and learn to think –and act - entrepreneurially.

Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, David helped launch and then lead Better World Books (as President and CEO from inception to July, 2011), a global bookstore that harnesses the power of capitalism to bring literacy and opportunity to people around the world. An award-winning social entrepreneurship venture, Better World Books benefits thousands of charities and libraries here in the United States and around the world.

Under Murphy’s leadership, the Company (where he is still involved at the Board level), scaled to a profitable, self-sustaining for-profit social enterprise with annual revenue today approaching $80M; over 400 employees; operations in the US and in the UK; processing over 250,000 books per day; selling over 30,000 books per day; inventorying over ten (10) million used books under roof; and becoming one of the top three online sellers of used books in the world (having sold over 60 million books in its thirteen year history).

Better World Books is representative of a new kind of organization whose fundamental business model is designed… and ultimately scaled… to drive meaningful social and environmental impact; to promote the common good. To this end, Better World Books has:

  • Contributed over $23M to non-profit partners who work in literacy and education, including libraries.
  • Donated approximately 21M books to non-profit partners
  • Re-used or recycled more than 237M pounds of books, keeping them out of landfills
  • Received numerous awards for its environmental impact; notable distinction from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) including winning the WasteWise Small Business Partner of the Year Award in 2011.

Prior to Better World Books, Murphy has worked for or started up more than 14 companies – from multinationals to early stage ventures to start-ups (spanning eight industries in seven states and in Europe).  He has raised more than $85M in capital to build and scale multiple organizations in the manufacturing, healthcare services, technology and online retail sectors – and through his leadership brought significant growth and scale to each.

David received his undergraduate degree (B.A. with high honors; Economics) from the University of Notre Dame and his graduate degree (MBA) from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College.   David serves on multiple Boards and Advisory Councils and is a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2012. He was also a Southeastern Regional Finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2011.   David has been married to Mary Elizabeth Barrett Murphy (also a graduate of the University of Notre Dame) for 34 years and they have three grown children (Caroline, Elizabeth and David John) and three grandchildren.