Skip to main content
Kerwin Charles

Economist Kerwin Charles Named Next Dean of Yale SOM

An accomplished scholar who has studied race and gender discrimination in labor markets, the black-white earnings gap, and the labor market consequences of housing bubbles, Charles will become dean on July 1, 2019.

Economist Kerwin Charles of the University of Chicago will become the Indra K. Nooyi Dean of the Yale School of Management (SOM) on July 1, University President Peter Salovey announced today.

“I am confident that Professor Charles, a renowned economist and award-winning educator, will advance SOM’s role as a global center for the study of business and prepare our students for the challenges and opportunities of a complex, interconnected world,” Salovey said.

During his distinguished scholarly career, Charles, the Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy, has studied and published on topics including earnings and wealth inequality, conspicuous consumption, race and gender labor market discrimination, the intergenerational transmission of economic status, worker and family adjustment to job loss and health shocks, non-work among prime-aged persons, and the labor market consequences of housing bubbles and sectoral change.

Read the announcement on Yale News

Several of the Yale SOM faculty and alumni who advised President Salovey on the dean search and got to know Kerwin Charles during the process commented on the appointment: 

Indra Nooyi ’80

Former chairman and CEO, PepsiCo

“Being part of the Yale SOM community has enriched my life in innumerable ways, and I am delighted to welcome Kerwin Charles to our number. To me, SOM has always represented the idea that businesses can accomplish more when leaders develop a deep understanding of the points of intersection between business and society. Indeed, the biggest challenges—and opportunities—in the world today require broad thinking; engagement across lines of sector, industry, and geography; and a strong disposition toward innovation. Kerwin Charles understands this. His research interests in labor economics, economic inequality, and racial and gender discrimination show his willingness to take on the most daunting and meaningful challenges. His demonstrated commitment to helping others reach their potential through his teaching and mentorship show that he understands how to make a community and an organization stronger. He will be a great representative of our shared mission to educate leaders for business and society.”

Judith A. Chevalier

William S. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Economics

“The Yale School of Management is distinctive in its commitment to producing business leaders motivated by the contribution they can make to the wider society. Kerwin Charles has always been, through his service and scholarship, motivated by the contribution of his work to the wider society. Prof. Charles has devoted his scholarly career to the study of a variety of social challenges but is particularly known for his work on the persistence of the black-white wealth gap.

“Businesses are increasingly being called upon to play a positive role in confronting environmental and social challenges. Individual leaders are creating careers that require them to operate in or interface with the government, nonprofit, and business sectors. Professor Charles’s experience and focus are a unique fit for leading a school that embraces this evolution of the business environment.”

Amy Wrzesniewski

Michael H. Jordan Professor of Management

“Kerwin Charles in many ways personifies the mission of the school. His research has long focused on the interplay between economics and societal forces, powerfully demonstrating how and for whom labor arrangements work—or don’t. His dedication to answering important questions at the intersection of business and society leaves no question that he deeply values the mission of the school.”

Timothy C. Collins ’82 

CEO and senior managing director, Ripplewood Holdings LLC

“I am more than delighted that Professor Charles has decided to become the next dean of the Yale School of Management. He is a great scholar, a public intellectual, an accomplished manager, and judging from my personal interactions a wonderful human being. He fits the values and mission of Yale SOM perfectly, and I am sure he will be welcomed by faculty, students, and alumni alike.”

Andrew Metrick

Janet L. Yellen Professor of Finance and Management:

“Kerwin Charles is an outstanding scholar. We would have been delighted at any time in the past decade to have him join our faculty as a colleague, and indeed we tried to lure him here once before in that role. His research demonstrates an SOM-style commitment to addressing real challenges in the world—from the persistence of the black-white wealth gap in the U.S. to the effects that job loss has on individuals. Furthermore, his service as a teacher, mentor, and academic leader has shown that he understands how to empower colleagues and students to build community and a sense of purpose. I am confident that Kerwin Charles will be a terrific dean for SOM, and I invite everyone to give him a warm welcome.”

About Kerwin Charles

Read Kerwin Charles’s profile on the Harris School website or visit his personal website.