New Appointments at the Lauder Institute

We are pleased to announce three new appointments at the Lauder Institute! They are truly exciting additions to our community, and will strengthen Lauder’s ability to fulfill our mission of developing outstanding business leaders who look globally, engage locally, and act responsibly to have powerful impact in the world.

Profile Picture Melissa Hunt

Dr. Melissa C. Thomas-Hunt joins the Lauder Institute as our latest Senior Global Fellow.

As Head of Global Diversity and Belonging at Airbnb, Melissa C. Thomas-Hunt leads the strategy and execution of our global internal diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging programs. An expert on building inclusive, global teams, Thomas-Hunt joined Airbnb from Vanderbilt University, where she served as Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence. In that role, she was responsible for helping advance equity, diversity and inclusion in Vanderbilt’s academic research and community of students, faculty and staff. Prior to her work at Vanderbilt, Thomas-Hunt served as Global Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, where she was focused on ensuring that the student community was seen, heard, valued and supported.

For 25 years, she has taught MBAs and executives leadership, team dynamics, and negotiations  and conducted research on the factors that unleash, leverage and amplify the contributions made by individuals, particularly women, underrepresented individuals and numerical minorities. Her publications have appeared in Research on Organizational Behavior, Organization Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, the Journal of Applied Psychology, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Management Science, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and Research on Managing Groups and Teams. Thomas-Hunt received her master’s and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University.

We welcome Dean Geoffrey Garrett as a new Senior Global Fellow to the Lauder Institute.

Geoffrey Garrett is the Dean at the USC Marshall School of Business where he is also the Dean’s Chair in Business Administration and Professor of Management and Organization. Prior to serving as Dean of the Wharton School from 2014 to 2020, Geoff was dean of the business schools at both The University of Sydney and UNSW and founding CEO of the United States Studies Centre in his native Australia. He also served as President of the Pacific Council on International Policy, and as founding Dean of the International Institute and Vice Provost of International Studies at UCLA. Earlier in his career, he also held academic appointments not only at Wharton and at USC, but also at Oxford, Stanford and Yale universities. Geoff is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Social Sciences, a winner of the Foreign Policy Association Medal and the Advance Global Australian Award, and a member of the board of directors of Park Hotels and Resorts. He also sits on the Advisory Boards of the Indian School of Business and the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management. A well-respected commentator on global business, economics and politics in major media outlets, he writes a regular series of articles as a LinkedIn Influencer. Geoff holds a BA (Honors) from the Australian National University, and an MA and PhD from Duke University where he was a Fulbright Scholar.

Julia Lynch
Photo provided by Eric Sucar, University Communications

The Lauder Institute welcomes a new co-director, Professor Julia Lynch.

The primary responsibility of the Lauder co-director is to serve as the liaison between the Lauder Institute and the School of Arts & Sciences, including on matters related to SAS coursework and faculty. Julia is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and a BA from Harvard University.  Her research focuses on the politics of inequality, public health, and social policy in the rich democracies, particularly the countries of western Europe. She has special interests in comparative health policy and the politics of health inequalities; comparative political economy of western Europe; southern European politics; and the politics of aging. At Penn, she is co-director of the Penn-Temple European Studies Colloquium, on the advisory boards of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, the Italian Studies Program, and the Bioethics minor, and faculty director of the European Studies minor. She currently sits on the Executive Committee of the faculty senate, and chairs the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility. She edits Socio-Economic Review, a multi-disciplinary journal focusing on analytical, political and moral questions arising at the intersection of economy and society, and serves on the editorial boards of Perspectives in Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Polity, Journal of European Social Policy, and Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. In the wider world, Julia is an expert advisor to the World Health Organization’s European regional office, past chair of the Health Politics and Policy section of the American Political Science Association, and past treasurer of the Council for European Studies.