05 Nov 2021

New Faculty Profiles: Diane Gherson


HBS faculty comprises more than 300 scholars and practitioners who bring leading-edge research, extensive experience, and deep insights into the classroom, to organizations, and to managers. We asked new faculty at HBS about their background, their new roles, and their interests.

Diane Gherson, senior lecturer, Organizational Behavior

What did you do before coming to HBS?
I’ve had two careers, one in management consulting, where I ended up leading my global practice, and another at the executive level where I ended up as the chief human resources officer (CHRO) at IBM.

How have you exercised leadership in business?
For the last seven years I had the huge privilege to lead a team of 6,500 HR professionals through a major corporate transformation and a pandemic. In my role as CHRO, I got to drive the cultural transformation to support the business agenda.

What will you be teaching here?
Leadership and Organizational Behavior (LEAD)

What would you be doing if you weren’t a professor?
Probably working in the Biden administration.

Where are you from?
I was born in London, but spent some of my early years in Canada, before doing some of my schooling in England. However, I’ve spent almost all of my professional life in the US.

What is something you like to do outside of your academic work?
I love to garden. Actually, to be honest, I obsess about my garden. And every vacation involves some bicycling adventures.

What’s your favorite book, movie, or piece of art?
That’s a tough one. I’ve loved a lot of books but they didn’t always endure. One book that continues to resonate (most recently as a mother of teenagers!) is The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell. It’s the same series of events and experiences seen through the eyes of the five different protagonists of five novels. One day we should write an HBS case with that same twist.

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