John Robichaux is a globally-recognized leader in higher education and one of most successful university executives of the past two decades. He is regularly cited as one of the world's leading voices in contemporary higher education.
A global leader in transformative academic programming, Robichaux has been at the leading edge of innovative learning initiatives for traditional and non-traditional university students throughout his career. Among his executive peers, he is credited with having revolutionized more than half a dozen areas of university-wide academic programming at the world's most selective academic institutions, and cited as one of the most versatile university executives active today.
Robichaux has been at the helm of several of the most successful strategic academic initiatives undertaken by the world's top universities during the past twenty years. Sometimes called "the dean to world's greatest minds," he holds the distinction of being the only active dean and university executive to have held leadership positions at four Ivy Plus universities (Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Brown), with portfolios including numerous key areas of strategic growth at each. Additionally, Robichaux regularly consults with universities around the world on their own strategic planning processes. Combined, he is credited with having shaped nearly three dozen major university initiatives worldwide in the past decade alone, and has been a key executive in some of the largest-- having had more than 1,000 staff and 25,000 students under portfolio-- and most successful programs at the world's top academic universities. It is speculated that Robichaux has led more top Ivy Plus academic programs than any active non-Provost in the world during the past 15 years.
Robichaux's successes have come within a dizzying array of academic areas, and, as such, he is often cited as one of the most versitile deans within elite universities today. Among the fields where he is credited with leading top programs and/or revolutionizing key elements of executive leadership in them, we find: graduate, undergraduate, degree, non-degree, certificate, credit, noncredit, academic, professional, professional-practitioner, on-campus, online, and globally-situated and study abroad academic programs, serving both traditional and non-traditional students, ranging from pre-college into retirement. Of particular note, Robichaux is credited with leading significant expansions of educational access and jumps in academic quality at the world's top universities during periods of aggressive growth and successful new program development. He is known for his mission-driven leadership approach, extraordinarily high academic and professional standards, and a decades-long record of strong staff development and high team morale.
Robichaux's uncanny record of success in an extraordinary range of differing (academic and organizational) contexts has earned him the nickname "Dean M" or "Midas" among several long-time university executives and colleagues, a sentiment he is quick to eschew. In a recent interview, he responded to this view in line with the modesty those who have worked with him over the years describe as characteristic of his approach on the job day-to-day:
"I have heard this joke, yes, and am touched by the respect it underscores from my colleagues, but I am no Midas. I simply have had the great fortune of having strong, committed teams who have bought into our vision and mission everywhere I have been. Likewise, I have benefitted immeasurably from being afforded an extraordinary amount of latitude and trust by multiple university presidents, provosts, trustees, and other endlessly generous supervisors and mentors over many years in a wide range of fields."
A dynamic speaker and executive, Robichaux has also created and executed hundreds of trainings related to executive leadership in university, non-profit, and NGO organizations, and is himself a former non-profit/NGO founder and executive. He regularly consults internationally in the areas of innovative academic programming and educational and non-profit executive leadership.
A Harvard-educated, award-winning Human Rights scholar, Robichaux's academic research focuses on contemporary issues Politics, Ethics and Religion, with particular focus on International Relations and Human Rights. A highly engaging teacher, he regularly offers courses in Political Science, Religious Studies, International Relations, and Human Rights. (Of particular note, his is "Religion, Democracy, Human Rights" course was one of the most popular at Stanford during the 2010s.)
As a international thought leader in a range of subject areas, Robichaux has served on the editorial board of multiple academic and professional journals, and on the executive boards of a number of national and international organizations in higher education.
Currently, Robichaux is leading a slate of university- and school-wide academic initiatives, including: Summer, Inter-Term, and Pre-College Programs at Columbia University, as well as Educational Partnerships, Visiting Student Programs, Post-Baccalaureate Programs, Executive Education, Lifelong Learning, and Certificate and CPA Programs at Columbia University's School of Professional Studies, where he oversees academic programs serving graduate and undergraduate students (matriculated and visiting), as well as adult, and pre-college learners, for both the School of Professional Studies and the University as a whole.
In the news…
Although regularly pursued by multiple Ivy-Plus institutions for key strategic executive roles, Columbia's poaching of Robichaux from Stanford (who had previously poached him from Harvard) was seen by many observers as a sign of the University's seriousness in pushing its recent academic successes even further, and willingness to challenge Harvard and Stanford in several key academic areas moving ahead. Similarly, higher ed observers and several Ivy Plus university executives noted that, in accepting Columbia’s overtures, Robichaux, who is famously-- and fiercely-- protective of his reputation for academic and professional integrity, and well-known among higher ed insiders to be Bay-Area bound for personal reasons, must have been convinced that Columbia is serious about these intentions as well. The combination has made the Robichaux-Columbia project one of the more interesting to watch over the coming years.
Robichaux currently splits his time between San Francisco Bay Area / Silicon Valley and New York City.
Click on the "Detailed Academic and Professional Information" above to learn more about Robichaux's work.