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The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business Names Its First Woman Dean

The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business Names Its First Woman Dean

Another incredible Black woman making history! 

The nation’s highest ranked business school, University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, appointed its first woman dean in the school’s 139 year history, and she’s dripping in Black Girl Magic! 

Erika James will lead the Wharton School of Business, one of the most prestigious programs in the country, the The Root reports. She formerly led Emory’s Goizueta School of Business, creating an innovation and entrepreneurship lab, growing the school’s staff by 25%, and championing workshops between students and staff to address unconscious bias and building trust. 

Wendell Pritchett, Provost at the University of Pennsylvania, issued a statement about the appointment saying, “[James is] 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 will replace former dean, Geoffrey Garret, who will be moving over to the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. Over the past half decade, business school applicants have been on the decline with many potential students citing job market concerns as the reason why they are hesitant to pursue their education, along with entry blocks to entrepreneurship and staggering student debt. James hopes that she can help transform some of those issues at Wharton. 

“It’s had incredible leadership over the years, so that will be a tall task. As the environment changes, there will be new opportunities to experiment in business education, and I look forward to being able to work with the faculty, staff, and students there on what that might look like,” she said. 

Congratulations Dean James! The possibilities are endless!

Photo Courtesy of University of Pennsylvania