Cornell’s Johnson School Names New Dean

Cornell University has announced that Soumitra Dutta will become the eleventh dean of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, effective July 1, 2012. In this appointment, Johnson becomes the first major business school in the United States to hire a dean from a business school outside the country.

Dutta will join the Johnson School from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France, where he is a professor of business and technology and the director of Elab@INSEAD, a new media and technology innovation lab. Professor Dutta obtained his Ph.D. in computer science and his M.Sc. in business administration from the University of California at Berkeley.

“Professor Dutta’s appointment is a natural fit with Johnson’s increasingly global outlook,” said Cornell President David J. Skorton when announcing the news this morning.

“He has expertise in new and emerging media, he has studied the conditions that promote innovation and he has extensive experience on the international stage. Among other qualities, these prepare him well to oversee the education of our next-generation business leaders and entrepreneurs. Johnson students, Cornellians who take courses at Johnson and, in the very near future, aspiring entrepreneurs at our new tech campus in New York City will benefit from this appointment.”

Dutta has been a visiting professor at several international universities, including the University of California at Berkeley, Oxford and Cambridge. According to his INSEAD faculty profile, Dutta’s current research is on technology strategy and innovation at both corporate and national policy levels.

Dutta succeeds L. Joseph Thomas, who has served as dean since 2007. During his tenure, Thomas launched the school’s long-term strategic plan and led the creation of the Emerging Markets Institute, as well as the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute. Thomas will return to teaching and research.

“This appointment is an exciting opportunity for me, in part because of Johnson’s commitment to global perspectives, entrepreneurship and innovation, and business sustainability, but also because as an early adopter of approaches such as performance learning, the school itself exemplifies innovative thinking in business,” says Dutta.

“I am excited about the close connections the school has to the broader university and especially the opportunities available through collaboration on the tech campus. I am eager to take up the leadership position building on the strong foundations laid by Dean Thomas.”

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