McKinsey Partner New Johns Hopkins Dean

A former surgeon who once headed  McKinsey & Co.’s health care practice was today (May 29) named the next dean of The Johns Hopkins University’s Carey Business School.

The appointment of Bernard T. Ferrari, which is effective July 1, reflects the school’s recent decision to better leverage the university’s brand in the health care field. The new focus at Carey includes an increase in cooperative research and teaching efforts with other divisions of Johns Hopkins, particularly its schools of medicine, public health, nursing, and engineering.

To date, about 10 professors from those schools have been jointly appointed to the Carey faculty. In addition, Carey faculty members have begun working with professors from the other Johns Hopkins divisions to explore joint research efforts, which could include the involvement of Carey students. Carey and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine plan to launch a dual MBA/MD degree program in fall 2012.

And now the school has named a dean who has spent a good portion of his professional life in the health care field.  Ferrari is only the second dean to lead the Carey Business School since it was established in 2007. He succeeds Interim Dean Phillip Phan who has run the school since the abrupt resignation last June of Carey’s first dean, Yash P. Gupta before the school graduated its first crop of full-time MBAs. Gupta left amidst disclosures that he had been actively searching for several other university jobs he failed to win.

For many in Carey’s inaugural class, the announcement of Gupta’s resignation brought a sense of relief. Many of them felt as if they were on a “rudderless ship.” “Most students seem pretty relieved that he’s left,” says one MBA student who declined to be identified by name. “He has been shopping offers publicly since the beginning of the school year. Many students felt that his focus was not on the current program. In the long run, we are better off with someone who is solely focused on us.”

Ferrari, it is hoped, will bring the school some stable leadership moving forward. Ferrari, 63, is a former director at the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he spent nearly two decades as a partner and senior healthcare consultant. In addition to his leadership of McKinsey’s health care practice, he also did a stint as the leader of its North American corporate strategy practice. After retiring from McKinsey in 2008, Ferrari founded the Ferrari Consultancy, where he currently serves as chairman. The consultancy serves clients in the financial services, transportation, energy, medical products, aviation and heavy equipment manufacturing sectors, and consults with clients on their business strategies.

Ferrari began his career as a surgeon. Prior to joining McKinsey, he was chief operating officer and assistant medical director of the Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans. He previously served as vice chairman of the Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery.

“Dr. Ferrari is a proven leader, visionary strategist, and expert communicator, who values deeply the importance of building partnerships,” said Ronald J. Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins, in a statement. “He has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities in business education. He appreciates the critical importance of investing in the best and brightest faculty devoted to discovery, to excellence in teaching, and to being engaged university citizens. Throughout my conversations with Dr. Ferrari, I have been impressed by his intellect, energy, and passion. I know he will be a wonderful colleague.”

Lloyd B. Minor, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, chaired the search committee that identified Ferrari. “We found Dr. Ferrari to be uniquely qualified for this important leadership position. He is poised to build on the Carey School’s many successes and to enhance its partnerships with other Johns Hopkins schools, particularly in the areas of healthcare and the life sciences,” Minor said in a statement. “Dr. Ferrari shares Johns Hopkins’ commitment to excellence, and he appreciates the integral role the Carey Business School plays in that pursuit.”

Ferrari is a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Rochester where he has been actively engaged with the Simon Graduate School of Business. He is also a trustee of the Juilliard School and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

His papers have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, McKinsey Quarterly and The New England Journal of Medicine. His book, Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All, was published earlier this year.

Ferrari is a cum laude graduate of the University of Rochester from which he also received his M.D. He earned a J.D. magna cum laude from Loyola University School of Law and an M.B.A. from Tulane University School of Business. He is married to Linda Ferrari, a former commercial banker and active docent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.


  • JohnAByrne

    I agree with you. His background is ideal for Carey because it really helps to leverage the Johns Hopkins brand in health care.

  • MS

    I think this will be great for the Carey school. Dr. Ferrari will no doubt bring many business connections with him to Carey after nearly two decades at McKinsey, and his dual background in healthcare and business strategy will serve him well in positioning the Carey school as a differentiated product in the MBA marketplace.

  • MS

    Tell that to the Carey graduating class of 2012, who got placements at organizations such as BlackRock, the Acumen Fund, Groupon, and Evernote. Tell that to the JHU Carey professors that came from schools such as Wharton, Columbia, University of Chicago, and Northwestern to teach at the newest Hopkins school. Hopkins is a world-class institution, and the Carey school thus gets instant credibility with faculty, students, and employers. When Yale SOM was first launched and had yet to gain AACSB accreditation, would you have said that the University of New Haven was the only real choice for an MBA in the New Haven area? Hopkins is not competing to be the “only real choice” for an MBA in the Baltimore area. Hopkins is competing to be one of the best MBA programs in the world. They’re brand new- of course they’re not AACSB accredited. That process takes years. In the interim, they’re building a world-class MBA program while people with small minds focus on minutiae.

  • Mike

    Loyola or UMD?… I don’t even know what that is. 

    Listen, when one of the best universities in the world decides to start a business school, and decides to set themselves apart by focusing on making the world a better place. That’s a GOOD thing. I’m not sure why there are so many Carey trolls. Intimidated or something… The reality regarding AACSB is that you can’t apply until you have a full-time flagship program. They didn’t have this until 2 years ago. The AACSB process is cumbersome and takes years. So, putting those facts together, it’s pretty understandable why they are still working on this. And I’ll guarantee you that 99% of potential employers have no idea what AACSB is, and that it will never factor into the decision to hire a Carey grad. 

    Gh2, thanks for your preoccupation with some obscure licensing procedure at the Carey Business School. You comment comes across as measured and reasonable. You’ve done us all a great favor. 

  • Gh2

    JHU Carey still is not AACSB accredited.  In the Baltimore area the only real choices for an MBA are Loyola or UMD.

  • Grant

    What a comment….actually complaining about the fact that he isnt academic enough to be in a business school???  Lets forget about the fact that in the end, you are supposed to be involved in running a successful business and the worst thing you can possibly do as a business man is take an academic approach.  As a former graduate, its good to see this happening at JHU. This is why the program will eventually produce top notch people who know how to run a real business….something MBAs are famous for running into the ground, not actually starting and building, unfortunately…

  • Mike

    He has worked for years with the University of Rochester’s school of business. He seems more than qualified to assume the position, especially considering his years with McKinsey and his extremely strong background in healthcare. Sometimes it’s nice to have at the helm someone who doesn’t just jump from one deanship to the next. 

    Let’s give him time to at least begin in the position before leveling too much criticism.

  • Asd

    A B-School dean who has zero experience in running even a single B-School department?  I don’t get it.  It’s like choosing a person who’s never fired a gun as a general.  I’m sure he is a great businessman, but running a business is different from running a school. 

  • Golly!!!  That man has a lot of degrees!!!!  Sheesh!!