Ann E. Harrison, a Berkeley alumna and famed Wharton economist, will begin her tenure as the next dean of the Haas School of Business on January 1, 2019, reports a Haas press release.
Harrison received her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley in 1982, where she double majored in Economics and History. From 2001 to 2011 she was a professor in Berkeley’s Department of Agriculture & Resource Economics. Her most recent position was at UPenn Wharton, where she served as the William H. Wurster Professor of Multinational Management and Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy.
Although Harrison lacks administrative experience in academia, her profound connection to Berkeley could have tipped the scales in her favor. In an email to the Haas community, current Interim Dean Laura Tyson mentioned Harrison’s connection. “Her knowledge of our campus will be a boom to our school. I am personally heartened by her full appreciation for our culture and for the Berkeley community.”
Harrison stated that she is very happy to be returning to her roots and joining Berkeley’s top ranked business school. “This opportunity is a dream come true. Berkeley Haas is truly exceptional because it combines intellectual rigor with a commitment to creating a better world. Former Haas dean Rich Lyons worked with the Haas community to articulate its spirit and culture through the four defining leadership principles. Theses principles, such as going ‘beyond yourself’ and ‘questioning the status quo,’ make Haas a true standout among its peers.”
Harrison attributes her research pursuits in global firms and international trade to her own youth. Born in France to an American father and French mother, Harrison came to the U.S. when she was quite young. According to Professor Maurice Obstfeld, who collaborated with Harrison at Berkeley’s Agricultural & Resources Economics department, “Her work has demonstrated the degree to which American workers’ wages have suffered from globalization – especially workers in routine jobs. I’m really looking forward to the intellectual leadership she will bring to Haas and to the entire campus.”
Prior to taking her position at Wharton in 2012, Harrison worked as Director of Development Policy at the World Bank. In addition to managing a team of 300 researchers and staff, she restructured the World Bank’s process for distributing research funding. She also oversaw the Bank’s most prestigious publications, including its yearly World Development Report. In a bid to create greater transparency at the institution, she persuaded the World Bank’s president to publish all historical records on project loans.
Harrison has had a rich work history. Besides her times at Berkeley and Wharton, she taught at Columbia Business School, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and the University of Paris. She has lectured at most major U.S. universities, as well as in India, China, Latin America, Europe, the Philippines, and North Africa.
Her PhD in economics is from Princeton University and she has a Diplôme d’études universitaires générales.
She is the author and editor of three books, and is quoted extensively in the U.S. and abroad on foreign investment and multinational firms.
Harrison was chosen after a far-reaching national search. She will follow Interim Dean Laura D’Andrea Tyson, who will remain in her position through the end of 2018. Rich Lyons, who was dean for 11 years before Tyson, will be returning after a sabbatical to the teach in Haas’ financial department.
A Poets & Quants article on the topic points out that Harrison’s appointment as the second female dean gives Haas the distinction of being the only top-10 business school to be led by two women.
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