Former Kellogg Dean Dipak Jain to Lead INSEAD

On Friday the Financial Times reported that INSEAD is expected to announce that Dipak Jain, former Dean of Northwestern University’s School of Management, will replace Frank Brown as Dean of INSEAD. While it’s not yet official since INSEAD’s board and faculty need to approve the appointment, Jain is widely expected to get the nod later this month.

Jain, who served as Dean at Kellogg from 2001 to 2009 (the FT erroneously reports that Jain assumed the Dean’s job at Kellogg in 1994), worked his way up the ranks after joining Kellogg as an assistant professor in 1987. For much of the 1990s he served as Don Jacobs’ right-hand man, helping to implement Jacob’s vision to build on Kellogg’s strengths as a marketing and teamwork-oriented MBA program. When Jacobs stepped down in 2001, it was only natural that Jain took the reins at Kellogg.

What may have most attracted INSEAD to Dipak Jain is his international experience, and in particular his enthusiasm for building better business education in Asia. INSEAD’s Singapore campus, which opened just ten years ago, reflects the school’s ambitions beyond France. Jain, who strengthened Kellogg’s ties to Asia and was also a key player in getting the Indian School of Business off the ground, seems perfectly suited to the task of continuing to expand INSEAD’s influence in Asia.

Interestingly, the Financial Times also points out that INSEAD’s appointment of Jain may also reflect a trend among Europe-based business schools to get back to having academics, rather than people who come from industry, in the top leadership posts. Recently London Business School and IMD have replaced deans “from industry” with new leaders with more purely academic credentials. We wonder if any other business school leaders will be swept out as the ramifications of 2008’s economic meltdown still ripple through the education field.

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