Administration and Faculty

photo of Ira Jackson

Ira A. Jackson, MPA

  • Dean, McCormack Graduate School
  • Telephone: 617.287.5550/6
  • Fax: 617.287.5544
  • Office Location: McCormack Hall, 3rd Floor, Room 625


MPA, Harvard University

Additional Information

Ira A. Jackson is the dean of the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston, appointed January of 2013. The school’s 60 faculty and 400 graduate students have a values-driven commitment to make a difference by developing tools to evaluate and address today’s social and economic inequities. Its faculty and research staff contribute intellectual capital to policymakers, to other researchers, and to local and global community leaders. They offer creative, effective solutions for improved performance management and social, economic, and environmental justice.

Mr. Ira A. Jackson brings a strong mix of academic leadership, organizational development, public affairs, and community partnership experience to the position. Before his most recent appointment as a distinguished scholar at MIT's Legatum Center for Innovation and Development (2011-12), Mr. Jackson served as dean and professor of management at the Peter Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University in California. In that role, he reversed the downward trends in the number and caliber of graduate student enrollments, transformed annual operating deficits into surplus, recruited top talent, and built a worldwide network of leadership professionals through the Drucker Societies.

Before coming to Claremont, Jackson was the president and CEO of the Arizona State University Foundation. He also was appointed in August 2002 as the first president of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.

Locally, he has held several positions at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, including senior associate dean during a period when he helped build the professional profile of the school, quadrupled the enrollment, added numerous applied research centers, and increased the endowment tenfold. From 2000-2002, he was the director of the Center for Business and Government.

Jackson has also worked outside academia in the private and public sectors. From 1987 to 1999, Jackson was executive vice president of BankBoston. He previously worked in government, where from 1983 to 1987 he served as Massachusetts Commissioner of Revenue under Governor Michael Dukakis, and was previously chief of staff for Boston Mayor Kevin White.

He is a graduate of Harvard College (Class of 1970) and holds a master's degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Jackson has earned numerous awards for outstanding public service and leadership including Big Citizen Award from CityYear, a nonprofit he helped fund during his tenure at BankBoston. He also earned an honorary doctorate degree from Salem State College.

With Jane Nelson, he is the co-author of Profits with Principles: Seven Strategies for Delivering Value with Values (Doubleday, 2003), a book about social responsibility in corporate investment. Tom Peters called it "a stunning achievement ... not only a survival guide for business and business executives, but also a survival guide for capitalism itself." Other publications include book chapters and journal articles on leadership, management, tax administration, and public-private partnership topics.

2013 Commencement Address: Read more about Dean Jackson's career and the leadership lessons he shares with our students.