Haas Picks Wharton Professor As New Dean

After a long national search lasting more than a year, UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business chose a Wharton female economist as its new dean. Berkeley alumna Ann E. Harrison, a highly accomplished academic, will begin her term on Jan. 1 of 2019, succeeding Rich Lyons who had the job for nearly a dozen years before stepping down at the end of June this year.

Harrison was one of three finalists named by Poets&Quants in April, along with another Wharton professor, Katherine Klein, vice dean for Wharton’s social impact initiative and a professor of management. The third finalist was Mihir A. Desai, a charismatic aprofessor of finance at Harvard Business School who is also a professor of law at Harvard Law School (see Two Wharton Profs Among Finalists For Haas Dean).

Though she lacks lacks administrative experience in academia, Harrison’s deep roots to Berkeley may have made the difference. Born in France, she was raised in California, earning her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley with a double major in economics and history in 1982. She also served as a professor of Berkeley’s Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics from 2001 to 2011. In an email to the Haas community, Interim Haas Dean Laura Tyson noted those roots. “Her knowledge of our campus will be a boon to our school,” wrote Tyson. ” I am personally heartened by her full appreciation for our culture and for the Berkeley community.”


She is the second woman to win the deanship at Haas which becomes the only top ten business school to be led by two women. Economist Tyson, former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton Administration, had been dean of the business school from 1997 until 2001 and then dean of the London Business School from 2002 to 2006.

The search was led by Keith Gilless, dean of Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources, who served as chair. Haas search committee members were Erika Walker, assistant dean for undergraduate programs; MBA student Erin Gums; Professors Toby Stuart, Catherine Wolfram, and Adair Morse; Haas board members Jack Russi, BS 82, and Larissa Roesch, MBA 97; and Law School Professor Ken Ayotte.

The search may have been complicated by the fact that a unusually large number of highly ranked business schools are currently in the midst of dean searches, including Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Cornell University’s College of Business, and UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. Two of those institutions–Kellogg and Anderson–had been successfully led by women. Even though Haas has narrowed the search down to three finalists by April, it was unable to close the deal until now, making the university name an interim dean at the end of June. In any case, Harrison will now lead the highest ranked business school in the U.S., with the departure of Sally Blount at Kellogg on Aug. 31.. Berkeley’s full-time MBA program was ranked ninth best in the U.S. by Poets&Quants.

A professor of multinational management and business economics and public policy, Harrison has taught students at the MBA, master’s, PhD, and undergraduate levels at Wharton, Columbia Business School, the University of California, Berkeley, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and the University of Paris. Harrison is a dual citizen of the U.S. and France. She also boasts public policy experience outside academia. Before joining the Wharton School in 2012, Harrison spent two years in Washington D.C. as the director of development policy at the World Bank. Prior to that, she served as the head of the research team at the World Bank on international trade and investment.

“Professor Harrison is an accomplished administrator as well as a world-class economist who has dedicated her career to creating forward-looking policies in development economics, international trade, and global labor markets,” said Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ in a statement. “It is a great honor to welcome her back to Berkeley to become the dean of Haas, and I have no doubt that she will be a wonderful leader for the institution.”


Harrison’s research is in the areas of emerging markets, multinational firms, international trade, productivity, and labor markets. Harrison has published in the top journals and her book, Globalization and Poverty, was published by the University of Chicago Press.

She has lectured widely, including at most major US universities and in India, China, Latin America, Europe, the Philippines, and North Africa. Her most recent work evaluates the impact of anti-sweatshop campaigns and corporate social responsibility; the linkages between globalization of firms, worker wages and employment; the effectiveness of industrial policy; and determinants of productivity growth in China and India.

Harrison said she is thrilled to return to Berkeley to join its top-ranked business school, and is looking forward to meeting Haas students and alumni, as well as working with the distinguished faculty and staff. “This opportunity is a dream come true,” she said in a news release announcing the appointment. “Berkeley Haas is truly exceptional because it combines intellectual rigor with a commitment to creating a better world. Former Haas dean Rich Lyons worked with the Haas community to articulate its spirit and culture through the four defining leadership principles. These principles, such as going ‘beyond yourself’ and ‘questioning the status quo,’ make Haas a true standout among its peers.”


Harrison added that she is also passionate about being a part of Berkeley itself, and is excited to continue building the relationships between Haas and the rest of campus. “Haas is part of the world’s greatest research university and is located in one of the most exciting innovation hubs anywhere.”

Born in France to an American father and a French mother, she came to the United States when she was very young. She credits her bilingual upbringing with sparking her later research interests in global firms and international trade. She is married to the economist Vicente Madrigal, who received his PhD in economics from Princeton in 1989. they have two children: Emily (23) and Alice (18).

“Ann has a remarkable track record of pioneering research on trade and development, including influential studies of globalization’s effects on jobs and inequality,” said Berkeley economics Prof. Maurice Obstfeld, who serves as chief economist at the International Monetary Fund and collaborated with Harrison at Berkeley’s Agricultural & Resource Economics department. “Her work has demonstrated the degree to which American workers’ wages have suffered from globalization—especially workers in routine jobs. I’m really looking forward to the intellectual leadership she will bring to Haas and to the entire campus.”

Before joining the Wharton School in 2012, Harrison served as Director of Development Policy at the World Bank. There, she co-managed a team of 300 researchers and staff, reformed the World Bank’s process for allocating research funds, and oversaw the institution’s most important flagship publications, including its annual World Development Report. During her tenure, she convinced the World Bank’s president to release all historical records on project loans, a milestone in increasing transparency.


“Based on Ann’s experience at the World Bank, she will be an effective and much-loved manager,” said Professor Sir Angus Deaton, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs Emeritus at Princeton University who has known Harrison since she was a graduate student. He also is the 2015 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare. “She is an excellent economist and also an extraordinary person.”

Harrison said she’ll start out by taking the time to listen carefully to faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

“I’m incredibly lucky that Former Dean Lyons and Interim (as well as former) Dean Laura Tyson are both at Haas and can share their insights with me,” she said in a statement. “Berkeley Haas has tremendous opportunities in the areas of fundraising and revenue growth, which will be a primary focus of my deanship. In addition to garnering increased philanthropic support for our students and programs, I believe it is critical for Berkeley Haas to secure funding for new faculty positions.”


Harrison earned a PhD in economics from Princeton University in 1991 and a diplôme d’études universitaires générales from the University of Paris. She is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a member of the United Nations Committee for Development Policy.

Harrison is one of the most highly cited scholars globally on foreign investment and multinational firms. She is the author and editor of three books, including Globalization and Poverty and The Factory-Free Economy. In 2017, Harrison and her co-authors were awarded the prestigious Sun Yefang Prize by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The prize, given every two years, is considered one of China’s most important honors in economics.

Harrison was selected after an extensive national search. She will succeed Interim Dean Laura D’Andrea Tyson, who will remain in her post through the end of 2018. Rich Lyons, who served as dean for 11 years prior to Tyson, will return to the Haas finance faculty after a sabbatical. Lyons was paid $445,400 as dean in 2017.


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