Learning how to lead and contribute within diverse teams is key to every student's MBA experience. We rely on our students to share their voices and different perspectives, and to listen to others in order to broaden their own thinking.
Heather Caruso joined UCLA Anderson in 2018 as faculty and executive director of the Morrison Family Center for Marketing and Data Analytics and as assistant dean for equity, diversity and inclusion. A scholar and researcher of organizational behavior, she teaches on the Management and Organizations faculty.
Caruso’s passion for facilitating collaborative success runs deep in her life and work. “My formal interests in organizational and social psychology developed when I was an undergraduate at Stanford doing cross-cultural negotiation research with Jared Curhan and Lee Ross,” she says. These interests deepened during her years as an engineer and executive in a multinational Silicon Valley startup. “I was fascinated with the real-world experiences stemming from differences in cultural identity. Interpersonal problems could derail even the most talented individual performers, and effective collaboration skills could not only prevent such problems, but raise individual contributions to new heights.”
Layering rigorous academic training on top of practical experience, Caruso grounds her interests in the areas of: effective collaboration (especially for cross-functional and multicultural teams); skilled improvisation in leadership; management of identity, power and influence; and strategies for optimal choice, judgment and decision making. She focused on these topics in over a decade of teaching, research administration and scholarship at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and has moved to UCLA Anderson to enrich and expand her work.
“The Morrison Center is ideally poised to support the most rigorous and effective value stewardship,” Caruso says. “Propelled by our outstanding research in marketing and data analytics, we are connecting to organizational pioneers and pathbreakers, building bridges between research and practice that promote the creation, discovery, and efficient consumption of value in the digital age.”
Caruso stays connected to the everyday priorities and challenges of the workplace by consulting for private- and public-sector organization leaders across the globe, as well as by teaching classes in inclusive leadership, team dynamics and power and influence. In addition, Caruso partnered with Chicago’s Second City to co-found the Second Science Project, which offers skill-building leadership workshops at the intersection of robust behavioral research and professional improvisational practice.
Caruso is a strong proponent of lifelong learning for management excellence, and encourages students to make the most of their professors’ knowledge, not only while they are pursuing their degrees, but also throughout their careers. “As a preeminent public university, UCLA has a distinctive opportunity to advance equity, diversity and inclusion,” she says. “It is an honor to help UCLA Anderson to seize that opportunity by creating the kind of challenging and rewarding educational climate that can benefit leaders from every walk of life.”
Melinh Rozen (’19)
Anderson Student Association VP for Diversity, Inclusion and Community
Learn How We Champion and Celebrate Equity, Diversity and Inclusion:
Embracing Diversity is a professional conference for prospective students to learn about what equity, diversity and inclusion mean at UCLA Anderson. This annual event provides the opportunity to learn what makes our full-time MBA and fully employed MBA programs top choices. Participants connect with current students and alumni, and walk away with a clearer picture of what an MBA at UCLA Anderson can look like.
The Velocity Women’s Leadership Summit seeks to deepen the dialogue about women in business, explore multiple definitions of success and provide skill-based training. This event is hosted by the Women’s Business Connection (WBC), in collaboration with the Women’s Global Connection (WGC) at UCLA Anderson.
Graduate education at UCLA couldn’t have reached the heights it has without a full commitment to welcoming and fostering the diverse population that today thrives on our campus.
UCLA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Our Challenge is simple, our mission clear: Build equity for all.
UCLA LGBT Resource Center
UCLA’s LGBT Center provides a comprehensive range of education and advocacy services supporting intersectional identity development as well as fostering unity, wellness and an open, safe and inclusive environment for UCLA’s LGBTQ community.