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Srikant Datar, the Arthur Lowes Dickinson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, will become the School’s next dean, Harvard University President Larry Bacow announced on Friday.

India born Datar is the 11th Dean in the prestigious Harvard Business School’s 112-year history and will take charge on January 1, 2021.

He succeeds Nitin Nohria, who last November announced his plans to conclude his deanship in end June this year after ten years of service, but agreed to continue through this December in view of the COVID19 pandemic.

A chartered accountant and a gold medallist from IIM Ahmedabad, Datar holds two master’s degrees in Statistics (1983) and economics (1984) and a doctorate in business (1985)–all from Stanford University. Datar received his bachelor’s degree, with distinction, from the University of Bombay in 1973. He had joined the HBS faculty in 1996.

“Srikant Datar is an innovative educator, a distinguished scholar, and a deeply experienced academic leader”, said Bacow in announcing the appointment. “He is a leading thinker about the future of business education, and he has recently played an essential role in HBS’s creative response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. He has served with distinction in a range of leadership positions over his nearly 25 years at HBS, while also forging novel collaborations with other Harvard Schools”.

Professor Datar, who has served since 2015 as faculty chair of the Harvard Innovation Labs, or i-Lab, is currently a member of the Board of Governors of IIM Calcutta. He previously served on the boards of IIM Ahmedabad, HCL Technologies and KPIT Technologies. Datar is also part of the governing body of S P Jain Institute of Management and Research.

Area of expertise

Datar has written and spoken extensively on the future of business education, and his wide ranging academic interests encompass design thinking, data science, artificial intelligence, innovative problem solving, strategy implementation, and cost management. Most recently, he has been intensively engaged in envisioning and implementing the innovative hybrid teaching and learning model that HBS has adopted in response to COVID-19 pandemic.

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