Obituary: David Lepak, Berthiaume Chair in Business Leadership

David Lepak
David Lepak

David Lepak, 46, of Amherst, chair of the department of management and first holder of the Berthiaume Chair in Business Leadership, died Dec. 7.

He joined UMass Amherst in January 2016.

Mark A. Fuller, dean of the Isenberg School of Management, said Lepak “was a tremendous scholar, a fine teacher at all levels, and from the vantage of the people that worked with him a wonderful and conscientious individual who interacted with all of us with humor and grace.”

Lepak helped lead a robust recruitment effort for a variety of new faculty in the management department even in his short time with the university, Fuller said.

Lepak’s specialty was human resource management.

He received his doctorate in business administration from Pennsylvania State University in 1998, a master of public administration from the University of Missouri Columbia in 1994 and a bachelor of business administration from the University of Missouri Columbia in 1992.  

In addition to teaching at UMass Amherst, he had also held academic appointments at Rutgers University, the University of Bath, England, and the University of Maryland, College Park. He also worked at the University of Missouri Columbia as a human resource generalist. He has coauthored several books on human resource management and has written articles in top journals, including Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Journal of Management.

Survivors include his wife Ellen and children Reilly, Addy, Henry and Rowan.

A fund has been set up to support the Lepak family. To participate, go to