Donna DeCarolis

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CNBC Disruptor 50

Donna DeCarolis

Donna DeCarolis
Source: Donna DeCarolis
Donna DeCarolis

Donna De Carolis, Ph.D., is the founding Dean of the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship and the Silverman Family Professor of Entrepreneurial Leadership at Drexel University.

As founding Dean of the Close School, the nation's first freestanding, degree-granting school of entrepreneurship, De Carolis has initiated a pioneering approach to entrepreneurship education. Her vision is to empower all university students with the belief that they can be entrepreneurs – by broadly defining entrepreneurship as an attitude that incorporates innovative thinking and doing in all facets of life, career and profession.

De Carolis has been a champion of entrepreneurship education in her various roles as Associate Dean and Management Department head at Drexel's LeBow College of Business, and as Associate Vice-Provost for Entrepreneurship Education.

De Carolis' research has appeared in journals such as the Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of Management, and Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. She is the recipient of the prestigious Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Distinguished Teaching Excellence Award from Executive MBAs. She frequently speaks to companies about leadership and innovation.

Well-known throughout the Philadelphia region as a lecturer and media personality, De Carolis contributes weekly commentaries to KYW Newsradio. In addition, her commentary has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Business Journal, and Forbes On-line.

An active member of the Alliance for Women Entrepreneurs, De Carolis was the 2015 recipient of their Iris Newman Award, given each year to a woman business leader who has demonstrated a strong commitment to helping advance women entrepreneurs. De Carolis is a current member of Drexel University's Biomedical Engineering Community Advisory Board advising the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, advising on translational research, medical device development and entrepreneurship. De Carolis is also a board member of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Exchange (EIX), which provides entrepreneurship resources to colleges and universities. Additionally, she participates in numerous councils and advisory boards for startup companies and is an executive board member of the US Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE), in addition to being a member of the Board of Directors for both the Barra Foundation and Faith In the Future Foundation, making a highly positive impact on our local communities. Prior to coming to Drexel, De Carolis served as 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.