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IESE Names First Non-Spaniard Dean

IESE's Franz Heukamp will take over the deanship on Sept. 1

IESE’s Franz Heukamp will take over the deanship on Sept. 1

After a three-month search for a new leader, the University of Navarra turned to a German-born professor at IESE Business School today (June 22) to succeed the highly successful Dean Jordi Canals. Franz Heukamp, currently associate dean for MBA programs at IESE, will take over the deanship on Sept. 1.

The 43-year-old professor of decision analysis joined IESE as a faculty member in 2002 and has been the school’s secretary general (2009-2012). During his four-year stint as associate dean for MBA programs, Heukamp has been overseeing the launch of the Executive MBA in Sao Paulo, the launch of the America’s track of the Global Executive MBA in 2014, and the curricular improvements and growth in the global scope and number of students in the full-time MBA program. He is an experienced and renowned teacher, both for the MBA and Executive Education programs.

Originally from Cologne, Germany, Heukamp is the first non-Spaniard to lead IESE Business School. He has received degrees in engineering from Technische Universitat Munchen (Germany) and Ecole des Ponts et Chaussees (France), as well as a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2002.

“My wish is that IESE continues with its mission of service to society in general and to the business world in particular, through an innovative and creative academic activity that faces the new challenges of our time,” Heukamp said in a statement. “In my future role as IESE dean, I will work to follow the example of my predecessors in terms of their professionalism and spirit of service.”


Heukamp, who has focused his academic career on behavioral decision-making and neuroeconomics, will follow one of the most successful deans of this generation. Over a 15-year stretch, Canals took over what was largely a regional school, known mainly in its home country of Spain, and helped transform it into an international powerhouse of business education. Last year, Poets&Quants ranked IESE third among non-U.S. MBA programs, behind only INSEAD and London Business School.

IESE achieved several milestones under the stewardship of Dean Canals, including the school’s global expansion with the opening of new campuses in New York (2010), Sao Paulo (2011), and Munich (2015), the collaboration in the launching of new associated schools in Latin America and Africa, and the Africa Initiative (2009). In addition, 85% of the MBA program’s students are now international; the Executive MBA is taught in Barcelona, Sao Paulo, and New York; the Global Executive MBA started its New York track in 2014 and the school’s executive education programs are taught on four continents. The school’s executive education programs ranked among the top two in the last five years according to the Financial Times.

In an email to his colleagues, Canals said, “I am sure that Franz will get our full support and commitment to continue developing IESE in the 21st century, staying true to our mission, and trying to make a positive impact on people, companies and society. Serving IESE and the University of Navarra as Dean has been a great privilege for me. Thank you very much again for your constant support, great professionalism and commitment over the past 15 years.”

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.