HBS Names Nitin Nohria New Dean

Yesterday Harvard Business School announced that Nitin Nohria, the Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration at HBS, will become the School’s 10th dean, replacing current Dean Jay Light on July 1, 2010.

Nohria, currently the co-chair of the school’s Leadership Initiative, gained notoriety last year when he co-authored a Harvard Business Review article that ultimately led to the creation of the MBA Oath. His reputation for being willing to ask tough questions about ethics and the social of managers that makes him an attractive choice to lead HBS in the post-financial-meltdown world.


Nohria has been at HBS for the past 22 years, joining the faculty as an assistant professor in 1988 after earning his PhD at MIT Sloan, with an emphasis in behavioral sciences. He earned tenure in 1997, and was named to the Chapman Professorship in 1999. Most recently he has served as the Harvard’s senior associate dean for faculty development and chair of its organizational behavior unit.

As expected, the HBS community has been very supportive of Nohria’s announcement, all the way up to Light, who had this to say in written statement:

Nitin Nohria will be a wonderful dean of Harvard Business School. He is widely respected within our extended community as a perceptive scholar of leadership and as a thoughtful and able academic leader. He believes deeply in the distinctive mission of the School and its role in the world. He will effectively carry forward the objectives and the strategies that make this institution a very special place.

In a statement accepting the role, Nohria set the tone for his new role:

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. As we enter our second century, I look forward to working with the School’s faculty, staff, students, and alumni to forge a vision for Harvard Business School that will enable it to remain a beacon for business education for the next 100 years.

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