January 17, 2014

School Mourns Professor Nahum Melumad

Nahum Melumad, the James L. Dohr Professor of Accounting and Business Law and a faculty member in the School’s Accounting Division for more than 20 years, died on January 15.

A memorial service will be held at 5:00 p.m. on February 25, 2014, at Casa Italiana on the Columbia campus. Community members are welcome to attend.

Melumad served as the chair of the Accounting Division from 2000 to 2006 and was an esteemed member of numerous School committees, including the Executive Committee, Core Committee, Teaching and Curriculum Committee, various search committees, and the Committee on Innovation in the MBA Curriculum. He was recognized for his excellence in the classroom as the recipient of both the 2005 Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence in a Core Class and the EMBA Class of 2013 Commitment to Excellence Award. From the beginning of his career, Melumad devoted himself to his students, serving as the core coordinator for financial accounting. In addition to his work with MBA students, he supervised many doctoral students who have gone on to roles leading universities and institutions around the world.

In recognition of his active research, Melumad was the recipient, with his coauthors, of the 2004 Chazen Prize for Best Paper in International Business and the 1996 Chazen Institute Award for International Innovation. His research was published in such leading journals as the Journal of Accounting Research, the Accounting Review, and the Journal of Economic Theory. At the time of his death, he had several papers under review and in progress. Melumad was also highly regarded by industry leaders who often sought his counsel and rigorous analysis. He served on the boards and as audit committee chair of two publicly traded companies — PhotoMedex and LabStyle Innovations. 

“Nahum was a highly valued member of our community and was admired and loved by his colleagues and friends for his rare combination of talent and humility,” said Dean Glenn Hubbard. “He was a great and trusted friend to his colleagues who would often seek his wise counsel. I will miss his ability to speak quickly but clearly, to examine problems from unexpected angles resulting in simple yet powerful solutions, and to bring people together in calmness in times of conflict or stress. Our thoughts are with his family.”

Melumad received his bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics in 1979 from Tel Aviv University. He earned his CPA in 1980 and was awarded the Gold Medal from the IICPA for highest national score on the CPA exam in managerial accounting. He received both his MBA and PhD from the School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. He then joined the faculty at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford in 1984 before joining Columbia Business School as the James L. Dohr Professor of Accounting and Business Law in 1993.  

Melumad is survived by his wife, Maya, and four children, Shiri, Yali, Gadi, and Yuval. Shiri is a doctoral student at the School in the Marketing Division.