First female dean appointed at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management

Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University in Canada has appointed Professor Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou as the new dean. On September 1, she becomes the first female dean in the school’s history.

Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou has spent 21 years at George Washington University in the US in a number of roles, including associate dean for undergraduate programmes and professor in finance. Prior to this, she taught at ESSEC business school in France from 1989 to 1993, and also lectured at Université de Montréal. At George Washington, Bajeux-Besnainou implemented a series of new programmes and curriculums to provide a more holistic, well-rounded education.

Bajeux-Besnainou says: “The integrated approach to management at Desautels fascinated me. An amazing school in a great multi-cultural city, their approach to business education is unique. It’s interdisciplinary and encourages cooperation, promoting intellectual curiosity and inspiring students to become lifelong learners. I’m excited to build on this.”

She succeeds Peter Todd, recently appointed as the new dean at HEC Paris, who saw operating revenues double in his nine-year tenure at Desautels. Under his leadership, donations increased, the number of professors almost doubled, and student services were overhauled.

“Students should receive a transformative experience through their education,” Bajeux-Besnainou says, “and develop as well-rounded, problem-solvers to become tomorrow’s leaders, but I’m not going to arrive with a list of changes without knowing the school. My first priority is to listen and learn. I want to lead by consensus and work together with faculty to develop a vision for the future.”