Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management named Jinhua Zhao its next dean, beginning July 1. Zhao was formally a professor of economics at Michigan State University focused on environmental and resource economics. He was also the former director of the Environmental Science and Policy Program at Michigan State. Zhao replaces Edward McLaughlin, who served as interim dean for almost a year. McLaughlin replaced Lynn Wooten, who left to become President of Simmons University earlier in 2020.
“Jinhua is a top-notch scholar, has an excellent track record as an administrator, and radiates excitement about Dyson’s incumbent strengths,” Andrew Karolyi, dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business said today (June 17) in a prepared release from the school. “I believe that he has the expertise and energy to be a great leader for Dyson and to collaborate across our college and across Cornell.”
DEEP EXPERTISE IN CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS
Dyson, which is shared by Cornell’s SC Johnson College of Management and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has made a commitment to environmental and climate change economics in hiring Zhao, who will continue his research in those topic areas while serving as dean. Zhao earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Science and Technology Beijing. He then moved to North America to earn his master’s in agricultural economics from Canada’s University of Guelph. Zhao completed his education in 1997 when he earned a Ph.D. in environmental and resource economics from the University of California-Berkeley.
“We are very fortunate to have Jinhua’s expertise in global climate change and energy economics at the helm of the Dyson School during this important time in human history,” Houlton said in the prepared release from the school. “I look forward to building upon the synergies between our colleges to mobilize even more impactful climate and environmental projects together in New York state and around the world.”
After graduating from UC Berkeley, Zhao spent 11 years at Iowa State University before moving to Michigan State University where he had been since 2008. At Michigan State, Zhao taught courses like Economics of Climate Change, Environmental and Resource Economics, and Environmental Economics, among others.
TAKING OVER A TOP, IVY LEAGUE UNDERGRADUATE BUSINESS PROGRAM
Zhao will take over the leadership of one of the few undergraduate business programs at an Ivy League school. Cornell has consistently placed in the top-10 of the annual Poets&Quants‘ ranking of Best Undergraduate Business Schools, including a ninth-place finish this year.
“There are so many amazing components within the Dyson School, from the world-class faculty and incredible students to the excellent staff and tremendous alumni, who all come together and collaborate in an inclusive environment,” Zhao said in the school’s release. “The momentum, potential, and trajectory of growth of Dyson are incredible. I’m immensely excited to be a part of it.”