Nitin Nohria, an IIT alumnus, has been named as the 10th dean of Harvard Business School, the first time an Indian-origin person has been named to the post in the prestigious institution’s 102-year-old history.
An IIT Mumbai alumnus, Mr. Nohria is the Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School (HBS).
He will take up his new role on July 1, President Drew Faust said Wednesday.
A scholar of leadership and organisational change, Mr. Nohria has previously been the School’s senior associate dean for faculty development and chair of its organisational behaviour unit.
A current co-chair of the HBS Leadership Initiative and member of the HBS faculty since 1988, Mr. Nohria succeeds Jay Light, who in December announced his plans to retire at the end of the 2009-10 academic year after five years as dean and four decades of service on the HBS faculty.
“At a pivotal moment for Harvard Business School and for business education more generally, I’m delighted that Nitin Nohria has agreed to lead HBS forward. He is an outstanding scholar, teacher and mentor, with a global outlook and an instinct for collaboration across traditional boundaries,” Mr. Faust said.
On his appointment as dean, Mr. Nohria said, “I feel a profound sense of responsibility for continuing Harvard Business School’s proud legacy of groundbreaking ideas and transformational educational experiences.
“With business education at an inflection point, we must strive to equip future leaders with the competence and character to address emerging global business and social challenges.”
He said as the school enters its second century, he is looking forward to working with the faculty and students “to forge a vision for Harvard Business School that will enable it to remain a beacon for business education for the next 100 years”.
Mr. Nohria received his bachelor of technology degree in chemical engineering in 1984 from the IIT Mumbai, which awarded him its distinguished alumnus medal in 2007.
He received his Ph.D. in management in 1988 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, where he earned the outstanding doctoral thesis award in behavioural and policy sciences.
He joined the HBS faculty as an assistant professor in 1988, was appointed associate professor in 1993, was promoted to tenure in 1997, and became the Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration in 1999.
“Nohria will be a wonderful dean of Harvard Business School,” said Mr. Light.
“He is widely respected within our extended community as a perceptive scholar of leadership and as a thoughtful and able academic leader.”
Mr. Nohria’s current academic interests include the theory and practice of leadership, the study of human motivation, the analysis of management practices critical to corporate success, and the strategic and organizational challenges of globalisation.
He has co-written or co-edited 16 books, and is author of more than 50 articles and dozens of teaching cases and notes.
He recently taught in executive education programmes as “Building a Global Enterprise in India” and the “New CEO Workshop.”
Mr. Nohria joins the list of Indian-origin people who have headed prestigious business schools in the U.S.
Notable mong them are Dipak Jain, Dean of Kellogg School of Business, Mahendra Gupta, Dean of the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St Louis and Yash Gupta, who served as Dean at University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.
At HBS, Mr. Nohria is among some 25 teachers of Indian-origin in a faculty of just over 200.
Nobel laureate Amartya Sen is currently the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard.