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Learn More About Lynn Perry Wooten

Lynn Perry Wooten, a seasoned academic and an expert on organizational development and transformation, became the ninth president of Simmons University on July 1, 2020. She is the first African American to lead the university.

Specializing in crisis leadership, diversity and inclusion, and positive leadership — organizational behavior that reveals and nurtures the highest level of human potential — Wooten is an innovative leader and prolific author and presenter whose research has informed her work in the classroom and as an administrator. She is the co-author of two books publishing in 2022: The Wall Street Journal bestseller “Arrive and Thrive: 7 Impactful Practices for Women Navigating Leadership” (McGraw Hill, April 2022) and “The Prepared Leader: Emerge from Any Crisis More Resilient Than Before” (Wharton School Press, September 2022).

Wooten came to Simmons from Cornell University, where she was the David J. Nolan Dean and Professor of Management and Organizations at the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. She has also had a robust clinical practice, providing leadership development, education, and training for a wide variety of companies and institutions, from the Kellogg Foundation to Harvard University’s Kennedy School to Google.

With leadership at the core of her work, Wooten’s research has ranged from an NIH-funded investigation of how leadership can positively alleviate health disparities to leading in a crisis and managing workforce diversity. She is the author of “Positive Organizing in a Global Society: Understanding and Engaging Differences for Capacity Building and Inclusion” (Routledge, September 2015) and “Leading Under Pressure: From Surviving to Thriving Before, During, and After a Crisis” (Routledge, 2010). Sharing her work at nearly 60 symposia and conferences, she also is the author of nearly 30 journal articles and more than 15 book chapters, as well as managerial monographs and numerous teaching cases.

Wooten grew up in Philadelphia, where she attended an all-girls high school. She earned a BS in accounting in 1988 from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, a Historically Black College, where she graduated as valedictorian; an MBA from the Duke University Fuqua School of Business in 1990; and a PhD in business administration from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business in 1995. She received a Certificate in Advanced Educational Leadership from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education in 2018.

Starting her career as assistant professor of management at the University of Florida Warrington College of Business, Wooten returned in 1998 to the University of Michigan, where she served on the faculty of the Ross School of Business for nearly 20 years. There she taught undergraduate, graduate, and executive education courses and served as co-faculty director of the Center for Positive Organizations as well as co-faculty director of the Executive Leadership Institute. She became engaged in student life as an associate dean, ultimately serving as Senior Associate Dean for Student and Academic Excellence. She left Michigan in 2017 for the deanship at Cornell.

Wooten is an active member of several national volunteer leadership organizations, including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Jack & Jill of America, Junior League, and The Links Inc. She is an advisory board member for the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program and on the boards of the Center for Effective Philanthropy and the University of Michigan Alumni Association. In addition, Wooten is actively involved in the Boston philanthropic and civic community. She currently serves on the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Association for Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM) Board of Directors, the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Trustee Advisory Board, the JFK Library Foundation Board of Advisors, the Fenway Alliance Board of Directors, The George School Board of Trustees, the MASCO Board of Directors, and the WBGH Board of Trustees. In addition, Wooten serves on the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan Board of Directors and the North Carolina A&T University Board of Trustees.

She is a past recipient of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business’s BBA Student Award for Teaching Excellence as well as the school’s Andy Andrews Distinguished Service Award. She also was chosen as a “Next Generation Business Thinker” by the Financial Times.

Lynn Perry Wooten is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Lynn Perry Wooten was last modified: August 2nd, 2022 by

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Speech Topics

  • Crises as Opportunities for Resilience and Renewal
  • Unlocking Resources for Recovery, Renewal, and Resilience
  • Women and Power
  • Arrive and Thrive: 7 Impactful Practices for Women Navigating Leadership
  • How to be a Leader in Crisis
  • Embracing the Hard Work of Dismantling Systemic Racism
  • How to Build Support and Successful Teams During a Crisis
  • Ending the She’cession

“Bravo to this trio of authors who, leveraging their powerful and distinct leadership experiences, perspectives, and network bring us closer to understanding the essence of authentic leadership. This book is chock full of inspiration and tangible lessons for being our best and truest self.”

Erika H. James, Praise for “Arrive and Thrive”, Dean of Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

“This book captures insightful and practical lessons that all aspiring leaders can learn from.”

John Donahoe, CEO, Nike

“This book will inspire and empower women—and their allies—at all levels of leadership to think bigger and intentionally about their professional impact and possibilities.”

Dorie Clark, Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author of “The Long Game” and Executive Education Faculty, Duke University Fuqua School of Business

“‘Arrive and Thrive’ is rooted in real world experience and incredible life lessons. The seven impactful practices have proven true throughout my leadership journey and reflect lessons that I learned both on the court and in the boardroom. In an era where so many of us think we are just surviving in this complex business world, this book will inspire you to move from survive to thrive.”

Cathy Engelbert, WNBA Commissioner

“There are so many reasons to read this book: It is practical, poignant, personal, powerful, and pointed toward doing. The lessons learned from experience and research are provided in accessible ways. The authors are generous in sharing their favorite tools and best advice in the journey of moving beyond arriving to thriving. A must-read leadership resource.”

Barry Z. Posne, PhD, Michael J. Accolti, S.J. Chair and Professor of Leadership Chair, Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

“Women fighting for gender equality have to upend so many barriers; a world of work built for men and outdated stereotypes. It can be exhausting but there is energy to be found in learning from the insights of ‘Arrive and Thrive.'”

Julia Gillard, 27th Prime Minister of Australia; Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, King’s College London and the Australian National University

“If you are contemplating stepping up and stepping in, even more, the seven impactful practices in this book — and the wisdom of the three authors and the experts they highlight — will show you how.”

Molly Fletcher, Speaker, Author, Former Sports Agent

“Timely and pragmatic . . . this progress in gender equity and leadership will alter the trajectory of our society.”

Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University