The Penn Professional Staff Assembly (PPSA) held its annual meeting in May and featured a conversation with Erika James, dean of the Wharton School.
PPSA serves University staff members by helping them realize their full potential at Penn. Its mission is to connect the Penn staff community to each other.
The 35-minute virtual discussion was with elected members of PPSA and questions were received via chat from attendees.
Kris Forrest, PPSA chair and director of finance at the Penn Museum, moderated the conversation.
“We were honored to welcome Dean James for an enlightening conversation about her career and journey to Penn, how she led Wharton through the COVID-19 pandemic, and how institutional leaders can promote and prepare women and minorities for leadership positions,” says Forrest.
James became dean of Wharton on July 1, 2020. She studied at Pomona College before receiving her Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan, and is a leading expert on crisis leadership, workplace diversity, and management strategy.
She is the first woman and first person of color to be appointed dean in Wharton’s 139-year history.
Before joining Wharton, she was dean at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, and a professor at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.
The following interview includes a portion of the questions Forrest posed to James during the event.