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Boss Moves: Dr. Erika James on Becoming 1st Black & Female Dean of Penn’s Prestigious Business School

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Dean Erica H. James of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

*History is being made on two fronts today at the University of Pennsylvania as Dr. Erika James begins her first day on the job as dean of the world renown Wharton School. She is both the first woman and first person of color to lead the prestigious business school.

The Bermuda-born, Texas-raised scholar holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan and received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pomona College of the Claremont Colleges, in California. She most recently served as dean of the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, where she undertook a significant redesign of the undergraduate business curriculum, integrating immersive learning, technology, and partnerships with Emory College’s liberal arts curriculum.

Prior to her deanship, she served as the senior associate dean for executive education at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, working closely with faculty to reimagine executive education and lifelong learning opportunities.

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.

Dr. James talked about her historic day with Robin Roberts Wednesday on “Good Morning America.”

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