William R. Kerr

Dimitri V. D'Arbeloff - MBA Class of 1955 Professor of Business Administration

Harvard Business School

Harvard University

Rock Center 212
Boston, MA 02163

(617) 496-7021


Website: Harvard faculty profile

Twitter: @william_r_kerr

Issues: Innovation and Economic Growth

About William R. Kerr

William Kerr is the D’Arbeloff Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He is also the co-director of Harvard’s Managing the Future of Work initiative and the faculty chair of the Launching New Ventures program for executive education. Professor Kerr’s research centers on how companies and economies explore new opportunities and generate growth. He considers the leadership and resources necessary to identify, launch and sustain dynamic and enduring organizations.


Professor Kerr is a recipient of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s Prize Medal for Distinguished Research in Entrepreneurship and Harvard's Distinction in Teaching award.


Professor Kerr’s recent book, The Gift of Global Talent: How Migration Shapes Business, Economy & Society (2018), explores the global race for talent and how countries and businesses compete for high-skilled migrants. It reveals how immigration has transformed U.S. innovation, reshaped the economy through the rise of talent clusters and superstar firms, and influenced society at large in positive and adverse ways. In The Gift of Global Talent, Professor Kerr argues that America, and the world, can get more out of global talent flows with sensible reforms.


The Managing the Future of Work project considers the unprecedented set of challenges and opportunities presented to businesses, including rapid technological revolutions, shifting global product and labor markets, aging workforces, and growing skills gaps. These forces change the ways that businesses compete with each other and engage workers. This multi-faculty project identifies how companies, schools, workers and the public sector can come together to manage the challenging transitions ahead as the nature of work is radically transformed. The initiative produces leading research on these themes and disseminates to broader audiences through platforms like the MFW podcast series.


Professor Kerr works with companies worldwide on the development of new ventures and transformations for profitable growth. He also advises governments about investments in the innovative capacities of their nations.



Ph.D., Economics, MIT, 2005
B.S., Systems Engineering, University of Virginia, 1996