Ed Grier is the dean of the Leavey School of Business where he leads a school comprising some 170 faculty and 50 staff members, and more than 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students, located in one of the world’s most innovative regions—Silicon Valley.
With the Leavey School’s 100-year anniversary taking place in 2023, Grier is building on Santa Clara University’s history and its national reputation for teaching, research, and innovative business education programs. His executive leadership style emphasizes big thinking and productive collaboration.
Together with the School’s faculty and staff, Grier is building consensus and structure around the School’s strategic priorities as well as developing relationships with Silicon Valley business leaders to benefit the students, faculty, and the business community. With his team, Grier is raising Leavey’s national visibility and generating new programs for students and executives–all within the framework of Santa Clara’s Jesuit values to educate and develop global leaders to be in service to business and society. In addition, he has participated on various university committees, including those for the presidential and provost searches.
Previously the dean of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Business for nine years, Grier successfully transitioned his corporate expertise from his 29-years with the Walt Disney Company to academia. He also served as VCU’s interim vice president for development and alumni relations, midway through that university’s $840 million capital campaign. In addition to participating on the steering committee for the university budget redesign, Grier chaired several key university leadership search committees.
While with the Walt Disney Company, Grier served in a variety of progressively more responsible roles around the globe. Most recently, he was the president of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim California where he oversaw Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the Paradise Pier Hotel and Downtown Disney, comprising nearly $2 billion in revenue, 20,000 employees.
Grier currently serves on the boards of both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. He is a director of Witt/Kieffer and for various Morgan Stanley mutual funds, as well with the Colonial Williamsburg Company and ChildFund International. He also serves on the Board of Regents for University of Massachusetts Global and as a trustee of Brandman University, part of the Chapman University System in California.
A sought-after speaker on topics including diversity, leadership, and corporate creativity, Grier earned his B.A. in accounting from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, becoming a certified public accountant while at Ernst & Ernst (now known as Ernst & Young) for four years before joining Disney.
Grier and his wife Valerie, their three sons, and their families all reside in California.