Jinhua Zhao, who was appointed the David J. Nolan Dean of the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management beginning July 1, has a contagious enthusiasm for Dyson’s future and is thoroughly confident in the school’s upward trajectory. An advocate for cross-disciplinary research that addresses social problems in innovative ways, Zhao believes Dyson is positioned to push the frontiers of business education to address 21st century challenges and to train future business leaders who will lead change and impact society in positive ways.
Before coming to Cornell, Zhao was a professor of economics at Michigan State University, where he also served as director of Michigan State’s Environmental Science and Policy Program, 2010-18. “Jinhua is a top-notch scholar, has an excellent track record as an administrator, and radiates excitement about Dyson’s incumbent strengths,” said Andrew Karolyi, dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business in an announcement of Zhao’s appointment. “I believe that he has the expertise and energy to be a great leader for Dyson and to collaborate across our college and across Cornell.” Since Dyson is a shared school between the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), Zhao reports both to Karolyi and to Benjamin Z. Houlton, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of CALS.
Zhao’s research is focused on environmental and resource economics, with special interests in global climate change, renewable energies, water, and technology adoption. He also has research interests in China’s environment, including government regulation, firm and individual behavior, and payment for ecosystem services. He received his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Science and Technology Beijing in China, his master of science degree in agricultural economics from the University of Guelph in Canada, and his PhD in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California at Berkeley.
From his enthusiasm for cross-disciplinary collaboration and deep appreciation for the benefits of working together with people who are diverse in multiple ways to his research about pollution, policy, and the environment and his role as an advisor to the Environmental Protection Agency, Zhao shares what’s most important to him and why in this Q&A.
Read the full Q&A with Dean Jinhua Zhao at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business new site, BusinessFeed.