Starr Marcello


As the Deputy Dean for MBA Programs, Starr oversees the full-time, evening, and weekend MBA Programs at Chicago Booth. In this role, she touches all aspects of the student experience, including managing the teams in Admissions, Student Life, Career Services, Leadership Development, and Corporate Relations, as well as the two most student-focused centers, the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation. 

Prior to her appointment to the dean’s office, Starr served as the Executive Director of the Polsky Center. In her 15 years with the Center, Starr invested in the successful and dramatic expansion of the entrepreneurial ecosystem at the university. She extended the Center’s work to students throughout the University of Chicago campus, from philosophy majors to chemistry majors, as well as to those studying at the school’s global campuses in Hong Kong and London. Through her work, the Polsky Center has also become a lynchpin in the City of Chicago’s dynamic startup community. 

Starr has helped hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and community members launch the next generation of high-impact ventures, including the founding teams of Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB), Braintree Venmo (acquired by Ebay’s PayPal for $800M), Simple Mills, and Tovala. These ventures and more got their start in the university’s Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge (NVC), which invests $1M annually in student ventures, and has been recognized as a top startup accelerator program in the U.S. by the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project. Starr created and teaches the new ventures course that accompanies the undergraduate track of the NVC. 

Starr serves on the board of 1871, the City of Chicago’s center for technology and entrepreneurship, which was recognized in 2019 as the #1 private incubator in the world. Starr is also the board chair for UChicago Impact, empowering K-12 educators to measure and improve student outcomes. She is passionate about advancing diversity in entrepreneurship, and is a frequent speaker on this topic. In 2017, Starr testified before the U.S. Congress on the power of startup accelerators to generate economic empowerment and inclusive innovation. 

Starr holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MA and MBA with honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.