Erika Hayes JamesEmory University, one of the nation’s top business schools, recently made history when it announced Erika Hayes James will be the new dean of the Goizueta Business School.

A former associate dean at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, James received her Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan and served as a consultant to several Fortune 500 companies before entering academia.

“Erika James has all of the qualities that we want for a leader at Goizueta,” Emory’s Provost Claire Sterk said. “She brings a background of impressive scholarship and strong skills in academic administration, and she will work collaboratively with faculty, students, staff, alumni and supporters to take the school to the next level—all the while honoring the principled leadership of Mr. Goizueta’s legacy.”

Emory’s Goizueta Business School began 95 years ago, and since then it’s become one of the top programs in the nation.  The school was ranked No. 1 by Bloomberg BusinessWeek for job placement and four of its degree programs ranks in the top 25.

In addition to becoming the first Black woman to lead Emory’s prestigious business school, James will also be one of the few women to serve as dean in the male-dominated field. Currently, women lead only 22 percent of graduate business schools, and only three institutions have women of color at the helm.

Despite her history-making ascent, James isn’t daunted by the prospect of stepping into such a high-profile position.

“I believe that the Goizueta Business School is a world-renowned school that is on the verge of greatness,” she said, “and I want to be a part of helping the school reach that greatness.”

James will assume her new role on July 15.

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