Best Profs: Katherine Phillips

Kellogg's Katherine Phillips is one of the 40 best business school professors under the age of 40

Kellogg’s Katherine Phillips is one of the 40 best business school professors under the age of 40

Katherine W. Phillips (née Williams)

Associate Professor of Management and Organizations

Co-Director, Center on the Science of Diversity

Age: 38

Institution: Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Marital Status: Married

Children:  2 daughters (8 and 3 years old)

Education: Stanford University, PhD, Business

University of Illinois, BS, Psychology

Courses: Social Processes in Organizations

Leadership in Organizations

Leading and Managing Diverse Organizations

Leading and Managing Teams

At Kellogg Since: 1999

Before Kellogg: PhD student at Stanford University

Fun Fact: Phillipa was a three-time All-American in track and field at the University of Illinois (400 meter dash, relays, and long jump).

You could say Katherine Phillips has a soft spot for the Dwight Shrute’s (NBC’s “The Office”) of the world. She teaches Kellogg MBAs that, as aspiring business leaders, it would behoove them to embrace the oddball employee and not ostracize them. “Better decisions come from work teams that include a socially distinct newcomer,” says the 38-year-old professor.

Phillips has published more than 30 articles, chapters, and edited books. Her research on the impact of social- and task-relevant diversity has made her a sought after expert. Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and the US Office of Personnel Management are just a few of the organizations that have called on her to facilitate discussions around workplace diversity.

Kellogg has also reaped the benefits of Professor Phillips’ work. She spearheads the school’s diversity efforts, led the creation of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, and helped launch a Diversity & Inclusion Council at the MBA level. In 2009 she launched a new course called Leading and Managing Diverse Organizations.

Professor Phillips has also conducted research in collaboration with another Poets and Quants “40 Under 40,” Ashleigh Shelby Rosette of the Fuqua School of Business.

Students Say:

“Professor Katherine Phillips has an inclusive style that fosters continuous participation in class. She has a way of involving students in the discussion of cutting-edge concepts from her research and expertise that makes you feel like you are being part of something novel and unique. She was the best introduction I could possibly have to business school.” — Andrés Ruiz, Kellogg MBA Class of 2012

“Professor Phillips is a refreshing professor who stands out for speaking about a not often discussed topic in business school: diversity.  Her dynamic teaching style is both engaging and thought provoking.” — Gheisa M. Cruz, Kellogg MBA Class of 2012

“What sets Professor Phillips apart in the classroom, and makes her class a great way to start the Kellogg experience, is her dynamic nature, relatable style and deep understanding of the value of diverse perspectives. She often incorporates real-world examples from her professional and personal life in her teaching:  flashing up pictures of her husband and two children as she’s discussing negotiations strategy or telling stories about walking the long way around the academic building as a Stanford PhD student to maximize networking opportunities. Outside the classroom, Professor Phillips is generous with her time in supporting student initiatives. She’s served as a speaker and advisor to the Women’s Business Association on the topics of mentorship and inclusion. Her engaging teaching style and commitment beyond the classroom make her an incredible resource for Kellogg students and an asset to the school.” — Ashlee A. Miller, Kellogg MBA Class of 2011

Katherine Phillips is among The World’s 40 Best B-School Profs Under the Age of 40

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