Harvard has promoted professor Srikant Datar to be the next dean of Harvard Business School, taking over for Nitin Nohria when he steps down at the end of the year. Harvard President Larry Bacow announced the promotion on Friday.
Datar has played a number of key roles at the school since joining the faculty in 1996, overseeing varied responsibilities such as faculty recruiting and development, executive education, research, and, currently, university affairs. He has also served since 2015 as the faculty chair of the Harvard Innovation Labs, or the “i-Lab,” and has been instrumental in the school’s transition to a “hybrid learning” model during the COVID-19 pandemic. And he has been a prominent thinker and researcher on the topic of the future of business education.
Datar will become the 11th dean in the business school’s 112-year history. Nohria announced last November that he would wrap up his deanship in June after 10 years in the job, but agreed to continue through the end of the year because of the pandemic.
“I am equal measures humbled and honored to take on this role,” Datar said in a prepared statement. “Harvard Business School is an institution with a remarkable legacy of impact in research, education, and practice. Yet the events of the past year have hastened our passage to an unforeseen future. I look forward to working with colleagues and friends of the School — including throughout Harvard, in our Boston community, and around the world — to realize our mission in what undoubtedly will be an exciting new era.”
Datar is a native of India and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Bombay in 1973 before getting two master’s degrees and a doctorate from Stanford University. He worked at Stanford’s business school from 1989 to 1996, before joining Harvard.