Dr. W. James Jacob is Professor of Leadership at the University of Memphis Department of Leadership. He also serves as Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education and as a member of the Leadership Memphis Executive Program. Prior to this, 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 establishing international partnerships, professional development and training programs, 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 the Asian Development Bank, East-West Center, European Union, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF, The World Bank, USAID, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of State, ProLiteracy Worldwide, South Pacific Forum, UNITUS, and many government ministries of education and health.
He is the co-editor of two book series related to the development of comparative, international, and development education scholarship: International and Development Education (Palgrave Macmillan) and Pittsburgh Studies in Comparative and International Education (Brill | Sense). His most recent books include Strategic Transformation of Higher Education: Challenges and Solutions in a Global Economy (with Stewart E. Sutin, Rowan & Littlefield, 2016); Trends in Chinese Education (with Hongjie Chen, Routledge, 2016); Indigenous Education: Language, Culture, and Identity (with Sheng Yao Cheng and Maureen Porter, Springer, 2015); Community Engagement in Higher Education: Policy Reforms and Practice (with Stewart E. Sutin, John C. Weidman, and John L. Yeager, Sense Publishers, 2015); Economics and Finance in Higher Education (with John C. Weidman and colleagues, Pearson, 2014); and Policy Debates in Comparative, International, and Development Education (with John N. Hawkins, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). He has written extensively on comparative, international, and development education topics with an emphasis on higher education leadership, strategic planning, community engagement, interdisciplinary partnerships, professional development, quality assurance, and organizational effectiveness.
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. He is married to an art educator, Natalie, and they are the parents of three children.