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erica-james

Erika James from Emory University will become the new dean of the Wharton School on July 1, 2020. (Photo from Office of University Communications)

Erika James, dean of the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, will become the next dean of the Wharton School on July 1.

James will succeed Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett, who will leave Penn to serve as dean of the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business beginning July 1, according to a press release issued by Penn on Wednesday afternoon.

James assumed her deanship at Goizueta in 2014, becoming the first Black woman to head a top-25 United States business school. By the end of her first term at Goizueta, James grew the business school faculty by 25%. She also led a significant redesign of the undergraduate business curriculum by integrating immersive learning, technology, and the Emory College’s liberal arts curriculum. 

“Erika is an award-winning scholar and teacher and a strong, proven leader who serves as dean of the Goizueta Business School at Emory University,” Gutmann said in the press release. “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.”

Before serving as the Goizueta dean, James was the senior associate dean for executive education at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. She has also served as a visiting professor at Harvard Business School and assistant professor at Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business.

The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, a leading graduate business school organization with a focus on diversity, awarded James the inaugural Earl Hill Jr. Faculty Achievement and Diversity Award in 2019 for her “outstanding academic and professional leadership on campus and to the community beyond the boundaries of the university.”

James was also named one of the Top 10 Women of Power in Education by Black Enterprise in 2014 and one of the Power 100 by Ebony Magazine the same year as one of “the most influential and intriguing men and women in Black America."

“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,” Provost Wendell Pritchett said in the press release.

James earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pomona College of the Claremont Colleges in 1991 and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan in 1993 and 1995, respectively. 

Goizueta has nine programs, which include a two-year undergraduate bachelor of business administration program for juniors and seniors, a one-year MBA program, and two-year MBA program.

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

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