School of Management Appoints First Female Dean

05-16-2014
Elizabeth Davis

Elizabeth B. Davis makes history as the first female dean of the School of Management.

USF has named Elizabeth B. Davis dean of the School of Management, making her the first woman to lead the school in its 90-year history.

Davis starts Aug. 1 and takes over from Michael Webber, who’s led the school as interim dean then dean since June 2011. Davis will lead 200 faculty and 54 staff and manage the school’s $26 million budget. She’ll also be part of the university’s leadership team, steering USF’s future.

Former biotech CEO 

“I’m very happy to have recruited the first woman dean for the School of Management at USF,” said USF Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jennifer Turpin. “As a former CEO of a biotech firm and accomplished scholar and successful dean, Dr. Davis will be a great asset to USF.”

Davis’ 25 years in higher education and background as a business executive and CEO will help her forge partnerships with Bay Area businesses, San Francisco’s vibrant nonprofit sector, and local and state governments, said Judith Karshmer, dean of USF’s School of Nursing and Health Professions and chair of the search committee that nominated Davis.

'USF drew me in'

“USF drew me in the moment I met the faculty, administration, and students,” Davis said. “The School of Management is poised to strategically advance business education by using the talent of its faculty to positively impact their fields, by connecting students directly to the business community through internship experiences, and by engaging outstanding alumni to help create signature programs for the school.”

Davis is currently dean of the University of New Haven College of Business (UNH) in Connecticut. Prior to UNH, she served as associate professor and chair of the Department of Organizational Sciences and Communication and director of the Women’s Leadership Program at George Washington University.

Embrace the Jesuit mission

She was a faculty member at Jesuit St. Joseph’s University Haub School of Business in Philadelphia for 12 years and knows the benefits of a Jesuit education firsthand. Davis began her career as a researcher at Duke University School of Medicine and went on to become CEO and COO of the National Disease Research Interchange, a biomedical research and technology nonprofit in Philadelphia. 

Her research on strategic management, organizational dynamics, and ethics is widely published, and her work on global sustainability has been funded by the National Science Foundation. She earned a doctoral degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in strategic management. Her bachelor’s degree is from Barnard College at Columbia University.

by Ed Carpenter | Office of Communications and Marketing »email usfnews@usfca.edu | Twitter @usfcanews