After 24 years in Southern California, Gareth James is moving east to take on the biggest role of his academic career.
James was named the new dean at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School on Monday (February 14). He will take over from interim Dean Karen Sedatole on July 1.
Sedatole took over from another James — Erika, now the dean at Wharton — nearly two years ago.
“Emory and Goizueta have impressive ambitions to become even stronger institutions,” James said in a prepared statement released by Emory. “I’m looking forward to working with President (Gregory) Fenves, Provost (Ravi) Bellamkonda and our faculty, staff and students to transform that ambition into a reality. I’m also excited to be at a school whose very name represents an important legacy for both Emory and the Atlanta region.”
‘A DEMONSTRATED LEADER’
James, a native of New Zealand, has spent more than just his teaching career on the West Coast — he earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University in statistics after earning Fulbright Scholarship in 1994, following a pair of undergraduate degrees (in finance and statistics) at the University of Auckland. James joined USC as an assistant professor of information and operations management in 1998 and became a full professor at the Marshall School in 2009. Since 2014, he has also been the school’s Morgan Stanley chair in business administration.
A statistician by training, James was interim dean at the Marshall School for about a year in 2019-2020 following the rancorous departure of Dean Jim Ellis, until the school hired Wharton’s Geoff Garrett. It was an eventful interim term. While serving in that role, James led the school’s response to coronavirus, which hit B-schools — and everything else — in March 2020. After Marshall hired Garrett, James subsequently became deputy dean, a position he has held since.
“Dr. James is a demonstrated leader with the vision and experience to elevate the Goizueta Business School to even greater heights of success,” Emory President Gregory L. Fenves said in the school’s announcement. “The future of business education and scholarship touches all aspects of our lives, the way we work, and how we create opportunities for the future. Dr. James understands that preparing business leaders requires a broad set of skills that are informed by impactful research, as well as real-life experiences in a complex, interconnected economy.
“Atlanta is home to some of the most dynamic and diverse businesses in the nation, and I look forward to seeing Dr. James deepen Emory’s partnerships like never before.”
A HIGHLY AWARDED & CITED SCHOLAR
James takes over a B-school ranked 26th in the U.S. in Poets&Quants‘ latest ranking, and also 26th in U.S. News‘ 2021 ranking. He takes over from Karen Sedatole, who assumed the role of interim dean in May 2020 after the departure of Erika James to Wharton in February of that year.
Gareth James “has been an active scholar, authoring numerous journal and discussion articles, books, conference proceedings and book chapters,” the school said in its announcement. “In particular, he has published extensively in the areas of functional data analysis and high dimensional statistics. His work has been cited approximately 20,000 times.” Since the onset of Covid-19 he has published six top-tier journal articles; at Marshall, he has won two Dean’s Research Awards, and is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. In addition to the Evan C. Thompson Faculty Teaching and Learning Innovation award, he has won Marshall’s Golden Apple for best instructor in the full-time MBA program three times, and also been awarded Marshall and USC’s highest honors for mentoring junior colleagues and graduate students, including the Dean’s Ph.D. Advising, USC Mellon, Evan C. Thompson and Provost’s Mentoring awards.
“Dr. James has an excellent grasp of our strengths, understands our desires and ambitions for the school, and has plans to realize them. We’re thrilled to have someone of his caliber advance the teaching and research missions of Goizueta,” Emory Provost Ravi Bellamkonda said in the school’s announcement. “Chosen from an extraordinary pool of candidates, Dr. James stood out as a proven leader who uses data-driven decision-making, has an affable leadership style and a great sense of humor, and is as ambitious for Goizueta as we are.”
The search that led to James was led by Dean Vikas Sukhatme of Emory’s School of Medicine. A search committee composed of GBS students, faculty from GBS and other schools, and members of the Goizueta Advisory Board, began meeting back in June of 2021.
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