Wharton School Names Erika H. James Dean

Erika H. James, Dean,
Wharton School
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendel Pritchett announced last week that Erika H. James has been named the next Dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, effective July 1, 2020. She will be the first woman and the first African American to serve as Dean of Wharton School.

James has served as Dean of the Goizueta Business School at Emory University since 2014, where she spearheaded an effort to build and innovation and entrepreneurship lab open to all students. She increased the Goizueta faculty by 25% by the end of her first term, in key areas including behavioral and decision-based research, business analytics, and health care innovation. She also helped create a research-based corporate think tank, expanding corporate engagement.

James is committed to cross-disciplinary collaboration, passionate teaching, and excellence through diversity and inclusion. Gutmann says, “Erika is an award-winning scholar and teacher and a strong, proven leader. A passionate and visible champion of the power of business and business education to positively transform communities locally, nationally, and globally, she is exceptionally well prepared to lead Wharton into the next exciting chapter of its storied history.”

James holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pomona College of the Claremont Colleges in California. Prior to her role at Emory, James served as Senior Associate Dean for executive education at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. She also has been an assistant professor at Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business and visiting professor at Harvard Business School. She is an active member of the SurveyMonkey Board and the Graduate Management Admissions Council, and previously was on the board of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. James received the Earl Hill Jr. Faculty Achievement and Diversity Award from The Consortium, an organization committed to increasing diversity in business, starting with graduate school admissions. She was also named one of the Top 10 Women of Power in Education by Black Enterprise and as one of the Power 100 by Ebony Magazine.

Pritchett points out, “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, applying her own insights into human behavior to foster a work culture that allows people to thrive personally and professionally. She has led faculty and student workshops on such topics as unconscious bias and building trust across divides and has been engaged as a consultant by some of the nation’s largest and most prestigious firms.”

James comments, “This is an exciting time to be in business education. The scope and platform of the Wharton School provides an opportunity to create far-reaching impact for students, scholars, and the business community.”

For more information on Wharton, visit their Web site.

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