Retired from Harvard Business School in 2018, Ralph James devotes his time to philanthropy, private investing and being a grandfather.

Prior to retirement, James held the following positions at Harvard Business School (HBS): Executive Director of University Relations, Executive Director of External Relations and Executive Director of Executive Education 

James attended the College of Wooster in Ohio and received his bachelor of arts from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1977. He received his MBA from Harvard in 1982.

Over the next 15 years, he held several different positions at HBS in the areas of executive education, MBA admissions, major gift fundraising, and finally serving as Associate Dean and Senior Executive Officer under Deans McArthur and Clark. In 1996, James left HBS to join the First Marblehead Corporation, as Chief Marketing Officer, becoming Chief Operating Officer in 1998 and President in 2000 prior to the company going public in 2003 (NYSE:FMD). In 2005, Ralph stepped down from his role as Vice Chairman to return to HBS.

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