Priya Kannan, PhD

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Lucas College and Graduate School of Business

Dr. Rangapriya (Priya) Kannan joined the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business as dean on August 1, 2023. Kannan is a first-generation immigrant and is the first woman and the first person from India to lead the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business on a permanent basis as dean.

Kannan joins SJSU from the University of San Diego, where she was the associate dean of faculty and accreditation and a professor of strategic management, innovation and entrepreneurship. She also serves as a research professor of entrepreneurship at University of Exeter Business School, one of the UK’s leading institutions. 

Prior to her role as Associate Dean, Dr. Kannan was the inaugural chairperson of the i3 department that houses Innovation and Entrepreneurship, International Business, and Interdisciplinary Studies at the Knauss School of Business. She was also the founding director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Catalyzer (The CatalyZer). 

Before joining academia, Kannan gained valuable industry experience in both India and Silicon Valley. Her background includes expertise in leadership to affect strategic change, designing interdisciplinary programs, employee development, alumni and community outreach, and creating inclusive work environments. Her research primarily focuses on how individuals achieve innovation within limited resources using creative resourcing and reframing. She has published papers in several outlets related to strategy and innovation, including the Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Organization Studies, Research and Technology Management, Oxford Research Encyclopedia, and Journal of Business Ethics.

Throughout her career, Kannan has achieved numerous accomplishments and received recognition for her contributions in research, teaching, and institution building. These include the Clarence L. Steber Professorship, a distinguished university award at the University of San Diego, as well as being named one of Poets & Quants' Top 50 Undergraduate Business Professors in the country in 2020 for her excellence in teaching. Kannan was also awarded San Diego Businesswoman of the Year in 2020 and was recognized as one of the SD 500 San Diego Most Influential Business Leaders in both 2021 and 2022 by the San Diego Business Journal. Additionally, she served as a visiting research fellow at the Cambridge Judge Business School.

Dr. Kannan earned a PhD from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. She earned her Masters in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from SJSU and was recognized as a Sally Casanova Scholar. Additionally, she has earned a Masters in Personnel Management & Industrial Relations from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (India), and is a graduate of the Cost and Works Accountants Society (India). Her undergraduate studies were completed at the University of Bombay (India), where she received a Bachelor of Commerce degree.



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