Leadership Transition at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business

Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:

I write to share important news about the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business (MSB).

David Thomas, Ph.D., Dean and William R. Berkley Chair of the MSB has informed me that he will conclude his term of service as Dean on August 1, 2016.  After a semester of research leave, he will serve as a tenured member of our faculty in the MSB.  I am deeply grateful to David for his committed leadership and ongoing dedication to our community, and wish to express my sincerest appreciation for his extraordinary efforts over the past five years.

During his term of service, David has strengthened our undergraduate and graduate programs, launching the Global Business Experience elective for undergraduates and partnering with our School of Foreign Service to create the Global Business Fellows Program—an innovative opportunity for undergraduates to deepen their understanding of fundamental business principles in the context of international affairs, economics, and languages.  In 2012, David led the revision of the MBA curriculum for our full-time and evening programs, implementing integrative core courses and facilitating opportunities for additional global experiences.  His committed efforts contributed to a 35% increase in the number of applications to our full-time MBA program from 2012-2015.

David has deepened the scope of our Executive Education and Degree programs, establishing the Executive Degree in the Master of Science in Finance—our first online/blended degree program—and overseeing the design of the Shaping and Advancing Georgetown Executives (SAGE) leadership program for executives at our University.  David also guided the creation of new centers and initiatives in the MSB—including the Steers Center for Global Real Estate, the Georgetown Institute for Consumer Research, the Georgetown Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics, the Global Business Initiative, and the Global Social Enterprise Initiative—and opened the Office of Professional Development to serve the specific needs of our undergraduate students. 

As a result of David’s dedicated leadership, the MSB exceeded its original capital campaign goal by over $30 million, endowing 13 faculty positions and increasing overall faculty diversity in significant ways.  

Before joining our community, David was a member of the faculty at the Harvard Business School (HBS) for 20 years, serving as the H. Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration, senior associate dean, and director of faculty recruitment at HBS, and leading the University’s Organizational Behavior Unit.  His professional research expertise on executive development, cultural diversity in organizations, leadership, and organizational change is widely recognized, and he is the co-author of two books—Breaking Through: The Making of Minority Executives in Corporate America and Leading For Equity: The Pursuit of Excellence in Montgomery County—and more than 60 case studies.

In the time ahead, Provost Groves will be engaging in consultations with colleagues at the MSB to appoint an interim dean and, in the coming weeks, I will also appoint a committee to begin a search for David’s successor.

Please join me in expressing gratitude to David for his tireless efforts on behalf of the McDonough School of Business, and for his steadfast dedication to our University.


John J. DeGioia