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 141-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 Morgan Stanley, SurveyMonkey, a California-based market research and customer-experience company, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. and several organizations that align with her passion for education and advancing women in business. Additionally, she serves as an advisory board member to Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management and as an executive board member to the Indian School of Business.

She is the co-author of the forthcoming book The Prepared Leader: Emerge from Any Crisis More Resilient Than Before (Wharton School Press; September 20, 2022) with Lynn Perry Wooten, President of Simmons University.

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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Transformative Change Starts With Responsible Research

Responsible research can help businesses and leaders gain a sustainable edge in today’s volatile markets, write Wharton Dean Erika James and INSEAD Dean Ilian Mihov.Read More

Knowledge at Wharton - 2/28/2023
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Wharton embraces the concept of lifelong learning in the School’s ongoing pursuit of business knowledge. Executive Education programs and online certificates improve skills and build credentials. Almost all students talk about lifelong learning after they earn their degrees. But what about before? Therein lie the opportunities for the Wharton Global…

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