Harvard Business School
Senior Fellow

James J. Dowd is Senior Fellow in Executive Education at Harvard Business School, a faculty appointment he has held since 2004.  In that role, he works closely with CEOs, CHROs, and their teams to design and deliver custom executive education programs.  In addition to teaching leadership and change, he typically serves as faculty chair in these programs, engaging faculty colleagues with relevant expertise to join the program team, and coordinating overall program delivery.

From 1994 to 2004 Jim Dowd was Professor of Organizational Behavior at IMD, a leading institute for executive education located in Lausanne, Switzerland.  For five years he was a member of IMD’s Management Committee with responsibility for the portfolio of custom-designed partnership programs.  From 1994 to 1999 he directed the open enrollment program Mobilizing People, focusing on leadership and teamwork.  He was also faculty Program Director for IMD’s custom programs with Bertelsmann, Hoffman-LaRoche, Julius Bär, and RWE, among other clients.

As a consultant, Jim Dowd has worked closely with top executive teams in international companies in organizational change and development, advising in processes of executive team-building and large-scale organizational change over several years. On an individual level, he also works with senior executives managing major career transitions and developing new leadership behaviors to fit changing role requirements. He designs and facilitates senior management team-building programs as well as executive education programs addressing the behavioral implications of major strategic and cultural change. While on the faculty at IMD, he jointly developed and delivered several such programs in collaboration with other major business schools, including Columbia University, Northwestern University, and Ashridge Management College.

Before joining IMD in 1994, Jim Dowd was a member of the faculty at the University of Virginia, teaching management and organizational behavior courses at both the McIntire School of Commerce and the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.  He received several university-wide teaching awards at Virginia, and he was similarly recognized for outstanding teaching as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard College.   In 1994 Professor Dowd was elected to a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society. 

Jim Dowd earned an undergraduate degree in English and American Literature and Language at Harvard College.  He later earned an MBA and a Doctorate of Business Administration degree at Harvard Business School, specializing in organizational behavior. 

He is the author of several case studies and co-authored the 1993 book Vision, Values and Courage: Leadership for Quality Management, with Neil H. Snyder and Dianne Morse Houghton.  His teaching and research interests focus now on leadership, organizational values, and individual commitment to organizations.

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