For Jim Kelly, Success Is More Than Academic

Assistant dean for finance and administration, UC Davis Graduate School of Management

Jim Kelly

Jim Kelly MBA 10, the Graduate School of Management’s new assistant dean for finance and administration, admits that his career path has been, well, “winding.”

“It does not make much sense when you look at it,” he says. “Twenty years in nonprofit management of international operations, a year as a stay-at-home dad, an MBA, two years as a transportation executive, and now at the GSM.

“What has made sense to me, however, is that I have been able to pursue opportunities at every turn that satisfy my natural curiosity about how organizations work and my drive to improve organizations for the sake of the people they serve and who work in them. The important lesson along the way: it’s never too late to make a change.”

As the School continues to grow and pursue several important strategic initiatives, Kelly hopes “to ensure that we are fiscally solid and to contribute to maintaining the GSM as a great place to learn, teach and work.”

He adds: “I believe the GSM provides a unique opportunity for people to learn about business in a community that mirrors what matters: collaboration, respect and a genuine concern for how our decisions affect others.”

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