Creative. Mirthful. Optimistic. And ready to introduce you to rugby or cricket. This is how Gareth James, the next dean of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, describes himself. Incredibly strong. Truly cutting-edge. Passionate. This is how he describes Goizueta students, faculty, and alumni.
On Feb. 14, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Ravi V. Bellamkonda announced James as the next dean of Goizueta Business School. James comes to Emory from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, where he serves as deputy dean, E. Morgan Stanley Chair in Business Administration, and professor of data sciences and operations. James will take up the deanship July 1.
“Dr. James is a demonstrated leader with the vision and experience to elevate the Goizueta Business School to even greater heights of success,” says President Gregory L. Fenves. “The future of business education and scholarship touches all aspects of our lives, the way we work, and how we create opportunities for the future. Dr. James understands that preparing business leaders requires a broad set of skills that are informed by impactful research as well as real-life experiences in a complex, interconnected economy. Atlanta is home to some of the most dynamic and diverse businesses in the nation, and I look forward to seeing Dr. James deepen Emory’s partnerships like never before.”
James is keen to begin his work at Goizueta, noting, “Emory and Goizueta have impressive ambitions to become even stronger institutions. I’m looking forward to working with President Fenves, Provost Bellamkonda, and our faculty, staff, and students to transform that ambition into a reality. I’m also excited to be at a school whose very name represents an important legacy for both Emory and the Atlanta region.”
An active and dynamic leader in his time at the Marshall School of Business, James has most recently served as interim dean (2019-2020), during which he led the school’s COVID-19 response, and deputy dean (2020-2022), a position created to retain him at school-level leadership; he has also served as vice dean of faculty.
He believes in building a strong leadership team, providing them with the resources and support they need, and then getting out of their way, so they are empowered to do their jobs. “People rise to the challenge when you demonstrate confidence in their abilities,” James concludes.
This theme of support continues as James lists his priorities: supporting faculty and staff in their ambitions to push Goizueta forward in its research and education missions, and increasing the school’s revenue base to support the recruitment of high-quality faculty and staff and provide scholarship funding for students.
“Dr. James has an excellent grasp of our strengths, understands our desires and ambitions for the school, and has plans to realize them. We’re thrilled to have someone of his caliber advance the teaching and research missions of Goizueta,” Bellamkonda says. “Chosen from an extraordinary pool of candidates, Dr. James stood out as a proven leader who uses data-driven decision-making, has an affable leadership style and a great sense of humor, and is as ambitious for Goizueta as we are.”
A statistician by training and a New Zealander by birth, James graduated from Stanford University with a PhD in statistics in 1998 after receiving a Fulbright Scholarship in 1994. Prior to that, he studied at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, where he earned a bachelor of science and bachelor of commerce degrees.
James has been an active scholar, authoring numerous journal and discussion articles, books, conference proceedings, and book chapters. In particular, he has published extensively in the areas of functional data analysis and high dimensional statistics. His work has been cited approximately 20,000 times. In fact, just in the period since COVID hit he has published six top-tier journal articles along with the second edition of his highly successful co-authored textbook, An Introduction to Statistical Learning. James has acted as the PI or co-PI on several National Science Foundation research grants and has served as an associate editor for five top research journals. He has won two Dean’s Research Awards, and is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.
James is also a superb teacher and mentor. In addition to the Evan C. Thompson Faculty Teaching and Learning Innovation award, he has won Marshall’s Golden Apple for best instructor in the full-time MBA program three times. He has also been awarded Marshall and USC’s highest honors for mentoring junior colleagues and graduate students, including the Dean’s Ph.D. Advising, USC Mellon, Evan C. Thompson and Provost’s Mentoring awards.
“I want to acknowledge the deep care with which the Search Advisory Committee, led by Dean Vikas P. Sukhatme of the School of Medicine, approached their task. Their commitment to excellence and great love of Emory were evident in every part of the search process,” notes Bellamkonda.
“It is with great esteem that I acknowledge the many contributions of Interim Dean Karen Sedatole to Goizueta Business School and Emory University. Her ability to enhance the Goizueta student experience and strengthen the school’s connection with the community while leading the school through a pandemic is greatly appreciated,” he continues. “Dean Sedatole has been an integral part of our student flourishing initiative, and we owe her deep appreciation for her leadership during this critical period for our Goizueta Business School.”
Among Sedatole’s many accomplishments are the launch of The Roberto C. Goizueta Business & Society Institute and The Roberto C. Goizueta Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Under her leadership, Goizueta also launched The Roberto C. Goizueta Global Classrooms, elevating classroom experience and global reach through innovative technology; the Peachtree Minority Venture Fund, a million-dollar student-run venture capital fund focused exclusively on Black, LatinX, and Native American founders; the John R. Lewis Racial Justice Case Competition, a student-run competition that examines how companies can address racial injustice within their organizations and in society; master of analytical finance degree, led by Wall Street professionals, which offers hands-on experiences to support next-generation careers in sales and trading, investment management, FinTech, and investment banking; and the online executive MBA, a new format of Goizueta’s EMBA program.
About Goizueta Business School
Business education has been an integral part of Emory University’s identity since 1919. That kind of longevity and significance does not come without a culture built on success and service. Emory University’s Goizueta Business School offers a unique, community-oriented environment paired with the academic prestige and rigor of a major research institution. Goizueta develops business leaders of today and tomorrow with an undergraduate degree program, a two-year full-time MBA, a one-year MBA, an evening MBA, an executive MBA, an MS in business analytics, a master of analytical finance, a doctoral degree, and a portfolio of non-degree Emory Executive Education courses. Together, the Goizueta community strives to solve the world’s most pressing business problems. The school is named for the late Roberto C. Goizueta, former chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company.