Northeastern University has appointed Raj Echambadi the inaugural Dunton Family Dean of the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, effective Aug. 14, 2017. The Dunton Family Deanship is a gift from Gary Dunton, DMSB’78, and his wife Lea Anne, and is the university’s first endowed deanship.
“It is an amazing honor to have the opportunity to lead the D’Amore-McKim School of Business,” said Echambadi, who added that his wife and two daughters are particularly excited to join the Northeastern community. “It is going to be a fun and exciting ride to put DMSB in the pantheon of elite business schools.”
Echambadi noted that he was attracted to Northeastern for several reasons, including its talented faculty, staff, and loyal alumni base, its world-class co-op program, and its innovative approach to learning. Northeastern, he said, is a global leader in “connecting theoretical knowledge in the classroom to practical knowledge in the workplace.”
Echambadi brings strong leadership experience and innovative thinking in business education. He comes to Northeastern from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he served as senior associate dean of strategic innovation and as the Alan J. and Joyce D. Baltz Endowed Professor in the College of Business. He provided faculty leadership to the entire suite of Illinois’ MBA programs and developed strategic partnerships with other colleges within the campus, with corporate entities, and with academic universities around the world. He also developed numerous interdisciplinary graduate programs at Illinois, including those in the fields of bioengineering, genomic biology, and the fine and applied arts.
Echambadi joined the University of Illinois in 2009, where he’s previously held appointments as associate dean for outreach and engagement and academic director for executive programs. He conceptualized, developed, and launched the first MOOC-based online MBA program in the country—the iMBA—with Coursera in 2016. The iMBA, which includes 500 students from more than 35 countries, has been hailed by the Poets & Quants website as one of the “10 most innovative business school ideas of 2015.” In 2013, he created EntreCORPS, a student-run and student-managed consulting organization for entrepreneurial startups.
Echambadi’s primary research interests focus on technology entrepreneurship and strategic innovations, and he’s published many papers in top business and statistics journals, including the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Marketing, Management Science, Marketing Science, and the Strategic Management Journal. He earned numerous accolades at the University of Illinois for his teaching accomplishments, including the Campus Excellence Award in Professional and Graduate Teaching and the College of Business Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence.
Prior to the University of Illinois, Echambadi served as an associate professor at the University of Central Florida and as a sales executive at Castrol. He holds a doctorate in business administration from the University of Houston and an MBA and bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Anna University in India.