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Ericka James to Lead Business School at Emory University

Dorothy Rowley | 5/20/2014, 6:42 p.m.
Erika James (Courtesy of Emory University)

Officials at Emory University in Atlanta have appointed Ericka Hayes James as the first black female dean of the Goizueta Business School.

James, a former senior associate dean for executive education at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, was selected after an international search. She will be just the fourth minority woman in the nation to serve as dean of a college business program and the first to lead a full-time MBA program at a top-25 business school.

"Erika James has all of the qualities that we want for a leader at Goizueta," said Claire Sterk, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Emory. "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."

James, who earned her doctorate degree in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan, will assume her new role at Emory on July 15.

John Fernandes, president and CEO at the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, said James' ascent to the role of dean serves as "beacon of light" and a historic day.

"Immediately, James will become the shooting star for minorities and women in business school," Fernandez told Fortune magazine.

James, who also served as a consultant to several Fortune 500 companies, built her career by connecting her knowledge of organizational psychology with executive leadership.