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James W. Bradford

Dean Emeritus

Subject Area(s): Strategy and Business Economics

James Bradford served as Dean of the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management and the Ralph Owen Professor for the Practice of Management from 2004 to 2013.

During his tenure, Bradford spearheaded the development and launch of six innovative, market-driven and immersion-based programs at Owen, including the Health Care MBA, master’s degrees in finance (MSF), healthcare management (MMHC) and accountancy (MAcc), the Americas MBA (AMBA) and Accelerator, a 30-day summer intensive for highly qualified undergraduates. In 2006, he established a Board of Visitors comprised of leading corporate executives to further strengthen Owen’s connection and relevance to the national and international business communities, and has formed additional advisory boards for the health care and accountancy degree programs.

An experienced corporate executive, Bradford previously served as president and CEO of United Glass Corporation and AFG Industries Inc. Prior to that, he served as AFG’s general counsel and spent 11 years in private law practice.  His private practice and service as general counsel were primarily in the areas of corporate and transaction law.

He currently serves on the board of directors for several leading public companies: CLARCOR Inc.; Cracker Barrel, Inc. (non-executive Chair); Genesco, Inc. (lead director) and Granite Inc.

Bradford has been active in the graduate business education industry, having served as Chair of the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), culminating 4 years of service to GMAC. During his tenure as Chair of GMAC, the organization developed and launched the Integrated Reasoning test as part of the new GMAT, the Reflect soft skills assessment tool and recruited and hired the next CEO of GMAC, Sangeet Chowfla. He has also been involved in the maintenance of accreditation panels for the AACSB.

Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program, 1997
B.A., University of Florida, 1969
J.D., Vanderbilt University, 1973

Area(s) of Expertise:
Corporate Governance, business structures, global and domestic business strategy, entrepreneurship.


Voice: 615-322-2534
Office #: 313
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