Harvard Gets its First Indian-American Dean
Date: Tuesday , June 01, 2010
When Nitin Nohria, an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology, joined Harvard as a faculty in 1988, none would have thought that a history is in the making. Today, after 22 years, he stands to be the first Indian-American Dean of the prestigious Harvard Business School. The 48-year-old leadership professor will serve as the 10th dean of Harvard Business School from July 1, succeeding the current dean Jay Light.
Though, he was one of the high profile professors at Harvard, Prof. Nohria was not necessarily the most obvious choice for the job. Many insiders predicted that senior associate dean Srikant Datar or Carl Kester, Deputy Dean for Academic Affairs, would be appointed. However, his experience within India and his stints at London Business School made Nohria the right choice to bring in a global perspective to the dean's position.
Nohria received his degree in chemical engineering in 1984 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, which also eventually awarded him with its distinguished alumnus medal in 2007. He then received his doctoral degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management in 1988 where he earned an outstanding doctoral thesis award in behavioral and policy sciences. Following that, he joined the Harvard faculty as an assistant professor in 1988, became an associate professor five years later, and then served as the Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration since 1999.
His current academic interests include the theory and practice of leadership, the study of human motivation, the analysis of management practices critical to corporate success, and the strategic and organizational challenges of globalization. The latest of his sixteen books, - Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice - has been co-edited by his Harvard colleague Rakesh Khurana and reflects a colloquium he organized as part of Harvard's centennial in 2008 to stimulate serious scholarly research on leadership.