Erika Hayes James


Erika James became the John H. Harland Dean of Goizueta Business School in July 2014. A published researcher and award-winning educator with a passion for consulting and speaking, she places an emphasis on what higher education can do to be of service to industry.

Under James’ leadership Goizueta remains one of the top business schools in the nation with an upward trajectory in student career success and faculty thought leadership. James initiated a new strategic plan in 2016 calling for a renewed focus as the school approaches its 100th anniversary (2019). Her approach includes a consistent call for faculty, staff and students to effectively collaborate, raise the school’s influence and act as good stewards of resources.

Before arriving at Goizueta, James served as the Senior Associate Dean for Executive Education at the Darden Graduate School of Business. She also served as an assistant professor at Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business, and a visiting professor at Harvard Business School. Her academic career includes involvement in diversity initiatives and membership on multiple university councils and committees.

As an educator, James has been instrumental in starting various Executive Education programs, including the Women’s Leadership program at Darden. She sits on the board of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the foremost accrediting body in business education. James speaks at numerous conferences in the areas of leadership, organizational effectiveness, change management and diversity. James’ expertise in workplace diversity and crisis leadership has led to recognition in scholarly journals and mainstream media. She has authored numerous paper and multi-media case studies on her topics of research, including the notable After the Oil Spills: Deepwater Horizon. James teaches, speaks, and consults on various topics within Executive Leadership as well, helping executives lead their organizations by developing skills in:

  • Decision-making under pressure
  • Managing, learning from, and seizing opportunity from crisis
  • Managing the change process after a crisis
  • Workplace diversity
  • Building trust in the workplace

Her corporate clients include Fortune 500 companies such as ACNielsen, Pepsi Bottling Company, Intel, American Express, Johnson & Johnson, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, GE, and Farmers Insurance. She has also helped numerous companies unique to their respective communities, such as Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va.

James grew up in Texas and completed her undergraduate work at Pomona College (Calif.). While fulfilling coursework James started in the field of organizational psychology and pursued an M.A. and Ph.D. in the subject at the University of Michigan. She served as an assistant professor at Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business and Emory before joining the faculty at Darden. James also spent one year as a visiting professor at Harvard Business School.