Erika H. James has been named the next dean of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. When she takes office on July 1, Dr. James will be the first woman and the first African American to lead the prestigious business school since its founding in 1881.
Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, said that Erika James “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.”
Since 2014, Dr. James has been serving as dean of the Goizueta Business School at Emory University in Atlanta. Prior to tenure at Emory University, Dr. James served as the senior associate dean for executive education at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. Earlier, she was an assistant professor at Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business.
In accepting her appointment to lead the Wharton School, Dr. James said that “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.”
Dr. James is a graduate of Pomona College in Claremont, California, where she majored in psychology. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan.