Dean Takahashi is Executive Director of the Yale Carbon Containment Lab, a multidisciplinary Yale laboratory that designs and develops innovative solutions to the challenge of climate change. The lab engages faculty and students from across campus—as well as innovators and scientists from outside the university—who are developing technologies that sequester and store carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
He previously served as Senior Director of the Yale Investments Office with broad responsibilities for the University’s Endowment and other investment assets. Dean joined the Office in 1986 and since then the Yale Endowment has been the world’s top performing fund, growing from $1.5 billion to more than $30 billion. Annual spending from Endowment has increased from $49 million to $1,410 million over Dean’s tenure.
Together with Yale’s Chief Investment Officer David Swensen, Dean helped develop and pioneer the widely emulated approach to investing often called the Yale Model. Many CIOs of leading universities and foundations started their careers and trained at the Yale Investments Office under David and Dean’s guidance and mentorship.
Dean lead the development of the Endowment’s sustainably managed timber portfolio, the University’s 50 MW Record Hill Wind farm, and is leading research on peat bog carbon fluxes, and Yale’s carbon offset program.
Dean received his BA magna cum laude with distinction in Economics in 1980 from Yale University and his MPPM in 1983 from the Yale School of Organization and Management. Dean was president of the Berkeley College Council, manager of the Yale Student Laundry and scrumhalf of the 1977 Ivy League Champion Yale Rugby team.
A Lecturer in Economics and Adjunct Professor at the Yale School of Management, Dean teaches a senior economics seminar in Yale College (1992- ) and a course on endowment management at the School of Management (2006- ). In 2018, he received the Merton J. Peck Prize for distinction and excellence in teaching in the Department of Economics.
Dean designed and developed the Illiquid Alternative Asset Fund Model, published in the Journal of Portfolio Management (December 2002). This model is widely used by institutional investors to manage their private equity and real asset portfolios. He is a contributing author to Managing Investment Portfolios: A Dynamic Process (3rd edition), a CFA Program curriculum textbook.
Currently, Dean is a member of investment committees for the Kresge Foundation, Save the Children, and the Foote School. Dean formerly served as a board member of Choate Rosemary Hall, the Foote School, Edith B. Jackson Child Care Program, Asian Community Services of New Haven, the Boston Community Loan Fund, and two NYSE-listed investment companies. Prior to Yale, Dean worked at Affirmative Investments in Boston and as a VISTA volunteer in Vermont. During the financial crisis, he served briefly in 2009 as a Special Governmental Employee to help at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Dean is married to Wendy Sharp, Director of Chamber Music and Assistant Professor Adjunct of Violin at the Yale School of Music. Their two children, Kerry and Kai Takahashi, graduated from Yale College in 2014 and 2016, respectively.