Renowned economist and Berkeley alumna Ann Harrison named new Haas dean

Renowned Wharton economist and Berkeley alumna Ann E. Harrison has been named the next dean of the Haas School of Business.

New Haas Dean Ann Harrison
New Haas Dean Ann Harrison

Harrison will begin her term on January 1, 2019.

Harrison, the William H. Wurster Professor of Multinational Management and Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, has deep Berkeley roots. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley with a double major in economics and history in 1982. She also served as a professor of Berkeley’s Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics from 2001 to 2011.

“Professor Harrison is an accomplished administrator as well as a world-class economist who has dedicated her career to creating forward-looking policies in development economics, international trade, and global labor markets,” said Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ, who announced the news today. “It is a great honor to welcome her back to Berkeley to become the dean of Haas, and I have no doubt that she will be a wonderful leader for the institution.”

Returning to Berkeley

Harrison said she is thrilled to return to Berkeley to join its top-ranked business school, and is looking forward to meeting Haas students and alumni, as well as working with the distinguished faculty and staff.

“This opportunity is a dream come true,” she said. “Berkeley Haas is truly exceptional because it combines intellectual rigor with a commitment to creating a better world. Former Haas dean Rich Lyons worked with the Haas community to articulate its spirit and culture through the four defining leadership principles. These principles, such as going ‘beyond yourself’ and ‘questioning the status quo,’ make Haas a true standout among its peers.”

Harrison said that she is also passionate about being a part of Berkeley itself, and is excited to continue building the relationships between Haas and the rest of campus. “Haas is part of the world’s greatest research university and is located in one of the most exciting innovation hubs anywhere,” she said.

A Global Focus

Born in France to an American father and a French mother, she came to the United States when she was very young. She credits her bilingual upbringing with sparking her later research interests in global firms and international trade.

“Ann has a remarkable track record of pioneering research on trade and development, including influential studies of globalization’s effects on jobs and inequality,” said Berkeley economics Prof. Maurice Obstfeld, who serves as chief economist at the International Monetary Fund and collaborated with Harrison at Berkeley’s Agricultural & Resource Economics department. “Her work has demonstrated the degree to which American workers’ wages have suffered from globalization—especially workers in routine jobs. I’m really looking forward to the intellectual leadership she will bring to Haas and to the entire campus.”

Before joining the Wharton School in 2012, Harrison served as Director of Development Policy at the World Bank. There, she co-managed a team of 300 researchers and staff, reformed the World Bank’s process for allocating research funds, and oversaw the institution’s most important flagship publications, including its annual World Development Report. During her tenure, she convinced the World Bank’s president to release all historical records on project loans, a milestone in increasing transparency.

“Based on Ann’s experience at the World Bank, she will be an effective and much-loved manager,” said Professor Sir Angus Deaton, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs Emeritus at Princeton University who has known Harrison since she was a graduate student. He also is the 2015 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare. “She is an excellent economist and also an extraordinary person.”

Harrison said she’ll start out by taking the time to listen carefully to faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

“I’m incredibly lucky that Former Dean Lyons and Interim (as well as former) Dean Laura Tyson are both at Haas and can share their insights with me,” she said. “Berkeley Haas has tremendous opportunities in the areas of fundraising and revenue growth, which will be a primary focus of my deanship. In addition to garnering increased philanthropic support for our students and programs, I believe it is critical for Berkeley Haas to secure funding for new faculty positions.”

Thought Leader

In addition to her years at Berkeley and Wharton, Harrison held teaching positions at Columbia Business School, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and the University of Paris. She has lectured widely, including at most major U.S. universities, and in India, China, Latin America, Europe, the Philippines, and North Africa.

Harrison earned a PhD in economics from Princeton University and a diplôme d’études universitaires générales from the University of Paris. She is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a member of the United Nations Committee for Development Policy.

Harrison is one of the most highly cited scholars globally on foreign investment and multinational firms. She is the author and editor of three books, including Globalization and Poverty and The Factory-Free Economy. In 2017, Harrison and her co-authors were awarded the prestigious Sun Yefang Prize by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The prize, given every two years, is considered one of China’s most important honors in economics.

Harrison was selected after an extensive national search. She will succeed Interim Dean Laura D’Andrea Tyson, who will remain in her post through the end of 2018. Rich Lyons, who served as dean for 11 years prior to Tyson, will return to the Haas finance faculty after a sabbatical.

Download a high-resolution photo of Ann Harrison.