Harvard Names Srikant Datar as New Dean of Its Business School

(Bloomberg) — Harvard University named Srikant Datar the dean of its business school, promoting an insider who has spent almost 25 years there and who helped lead its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Datar becomes the 11th dean in the school’s 112-year history after serving as a professor and senior associate dean, Harvard said in a statement Friday. He starts in January, replacing Nitin Nohria, who leaves in December after a decade in the job.

“Srikant will come to the deanship with a broad international perspective, decades of close engagement with business practice, and a strong commitment to building an increasingly diverse and inclusive HBS community,” Lawrence Bacow, Harvard’s president, said in the statement.

The business school last month announced a plan to advance racial equality on campus and in the business world. Those initiatives include recruiting more Black students and faculty, adding a chief diversity officer, and supporting the development of research and course material to promote racial equity in business.

Over the past several months, Datar, 66, has focused on implementing a plan that allows students to attend classes online and on campus.

A native of India, Datar joined the Harvard Business School faculty in 1996 from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he was a professor. His areas of expertise include cost management and corporate governance. He has also focused on data science, artificial intelligence, innovative problem solving and machine learning. He’s on the boards of companies including Novartis AG and T-Mobile US Inc.

Datar received a B.A. with distinction from the University of Bombay and a postgraduate diploma in business management from the Indian Institute of Management. He has master’s degrees in statistics and economics, and a Ph.D in business from Stanford.

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