Dean of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Message from the Dean
Given the extraordinary challenges across the globe, I’m reminded on a daily basis of the essential value of higher education as a beacon of positivity and forward thinking. But our vital role as a world-shaping institution raises the question: Going forward, what should Wharton stand for?
For more than 135 years, Wharton has been the place where vanguards begin, where visionaries, inventors, and trailblazers get their start. We remain committed to defining the frontier of business theory and practice by incubating ideas, driving insights, and creating leaders who change the world.
The core value proposition of Wharton is our unique ability to spark new ideas that create results that matter. From our expanding focus on student startups in Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship to our powerful work stimulating innovation in large, mature organizations. From our increasing expertise in alternative investments and fintech to our ever-growing curriculum on harnessing data-mining analytics to generate critical strategic insights. From the classroom to research to the programs we offer on every continent for students, faculty, alumni, and executives, Wharton and our people meet tomorrow’s biggest challenges.
Ours is a global community of changemakers who are transforming business. I invite you to see how Wharton can power your next move.
Dean Geoffrey Garrett
Geoffrey Garrett is Dean, Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise, Professor of Management at the Wharton School, and Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He became Dean of the Wharton School in 2014, and was previously a member of the Wharton faculty in the Management Department from 1995 to 1997.
Prior to his return to Penn, Dr. Garrett was dean of the business schools at both the University of Sydney and University of New South Wales (UNSW), in his native Australia. He served as President of the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles and Dean of the UCLA International Institute before his return to Australia in 2008 as founding CEO of the United States Studies Centre. A highly cited international political economist, he has been a professor at Oxford, Stanford, and Yale universities.
Dean Garrett is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Social Sciences, sits on the Advisory Boards of the Indian School of Business and the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management. He is a member of the board of directors of Park Hotels and Resorts and is a winner of the Foreign Policy Association Medal and the Advance Global Australian Award.
A well-respected commentator on global business, economics, and politics in major media outlets, he writes a regular blog as a LinkedIn Influencer.
Dr. Garrett holds a BA (Honors) from the Australian National University, and an MA and PhD from Duke University where he was a Fulbright Scholar.
Wharton has been shaped by its leaders — just 16 individuals, from Wharton’s first director Edmund J. James in 1883 to current Dean Geoffrey Garrett.
Thomas S. Robertson, 2007-2014
In his tenure as dean, Thomas S. Robertson championed business as a force for good. He institutionalized three strategic pillars—Social Impact, Innovation, and Global Initiatives. He oversaw a comprehensive overhaul of the MBA curriculum, established the MBA “Semester in San Francisco,” and created the concept of Global Modular courses. He also led major initiatives—Lifelong Learning for alumni, the Wharton Public Policy Program, the establishment of the Penn-Wharton China Center, and a major commitment to online learning. Despite the financial crisis of 2008, Robertson led Wharton to exceed its campaign fundraising goal, raising $607 million, which allowed an increase in faculty size and a continued focus on faculty and student standards of excellence.
Patrick T. Harker, 1999-2007
Patrick T. Harker advanced and expanded the academic mission of the School, drawing many eminent faculty. He created Wharton | San Francisco and forged an alliance with INSEAD, the leading non-U.S. based business school. He also oversaw the launching of two innovative and successful initiatives: Knowledge@Wharton and Wharton School Publishing. Harker led Wharton to complete the largest fundraising campaign in its history, raising over $450 million.
Thomas P. Gerrity, 1990-1999
Thomas P. Gerrity oversaw the revolutionary reengineering of the School’s MBA and undergraduate programs to reflect the increasingly global and technology-oriented world, ultimately bringing the School unprecedented worldwide recognition for excellence. During his tenure, student applications, student quality, and endowment reached record levels. Additionally, he spearheaded the fundraising effort for Jon M. Huntsman Hall, the world’s premier business school academic facility, completed in 2002.
Russell E. Palmer, 1983-1990
Russell E. Palmer laid the foundation for Wharton to move into the forefront of business education at the graduate, undergraduate, and executive levels. Through his five-year “Plan for Preeminence,” Palmer successfully strengthened and broadened the faculty, increased the quality of applications the School received, oversaw the building of the Steinberg Conference Center (a state-of-the-art executive education facility) and furthered the process of creating an international and cross-disciplinary curriculum.
Donald C. Carroll, 1972-1983
At the time of his selection, Donald C. Carroll was the first dean to have come from outside the School. During his tenure, he enhanced the School’s depth and strength through the development of interdisciplinary programs and the creation of inter-school degrees, including the undergraduate degree in Management & Technology. Additionally, Carroll significantly advanced Wharton’s international outreach efforts and executive education initiatives.
Willis J. Winn, 1958-1971
Willis J. Winn is credited with leading curricular reform and upgrading the quality of Wharton’s academic programs, the PhD and entrepreneurial programs in particular. In addition, Winn further strengthened Wharton’s reputation for research through his active recruitment of senior scholars.
C. Arthur Kulp, 1955-1957
C. Arthur Kulp, the first dean in Wharton’s history to be named with the participation of faculty, tragically died only two years into his administration. Prior to his death, however, Dean Kulp brought recognition to the School because of his expertise in the field of social insurance and his part in designing the Social Security System.
C. Canby Balderston, 1942-1954
C. Canby Balderston’s most significant contribution was the construction of the first building for the Wharton School, Dietrich Hall. Wharton faculty, staff, and students had long been waiting for a building of their own, and it was Balderston who spearheaded a fundraising campaign to make the new construction possible.
Alfred H. Williams, 1939-1941
A protégé of Willits, Alfred H. Williams had chaired the Geography and Industry Department and the School’s Curriculum Committee prior to being named dean. Despite a very promising future at the Wharton School, his tenure lasted only two years when he left to become president of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank.
Joseph H. Willits, 1933-1939
During his administration, Joseph H. Willits emphasized the importance of economic research and its application to the affairs of business. By raising the standards for faculty and fostering the pursuit of academic business research, Willits helped further Wharton’s reputation as a prestigious institution of scholarly research.
Emory R. Johnson, 1919-1933
Emory R. Johnson brought depth to Wharton’s programs by requiring professional specialization among faculty and students and, for the first time, organizing faculty into academic departments and subject groups. Johnson also brought the MBA program, once a part of the University curriculum, under Wharton’s control.
William C. McClellan, 1916-1919
William C. McClellan worked closely with University trustees to raise the stature of the School within the University and secure continued support from outside benefactors.
Roswell C. McCrea, 1912-1916
Under Roswell C. McCrea’s leadership, the Wharton faculty continued its study of social problems and strengthened ties with the City of Philadelphia’s government administrators, who relied upon Wharton faculty for their expertise.
Dean Garrett on LinkedIn
Why China-US is Not a New Cold War, March 9, 2019
In the News
The Economist: “American business schools are reinventing the MBA” November 2, 2019
The Hill: “Why 2019 feels like 1929 — and what we can do to change course” September 27, 2019
CCTV’S “World Insight”: World Leaders Gather At G20 In Argentina, November 30, 2018
BBC’s Asia Business Report: Trump-Xi G20 meeting, November 28, 2018
The Deal Trump Should Strike with Xi, Foreign Affairs, November 12, 2018
Alum gives $25M to Wharton School for entrepreneur building
AP, October 25, 2018