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Deborah Merrill-Sands Receiving Flynn Distinguished Woman in Business Education Award at AACSB ICAM (pictured: Jenny Darroch, Deborah Merrill-Sands, Lynne Richardson)

Merrill-Sands Receives Flynn Distinguished Woman in Business Education Award


Posted April 18, 2019 by Lauren Maradei - Manager, Member Services - AACSB International

Deborah Merrill-Sands is the fourth recipient of the Patricia M. Flynn Distinguished Woman in Business Education award. Merrill-Sands is the dean of the Peter T. Paul School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire.

Established in 2016 by AACSB’s Women Administrators in Management Education Affinity Group, the award recognizes female thought leaders whose leadership, research, and educational initiatives have made a difference for women in business education. Previous recipients include the award’s namesake, Pat Flynn, in 2016; Susan McTiernan in 2017; and Lynne Richardson in 2018.

Richardson, who is dean of the University of Mary Washington College of Business and who presented Merrill-Sands with the award this year, commented, “Deborah has spent a career advocating for and researching topics relevant to women in the workplace. She has developed programs promoting women in each of her dean positions and is known throughout AACSB International for her passion for women’s advancement and leadership opportunities. She is most deserving of this award.”

Prior to assuming the role of dean at the University of New Hampshire in 2015, Merrill-Sands served as dean of Mills College’s Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business in Oakland and the business school at Simmons University (formerly Simmons College) in Boston. Earlier in her career at Simmons, she was the co-founder and co-director the Center for Gender in Organizations, a center dedicated to generating cutting-edge research on gender dynamics in the workplace and their impact on women's leadership opportunities. Merrill-Sands has researched and written extensively on this topic; designed and taught in leadership development programs tailored to women; and led organizational change initiatives designed to recruit, retain, and advance women.

Most recently she established the Rutman/Och Advancing Women’s Leadership Initiative at Paul College to inspire and prepare more young women to pursue leadership in their careers after college.

“I am honored to receive this recognition from my peers for my deep commitment and steadfast work to advance women’s leadership in organizations,” said Merrill-Sands. “For me this work is not only about equity of opportunity, but it is also about organizational effectiveness—diversity of perspectives and experiences in leadership fosters greater innovation and enhances organizational performance.”

Before entering higher education, Merrill-Sands worked for 15 years in international development and research management in Latin America and East Africa. She received her MA and PhD in applied anthropology from Cornell University, and her BA from Hampshire College.


Deborah Merrill-SandsDeborah Merrill-Sands is dean of the University of New Hampshire Peter T. Paul School of Business and Economics.

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