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Study: Francesca Cornelli is Kellogg’s New Dean

Posted by Chioma Isiadinso

There’s a new dean at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management: Francesca Cornelli. Cornelli, who will take over in August, is currently a professor of finance at London Business School. 

Announcing Cornelli’s appointment, Northwestern University president Morton Schapiro described Cornelli as “uniquely suited to take our Kellogg School to the next level — and to continue building a genuinely global model for business education and scholarship.” 

Indeed, Cornelli’s background is nothing if not global.

Cornelli received an undergraduate degree from Milan’s Università Commerciale Bocconi and a PhD in economics from Harvard University.

She subsequently taught at schools including University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, the Indian School of Business, and the New Economic School in Moscow. 

Cornelli is now a professor at London Business School, where she also acts as deputy dean of degree education and director of private equity.

As a researcher, she has published numerous papers on topics such as bankruptcy, privatization, IPOs and private equity. She has also served as an editor for several finance and economics journals, and as director of the American Finance Association. 

Cornelli says that she has “always admired Kellogg as a school full of ideas, of creativity and innovation. As far as Kellogg’s future under her tenure, she added: “I know that together we can continue raising the bar while staying true to the Kellogg spirit.” 

Cornelli’s appointment ends a search process that dragged on perhaps longer than Kellogg initially expected. The school appointed Kathleen Hagerty as interim dean last summer after failing to find a successor before the departure of dean Sally Blount. 

Now Cornelli, the finance professor from London Business School, follows Hagerty, the finance professor from Kellogg, becoming the school’s permanent dean.

Paulo Sapienza, chair of Kellogg’s consumer finance department and head of the dean search committee, explained that Cornelli “brings to Kellogg a distinctive blend of personal research accomplishments, commitment to supporting scholarship and professional development in the academic profession, and extensive experience in the private sector.” 

Indeed, with Cornelli’s experience and with the uncertainty of the dean search behind it, Kellogg looks poised to continue as one of the country’s top business schools.

For MBA applicants, Kellogg may have a new dean, but the basic strategy for admission hasn’t changed: build a personal brand that emphasizes your unique strengths.

We’re happy to give you feedback on how to do that and how your MBA application stacks up at schools like Kellogg. Just ask us for a free assessment!

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