Dr. Lenn was an expert in business ethics, strategic management and public policy.
D. Jeffrey Lenn, an expert in business ethics and professor emeritus of strategic management and public policy at the George Washington University, passed away in Alexandria, Va., on May 4. He was 76.
Dr. Lenn began his 47-year academic career in 1969 as a faculty member at the Northfield Mount Hermon School. From 1978 to 1982, he served as assistant professor of management at the University of Connecticut. He joined the faculty at GW in 1982 as professor of strategic management and public policy. He taught business and public policy, strategic management and leadership, and business and managerial ethics at the undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and executive levels.
“I feel very fortunate to have gotten to know and work with Jeff Lenn during my tenure as dean of the GW School of Business,” said Linda Livingstone, dean of the School of Business who recently was named the new president of Baylor University. “A dedicated and accomplished educator, his decades of service to GWSB were an inspiration. He will be missed.”
During his time at GW, Dr. Lenn served in several administrative roles, including associate vice president for academic operations and senior associate dean of the School of Business. Prior to that, he chaired the Department of Strategic Management and Public Policy. He was the recipient of numerous outstanding teaching and student choice awards.
“Jeff was always someone who would take a minute to stop and talk—not only to share what was going on with him, but more importantly to really ask how we were, inquire how he could help or what else he could do to help, personally or professionally," said Peter Konwerski, vice provost and dean of student affairs.
"I'm going to miss him at GW and his warmth, spirit, energy and love for life and the people around him. He was a special professor at the GW School of Business and administrator in the GW community.”
Dr. Lenn lectured at dozens of higher education institutions and major academic, professional and business conferences throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. In the fall of 1995, he served as a Fulbright Professor of Management at Renmin University in Beijing, China. Recognizing the importance of sustaining an international conversation about business ethics in an increasingly globalized economy, he helped co-found the International Association for Business and Society in 1990, which today has more than 300 members worldwide.
He also served as a consultant to corporations, trade associations, nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies. He was actively involved in a wide range of organizations, and continued his work after he retired in 2016.
“Jeff Lenn was a professor in the highest sense of the word. He was committed to the spirit and act of collegiality and devoted to GW and its inherent potential. As a person, Jeff exuded enthusiastic optimism. He saw the good in every human and wished so much that they saw it, too,” Professor of Management James Bailey said.
Born in Kansas City, Dr. Lenn received a B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1962, a master’s degree from Andover Newton Theological Seminary in 1966, a master’s degree from Yale University in 1969 and a Ph.D. in ethics from Boston College in 1981.
Survivors include his daughter Rebecca Peace Lenn and his sister Donna Lenn Jurco. He was married to global higher education expert Marjorie Peace Lenn. He met his wife at Yale University while pursuing graduate study in ethics. She passed away in October 2010.