Srikant Datar - Eleventh Dean of Harvard Business School

Srikant Datar - Eleventh Dean of Harvard Business School

Lavleen kaur kapoor

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President Larry Bacow named Indian-origin Srikant Datar as the eleventh dean of Harvard Business School. Datar, who will succeed Nitin Nohria, will begin his tenure from 1st January 2021.


In his official announcement (published in The Harvard Gazette), Bacow coined Datar, the Arthur Lowes Dickinson Professor of Business Administration as – an innovative educator, distinguished scholar, a thinker and a deeply experienced academic leader. This announcement comes as no surprise after Datar's essential role in HBS's creative response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. He has been involved in envisaging and executing the innovative hybrid teaching and learning model at HBS during the pandemic.


Datar has a 25-year long association with the Harvard Business School. He has served in various roles such as senior associate dean and the Harvard Innovation Labs' faculty chair. He has co-authored the book Rethinking the MBA: Business Education at a Crossroads with David Garvin and Patrick Cullen. He is also the brain behind pathbreaking courses like Developing Mindsets for Innovative Problem Solving, Managing with Data Science, and the Harvard Business Analytics Program.


Srikant Datar completed his bachelor’s from Bombay University and PG diploma in business management from IIM Ahmedabad. He then went on to complete his Master's (1983-84) and Ph.D. (1985) in Business from Stanford University. Before joining Harvard in 1996, he served at –

  • Carnegie Mellon Graduate School of Industrial Administration (1984-89) as an assistant professor and associate professor where he was honoured with the George Leland Bach Teaching Award.
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business (1989-96) as faculty and became the Littlefield Professor of Accounting and Management and received the Distinguished Teaching Award.

His interest area includes cost management and control, strategy implementation, governance, design thinking, innovative problem solving, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. He has authored articles and papers on activity-based management, quality, productivity, time-based competition, new product development, bottleneck management, incentives, and performance evaluation.


Srikant Datar is an outstanding choice as the next HBS dean as he is a leading thinker and innovator on the future of business education. It would be interesting to see HBS scale new heights under his leadership.

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