Boston : Professor Nitin Nohria, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, has been named the first Indian-American dean of the prestigious Harvard Business School, a role he will take up from July 1.
Currently the Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration at the century-old institution and co-chair of its Leadership Initiative, Nohria will serve as the 10th dean of Harvard Business School.
“I feel a profound sense of responsibility for continuing Harvard Business School’s proud legacy of ground-breaking ideas and transformational educational experiences,” said the chemical engineer-turned-management expert who has co-authored 16 books.
“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,” Nohria added.
Some of his students also recall how he, along with his brother-in-law Bharat N. Anand, the Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration at Harvard, are known for their hospitality and the receptions to celebrate Indian festivals and its culture.
“As his student, I found his discussion techniques and detailing immensely informative and thought provoking,” said Manoj Kumar, managing partner with the Hahhurabi and Solomon, a legal and corporate consultancy firm.
“Prof. Nohria also made the curriculum and case studies very relevant to issues in the Indian business context. He deserves a special mention for making the programme so very insightful,” Kumar added.
Nohria received his degree in chemical engineering in 1984 from the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, which also awarded him with its distinguished alumnus medal in 2007.
He then received his doctoral degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management in 1988 where he earned an outstanding doctoral thesis award in behavioral and policy sciences.
Following that, he joined the Harvard faculty as an assistant professor in 1988, became an associate professor five years later and then served as the Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration since 1999.
His 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 organisational challenges of globalisation.
Among his 16 books, the latest — “Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice” – has been co-edited with his Harvard colleague Rakesh Khurana and reflects a colloquium he organised as part of Harvard’s centennial in 2008 to stimulate serious scholarly research on leadership.
“Nitin Nohria will be a wonderful dean of Harvard Business School,” said Jay Light about his successor. “He is widely respected within our extended community as a perceptive scholar of leadership and as a thoughtful and able academic leader.”