Phenomenal Women

Published on May 20th, 2014 | by thevyne


Meet Erika Hayes James: First Black Female to Lead Top Business School

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 1.58.49 PMEmory University’s Goizueta Business School announced they have hired Erika Hayes James, PhD to become their new dean. Dr. James will join the business school in July. Prior to Emory she was the senior associate dean for executive education at the University of Virginia’s  Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. This hire is historic, making her the first African American female to lead a full time top 25 business school program. Though it’s a step in the right direction, it is still a baby step since according to an AACSB survey in conducted in 2013, only 3.8% of top tier business school deans are black and only 22% are female.

This is especially near and dear to our heart since we both attended Emory University for undergrad (in fact, that’s how we met!). This news makes us proud!

Here are a few things we were able to find out about Erika James:

1. She received her bachelors degree from Pomona College and in 1995 received a PhD in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan, where she also earned an MA in Organizational Psychology.

2. Two of her areas of expertise are crisis leadership and workplace diversity, specifically “the dynamics of women emerging as leaders and why it’s a game changer.”

3. She was born on the island of Granada and grew up in St. Louis and Texas.

4. She was a visiting professor at the Harvard Business School.

5. You can learn more about her and connect with her through her website and Twitter.

Watch this Darden faculty profile video to hear Dr. James talk more about her background:

You can see the full press release on Emory University’s website here.


Images courtesy of Emory University and

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