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Marriott School Hires First Female Dean

Brigitte Madrian will become the new dean of BYU’s Marriott School of Business in January 2019. Photo courtesy of the BYU Marriott School of Business

It’s history in the making: Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Business has hired its first-ever female dean, Harvard Professor Brigitte Madrian, who takes the reins at Marriott on January 1, 2019. Madrian has spent the last six years teaching in Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government as a professor of public policy and corporate management; she also serves as chair of the Markets, Business, and Government Department.

Ending a five-year stint is Marriott’s current dean, Lee Perry who  according to a news release from the school — has implemented and expanded experiential learning opportunities at Marriott, increased financial support, and launched seven new majors in the undergraduate program. At the end of his term, Perry will return to a faculty position where he’ll reside in the management department as a strategy professor.

“I am grateful to Dean Perry for his dedicated service and outstanding leadership of the BYU Marriott School of Business,” said BYU’s academic vice president, Jim Rasband, in the school’s announcement of Madrian’s hiring. “He has sacrificed much, not just during his deanship but throughout his career, to build the college. I admire his long record of setting aside his own passion for teaching and research to instead focus on providing opportunities for his colleagues and for our students. His committed service leaves behind a stronger college.”


Dean-elect Madrian may be coming from Harvard’s Kennedy School but she is no stranger to elite B-schools. Madrian has served on the faculty at the Wharton School as well as the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and she spent two years in Harvard’s economics department.

In addition to being a department chair at Harvard, Madrian’s administrative background consists of myriad steering committees at Harvard including the Kennedy School’s faculty steering committee, appointments committee, and various search and review committees. She’s also four years into a role on the board of governors for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and is co-director of the Household Finance working group at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Madrian is acknowledged as an expert on behavioral economics and household finance with an emphasis on retirement saving and investing behavior. She’s been honored by the Retirement Income Industry Association with an applied research award and is a triple TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award recipient for her writings on financial security for individuals. She’s also a regular in business and financial press who’s routinely quoted by leading media outlets from Forbes and Wall Street Journal to Bloomberg and Politico.


Rasband had this to say about Madrian taking the helm as business dean: “Dr. Madrian has a distinguished record of scholarship, teaching, and public service. I am confident that she will lead the BYU Marriott School of Business with wisdom, energy, and vision.”

Rasband also notes the incoming dean’s alumni status, having earned both a master’s and bachelor’s degree from the school before obtaining her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “She pairs her impressive record with wise judgment, deep roots at BYU, and a commitment to the Mission and Aims of the university,” he said.

When Madrian assumes the BYU Marriott deanship, she’ll be the ninth dean in the school’s history. As Marriott’s very first female leader, she’ll oversee the school’s four graduate programs, 10 undergraduate programs, and a student body of approximately 3,300.