9 professors to join Haas School of Business faculty

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Nick Quinlan/Senior Staff
The Haas School of Business will welcome nine new hires, with most slated to begin teaching in spring 2023.

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UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business recently added nine new professors to its faculty, according to a June 28 press release.

The new faculty officially started in their roles last Friday, with most slated to begin teaching in spring 2023. According to the press release, the new hires resulted from the combined efforts of Haas Dean Ann E. Harrison along with other Haas faculty in order to “expand and diversify” the staff.

“I am positively honored and delighted,” said new assistant professor for management of organizations Ambar La Forgia in an email. “I am looking forward to being part of such a productive and illustrious research community and to soaking up as much knowledge to help enrich my scholarship.”

As an interdisciplinary scholar, La Forgia said she is eager to both work with and learn from campus faculty across all departments and schools. In the classroom, she said she is interested in balancing students’ strengths while embracing active learning strategies. “My goal is to cultivate each student’s unique strengths as a leader and manager. I also want the class to be as informative as it is fun.”

La Forgia noted her current research focuses on the changes in firm management that influence performance outcomes, specifically in the health care sector.

“There is a large body of research that studies how clinical interventions can impact outcomes such as the quality of care, but comparatively less has focused on the impact of business or management decisions,” La Forgia said in the email.

Matthew Backus will also be joining as an assistant professor for economic analysis and policy. He said he “couldn’t be happier” to be joining the faculty after a year of serving as a visiting assistant professor.

Backus’ research centers on industrial organization, and he will be teaching microeconomics and antitrust economics. He noted his recent interests involve using models within his field to study issues such as inequality and social policy.

“I’ve really enjoyed how the students are, how collegial the faculty are and the general research environment,” Backus said. “I’m thrilled to be joining Haas.”

Backus said he is excited to “build a community” with colleagues who are doing similar work in his field. For Backus, both the Haas-specific community and campus community overall are things he has been looking forward to, especially considering the “exciting hires.”

The full list of new hires includes Sa-kiera (Kiera) Tiarra Jolynn Hudson, Ali Kakhbod, Sarah Moshary, Tanya Paul, Carolyn Stein, Sytske Wijnsma and Valerie Zhang.

“We’ve got a lot of people and it’s an opportunity to build something that will last for a long time,” Backus said.

Contact Maya Jimenez at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @mlj____.