Erika James Named Dean of the Wharton School

Erika JamesThe search for a new dean to take the reins at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has come to an end. Today, the school announced that Erika James would step into the role effective July 1, 2020.

When announcing the appointment, Penn President Amy Gutmann praised James as “a passionate and visible champion of the power of business and business education to positively transform communities locally, nationally, and globally.”

James made history in 2014 when she became the first black, female dean of a business school at Emory Goizueta. The Penn announcement highlights James’s impact at Goizueta, which includes growing faculty by 25% during her first term.

She also expanded corporate engagement through the creation of a research-based corporate think tank. James also introduced and led an effort to build an innovation and entrepreneurship lab open to all students on campus.

Before her deanship, she served as the senior associate dean for executive education at the Darden School of Business. In that role, she worked closely with faculty to reimagine executive education and lifelong learning opportunities.

“Erika has consistently and constructively drawn upon her own scholarship in the areas of leadership development, organizational behavior, gender, and racial diversity, and crisis leadership,” said Penn Provost Wendell Pritchett.

Her insights into human behavior have fostered a work culture that allows people to thrive personally and professionally, he added.

Education and Awards

Erika James holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pomona College of the Claremont Colleges in California. In addition to her roles at Emory and UVA, she has served as an assistant professor at Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business and a visiting professor at Harvard Business School.

The Consortium, an organization committed to increasing diversity in business, starting with graduate school admissions, awarded James with its Earl Hill Jr. Faculty Achievement and Diversity Award.  Black Enterprise has named James one of the Top Ten Women of Power in Education. Ebony Magazine, meanwhile, lists James as one of the Power 100.

James will succeed Geoff Garrett, who will become dean of the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.

source: UPenn Wharton School

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