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Donna De Carolis

Founding Dean

Silverman Family Professor of Entrepreneurial Leadership

Donna De Carolis, PhD Donna Marie De Carolis, PhD, is the founding Dean of the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship at Drexel University. The Close School is the first freestanding school of entrepreneurship in the nation to offer degrees.

Prior to her role as founding Dean, Donna held the position of Associate Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship Education at Drexel University. In this role, she oversaw the development and coordination of all academic entrepreneurial offerings and student activities at Drexel; served as the spokesperson for Drexel University entrepreneurial education initiatives and oversaw the Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship.  She also served as the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs at the LeBow College of Business at Drexel University, and was responsible for the administration and strategic direction of all graduate and corporate degree programs. 

In her former position as Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives at the LeBow College of Business, she was the key individual responsible for the implementation of the LeBow Strategic Plan, and also had strategic responsibility for the business school’s four Centers of Excellence. In addition, she coordinated the development of synergistic programs and initiatives among the business school, other colleges at Drexel and with the business community at large. 

Her recent accomplishments in entrepreneurship education at the University have significantly contributed to advancing Drexel University’s ranking as a top entrepreneurship university by Princeton Review for the past several years. Donna also serves in an advisory capacity to several regional new ventures.

Donna is a weekly commentator on KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia, providing a business commentary on trends in entrepreneurship and leadership.   In addition, her opinions and commentaries have appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Business Journal and Business Week On-Line.

Donna designs and delivers seminars on innovation, strategic thinking, corporate entrepreneurship and technology commercialization for companies and organizations.

Donna is an active member of the Alliance for Women Entrepreneurs, the Academy of Management and the Strategic Management Society. She serves on the on the advisory board of several start-up companies and is a member of the Union League of Philadelphia

As an educator, Donna has researched, written and lectured extensively on various aspects of entrepreneurship, technology management and technology commercialization. She is certified in Emotional Intelligence coaching and integrates her expertise in this area into her technology leadership curriculum. 

She is the recipient of the prestigious Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching (2003) and the Distinguished Teaching Excellence Award from Executive MBA’s.  

Her research has appeared in journals such as the Strategic Management Journal, The Journal of Management, Journal of Business Venturing and Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.

Prior to coming to Drexel, she was a strategy consultant and lobbyist. She earned her doctoral degree in strategic management from Temple University, and holds an MBA from Villanova University.

She is the mother of two wonderful sons, one amazing daughter, and Louie, the sweetest Scottish Terrier.