Raj Echambadi became the 10th president of Illinois Institute of Technology in August 2021.
Central to Echambadi’s vision for Illinois Tech’s future is a new path to preeminence driven by four principles: first, honoring and strengthening the university’s role as an engine of opportunity and national leader in economic mobility; second, pursuing growth through reimagining education to serve learners at all stages of life; third, fueling future innovation by empowering students; and fourth, exemplifying purpose-driven citizenship in service of Bronzeville, Chicago, and the world.
From 2017 to 2021 Echambadi served as the Dunton Family Dean of D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University. Under his leadership, D’Amore-McKim has become widely recognized for moving beyond traditional business silos and for embracing cross-disciplinary perspectives in both research and teaching. Programmatic innovations include the “MBA x” program, “MS x” program, combined undergraduate majors, and work-integrated degrees with business partners; each of these help students and learners develop multidisciplinary perspectives by blending their business studies with non-business areas of expertise, such as computer science or experiential design. During his tenure, Echambadi created an Office of Student Engagement, Affinity, and Inclusion at D’Amore-McKim to foster better on-campus experiences for students and launched several programs—Building Belonging Fellows, Pathfinders, Peer Affinity Cohorts—in order to build an inclusive community and cultivate a culture of belonging at the school.
Prior to joining Northeastern in August 2017, Echambadi served for eight years in various roles, including as the Alan J. and Joyce D. Baltz Professor and the senior associate dean of strategic innovation, at Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Echambadi was a driving force behind the scaled online M.B.A. (iMBA) program at the University of Illinois, which has been lauded as one of the best breakthrough, disruptive educational innovations in the past decade.
Echambadi received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Anna University in India and a doctorate in marketing from the University of Houston. His academic research focuses on strategic innovation within organizations and how firms should balance current and future opportunities. He has won numerous teaching and research accolades including the prestigious Academy of Management Journal Best Paper Award for his work on employee entrepreneurship.