Rakesh Khurana

Rakesh Khurana

Khurana at Harvard in 2015
Born (1967-11-22) November 22, 1967
Nationality American
Education Cornell University (B.S.)
Harvard University (A.M / Ph.D.)
Occupation Dean of Harvard College
Years active 1998–present

Rakesh Khurana (born November 22, 1967, in India) is an Indian-American educator. He is Professor of Sociology in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Leadership Development at the Harvard Business School, co-Faculty Dean of Cabot House and Dean of Harvard College.[1][2]

Early life and education

Khurana was born in India and was raised in Queens, New York.[3] He received his bachelor's degree from Cornell University,[1] his A.M. in sociology from Harvard in 1998, and his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior through a joint program between Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Business School in 1998.[1]


Khurana is a founding team member of Cambridge Technology Partners and from 1998 to 2000 he taught at MIT.[1] Khurana is the author of the book, Searching for a Corporate Savior: The Irrational Quest for Charismatic CEOs and related academic and managerial articles on the pitfalls of charismatic leadership. In 2007 he published his second book From Higher Aims to Hired Hands: The Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the Unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession (Princeton University Press). The book received the Max Weber prize from the American Sociological Association's Organizations, Occupations, and Work Section and was the Winner of the 2009 Gold Medal Axiom Business Book Award in Career, Jenkins Group, Inc. and the Winner of the 2007 Best Professional/Scholarly Publishing Book in Business, Finance and Management, Association of American Publishers and the Finalist for the George R. Terry Award from the Academy of Management.

He is the co-editor of the Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice (2010), published by Harvard Business School Press[4] and the The Handbook for Teaching Leadership: Knowing, Doing and Being, (2012), published by Sage Publications.[5]

Dean of Harvard College

In July 2014 he became Dean of Harvard College.[3] In May, 2016, Harvard announced severe restrictions on undergraduates who belong to male-only organizations not formally affiliated with the College some of which are known as "final clubs." Some of these have existed as such for more than 200 years, but Harvard only began to admit women undergraduates in 1977. Dean Khurana had worked with Harvard's President, Drew Gilpin Faust, to develop the new policy. Khurana, according to the "Washington Post," said that the exclusion of women practiced by the clubs has no place in the 21st century. The restrictions on students belonging to these clubs include ineligibility for leadership positions in student organizations affiliated with Harvard, such as sports teams, and ineligibility for required Harvard endorsement for fellowships such as Rhodes and Marshall fellowships. [6]


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