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Speaker > Biography

Thomas S. Robertson Thomas S. Robertson

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Thomas S. Robertson comes "home" to serve as Wharton's thirteenth dean. "It is such a great privilege to be returning to Wharton," Robertson said. "I relish the challenge to help build Penn's global footprint and to champion Wharton as a force for good in the world. We have outstanding faculty and students and a dedicated staff and are well positioned to create global economic and social value."

Robertson comes from Emory University where he was Executive Faculty Director of the Institute for Developing Nations. He was Dean of the Goizueta Business School at Emory University from 1998-2004, and is widely credited with building Goizueta into one of the strongest schools at Emory, positioning it as a leading international business school.

An expert in marketing strategy and innovation with extensive international experience in higher education and the business community, Robertson most recently led various internationalization efforts at Emory. He developed and implemented a university-wide plan for internationalization, and he created and launched the Institute for Developing Nations, a joint research initiative with The Carter Center.

Robertson led Goizueta into a new era of growth. He increased the size of the faculty 73 percent, doubled revenues, nearly doubled the school's endowment, developed new international alliances, spurred major growth in executive-education programs, added a major new building and launched a new Ph.D. program.

From 1994 to 1998, Robertson was Sainsbury Professor and chair of marketing and from 1995 to 1998 Deputy Dean of the London Business School. Earlier in his career, he was an assistant professor at the Anderson School at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at Harvard Business School.

From 1971 to 1994, Robertson was a faculty member at Wharton, where he was the Pomerantz Professor of Marketing and chair of the Marketing Department. He also served as associate dean for executive education and led the effort to build a major conference center on campus, designed an innovative set of new senior-management programs and substantially increased financial contributions.

An expert in marketing strategy and competitive behavior, the diffusion of innovation and consumer behavior — particularly the impact of advertising on children — Robertson is author, co-author or editor of a dozen books and almost 100 scholarly articles and book chapters.

Robertson earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in marketing from Northwestern University in 1966 after completing his B.A. at Wayne State University in 1963.

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