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Jake Dean

Meet Jake Dean, Director of the Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management

by Jake Dean Tuesday, December 5, 2017

“But, they have WINTER there!”


That was by far the most common response I received in June 2016 from my California-bred Cisco colleagues when I announced that I was leaving my job as a manager in supply chain mergers and acquisitions to return to the WSB as director of the Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management.  Yes, there is winter, but there is also so much more:


  • Ridiculously good students.  Good as in intelligent, and good as in high-quality human beings.  That’s one of the main things that attracted me as an MBA student in 2007, attracted me back as director in 2016, and continues to impress me every day.
  • A specialized program.  Students come to our MBA program because they know what they want to learn and how they want to contribute once they’re in industry.  That allows me four full semesters to show our students supply chain management from many different angles.
  • Resources, resources, resources.  I get to lead a community of MBA students, BBA students, alumni, corporate partners, and Executive Advisory Board members who all want to learn and contribute in positive ways. 
  • Industry focus, but from an academic base.  I love supply chain, and have been working in the discipline since 2002.  I will probably work in it for the rest of my life.  The difference between 2002-2016 and now is that I’ve transitioned from someone who ‘does’ supply chain every day to someone who ‘shows’ supply chain every day to people who came here to be developed into future leaders.  I could not think of a better job!


Outside of Grainger Hall, there are many other things that brought me back to Madison: the farmers’ market, the lakes, the Terrace, the restaurants, the bike paths and the friendly people. Madison is a great place to be. 


I look forward to moving the Grainger Center forward and to welcoming new students to our community.