Erika H. James

Erika H. James
  • Dean, The Wharton School
  • Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise
  • Professor of Management

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    Office of the Dean
    1000 Steinberg Hall - Dietrich Hall
    3620 Locust Walk
    University of Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Links: CV


Erika H. James became the dean of the Wharton School on July 1, 2020. Trained as an organizational psychologist, Dean James is a leading expert on crisis leadership, workplace diversity and management strategy.

Prior to her appointment at Wharton, Dean James was the John H. Harland Dean at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School from 2014 to 2020. An award-winning educator, accomplished consultant and researcher, she is the first woman and first person of color to be appointed dean in Wharton’s 139-year history. As such she has paved the way for women in leadership both in education and corporate America. Dean James has been instrumental in developing groundbreaking executive education programs, including the Women’s Leadership program at the University of Virginia’s Darden School.

Known internationally, Dean James was named as one of the “Top 10 Women of Power in Education” by Black Enterprise and as one of the “Power 100” by Ebony. She has been quoted as an expert thought leader by the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, and numerous other media outlets.

In addition to her academic responsibilities, Dean James is a board member of SurveyMonkey, a California-based market research and customer-experience company, the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) and several organizations that align with her passion for education and advancing women in business. She is also a board member of Save the Children, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children through better education, health care and economic opportunities.

Dean James holds a Ph.D. and Master’s degree in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pomona College of the Claremont Colleges in California.

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Knowledge at Wharton

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In the News

Great Question: Dean Erika James on Crisis Management

Dean Erika James answers your questions on crisis management, leading teams virtually, and managing stress without burning out.

Knowledge at Wharton - 8/16/2021
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Wharton Stories

Zoom screenshot of Dean James and Ibram KendiFor Juneteenth, a conversation with Ibram X. Kendi

For Ibram X. Kendi, Juneteenth is, on one hand, a day of memory. “People of African descent in this country were enslaved for about 250 years,” he said, talking virtually alongside Wharton Dean Erika James on Friday, June 18. “And when I think of slavery, as an institution, I think of systematized terror and…

Wharton Stories - 06/23/2021
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