Diversity Scholarship in Business Schools: A Dean’s Reflections

Friday March 5, 12:15-1:15pm EST

Erika H. James became the dean of the Wharton School on July 1, 2020. Trained as an organizational psychologist, Dean James is a leading expert on crisis leadership, workplace diversity, and management strategy.

Prior to her appointment at Wharton, Dean James was the John H. Harland Dean at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School from 2014 to 2020. An award-winning educator, accomplished consultant, and researcher, she is the first woman and first person of color to be appointed dean in Wharton’s 139-year history. As such she has paved the way for women in leadership both in education and corporate America. Dean James has been instrumental in developing groundbreaking executive education programs, including the Women’s Leadership program at the University of Virginia’s Darden School.

Known internationally, Dean James was named as one of the “Top 10 Women of Power in Education” by Black Enterprise and as one of the “Power 100” by Ebony. She has been quoted as an expert thought leader by the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC,, and numerous other media outlets.

In addition to her academic responsibilities, Dean James is a board member of SurveyMonkey, a California-based market research and customer-experience company, the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), and several organizations that align with her passion for education and advancing women in business. Additionally, she serves as an advisory board member to Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management and as an executive board member to the Indian School of Business. She also serves on the board of Save the Children, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children through better education, health care, and economic opportunities.

Dean James holds a Ph.D. and Master’s degree in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pomona College of the Claremont Colleges in California.


Saturday March 6: 11:00am-12:00pm EST

Kelly Peters is the CEO and Co-founder of BEworks, the world’s leading Behavioural Economics firm and one of the largest employers of psychologists in the private sector. She believes that when applied properly, scientific thinking has the power to transform society. Kelly developed the BEworks Method, a proprietary framework which fuses behavioural insights with the scientific method. This approach has been applied to complex challenges at many of the world’s largest firms and government agencies. At the same time that she was developing the BEworks Method, she began developing the foundations of Beworks Academy, developing courses and programs to teach organizations the fundamentals of behavioural science. She teaches Applied Behavioural Science at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management – one of the world’s top MBA programs – and is a regular lecturer at Cornell, Harvard, and other notable educational institutions.