Biographical information for Jackson Nickerson and Kent Syverud

Jackson Nickerson

Jackson Nickerson is the Frahm Family Professor of Organization and Strategy at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. He joined the University in 1996 and teaches strategic management courses on innovation, management of life science, organizational strategy, and critical thinking. His research focuses on why firms choose different organizational structures and the performance implications of these choices, with a special emphasis on knowledge, innovation, and problem solving. His most ambitious research to date studies pharmaceutical manufacturing and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight.

Nickerson has won numerous awards for his teaching and research. His work is published in leading academic journals including Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Political Economy, Management Science, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, and Strategic Organization. His research on the FDA has been discussed in Business Week and has led to significant changes in the way the FDA oversees pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Kent Syverud

Kent Syverud is dean of the Washington University School of Law and the Ethan A. H. Shepley University Professor. He also serves as the University’s associate vice chancellor of Washington, D.C., programs.

Before joining the Washington University faculty in 2006, Syverud served as Dean of the Vanderbilt Law School from 1997 to June 2005 where he was the Garner Anthony Professor of Law. He established a reputation as a prominent scholar in complex litigation, insurance law, and civil procedure at Vanderbilt and at the University of Michigan Law School, where he taught from 1987 to 1997. He also practiced law at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington, D.C. and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

His scholarship includes research on legal education as well as empirical studies of civil jury trials and the settlements that precede them. A renowned teacher, Syverud won outstanding teaching awards at both Vanderbilt and Michigan. His scholarly work includes articles on teaching. In 2005, Dean Syverud was the Mark and Beth Goldberg Distinguished Visiting Professor at Cornell Law School. He was also a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania in 1997 and at the University of Tokyo in 1993.

Syverud has served as editor of the Journal of Legal Education, as President of the American Law Deans’ Association, as Chair of the Board of the Law School Admission Council, and as President of the Southeastern Association of American Law Schools.