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Francesca Cornelli

Research Interests: Private equity, corporate governance & IPOs
Portrait of Francesca Cornelli, Faculty at the Kellogg School of Management

Francesca Cornelli is the dean of Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, and is also a professor of finance and holds the Donald P. Jacobs Chair of Finance. 


Since joining Kellogg in 2019, Dean Cornelli has crystalized the school’s mission to shape empathetic, inclusive leaders who can operate globally, unite diverse perspectives and lead through rapid change and constant disruption. 


Under Cornelli’s leadership, Kellogg has amplified its focus in areas of critical importance for business and society. She has helmed the expansion of Kellogg’s programming on sustainability, including the creation of new courses, scholarships and co-curriculars. She has brought the same focus to advancing Kellogg’s commitment to fostering an inclusive environment and equitable outcomes through numerous initiatives. 


Cornelli has also increased Kellogg’s focus on preparing today’s leaders to operate effectively at the intersection of business, science and technology. She spearheaded the creation of Kellogg’s MBAi Program, a joint degree between Kellogg and Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering, and led the expansion of Kellogg’s private equity focus. 


A global educator, Cornelli has vast international experience and has taught at some of the top schools in the world, including the London School of Economics, the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, the New Economic School in Moscow, the Wharton School and the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Immediately prior to Kellogg, Cornelli was professor of finance and deputy dean at London Business School. 


Cornelli is widely respected as an accomplished scholar and a leader in business education. Her research interests include corporate governance, private equity, privatization, bankruptcy, IPOs and innovation policy. She has been an editor of the Review of Financial Studies, one of the top three finance journals, and previously served on the board of editors of the Review of Economic Studies and as an associate editor at the Journal of Finance. 


Cornelli helped create and became a board member of AFFECT, a committee of the American Finance Association designed to promote the advancement of women academics in the field of finance. She serves on several boards, including Edizione, GSM Grosvenor Inc., Civic Consulting Alliance, Ryan Specialty Holdings, Inc., and Lyric Opera of Chicago.


Read more about Dean Cornelli’s research and professional experience >

About Francesca
Home Base
Illinois and Milan, Italy

PhD, Economics, Harvard University

Bachelor in Economics, Bocconi University, Italy

Prior Professional Experience
Deputy Dean and Professor of Finance, London Business School
I have always admired Kellogg as a school full of ideas, of creativity and innovation. … I know that together we can continue raising the bar while staying true to the Kellogg spirit.
Dean Cornelli