Jacob, W. James


Dr. W. James Jacob is Professor at the University of Memphis Department of Leadership. He also serves as Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education. Other leadership assignments he has held at the University of Memphis include serving as Chairperson of the Department of Leadership and as a member of the Leadership Memphis Executive Program. Prior to joining the University of Memphis, he served for 10 years at the University of Pittsburgh as Director of the Institute for International Studies in Education. He is a results-oriented senior manager and researcher specializing in strategic planning, quality assurance, academic affairs, community engagement, and change management.

Dr. Jacob has extensive administrative experience in higher education professional development and training programs, establishing international partnerships, and external research and program funding opportunities. His international networks span every major global region, where he has helped forge sustainable partnerships with universities, government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and alumni groups. Some of the organizations Dr. Jacob has worked with include ACT, Asian Development Bank, Ayers Foundation, East-West Center, European Union, Institute of International Education, Lumina Foundation, National Rural Education Association, ProLiteracy Worldwide, South Pacific Forum, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF, The World Bank, USAID, UNITUS, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of State, and many government ministries of education and health.

He has written extensively on higher education leadership topics. His most recent books include Strategic Transformation of Higher Education: Challenges and Solutions in a Global Economy; Community Engagement in Higher Education: Policy Reforms and PracticeTrends in Chinese Education; Indigenous Education: Language, Culture, and Identity; and Economics and Finance in Higher Education.

He is currently a Fulbright Senior Specialist (2015-2020), where he offers capacity building expertise to governments on higher education strategic planning, research, and workforce development. Maintaining close networking relationships with higher education institutions in several countries, Dr. Jacob has served as a visiting professor at Peking University, China (2013 to the present); East-West Center, USA (2015, 2018 to the present); and National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan (2015).

Dr. Jacob holds master’s degrees in Organizational Behavior (Marriott School of Management) and International Development (Kennedy Center for International Studies) from Brigham Young University and a PhD in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles.