Joel C. Peterson

Adjunct Professor
+1 (650) 725-6248

Joel C. Peterson

The Robert L. Joss Adjunct Professor of Management

Research Statement

Since 1992, Joel Peterson has taught courses in real estate, entrepreneurship, and leadership at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. Peterson’s course focus is presently on the effective management and leadership of growing businesses. His abiding interest, however, is in students and the important decisions they will make in the business world and in their personal lives.


Joel is the Chairman of the Board of Overseers at the Hoover Institution at Stanford, as well as the Chairman of the Board at JetBlue Airways. He has served on more than three dozen boards over the past 45 years, most notable among them being The Dallas Market Center, Texas Commerce Bank (Dallas), and Asurion. He currently serves on the boards of Franklin Covey and Packsize.    

Joel is also the Founding Partner and Chairman of Peterson Partners, a Salt Lake City-based investment management firm with $1 billion under management. Peterson Partners has invested in over 200 companies through 13 funds in four primary asset classes: growth-oriented private equity, venture capital, real estate, and search funds.

Prior to Stanford Business School and founding Peterson Partners, Joel was Chief Executive Officer of Trammell Crow Company, then the world’s largest private commercial real estate development firm.  Joel earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and received his Bachelors degree from Brigham Young University, where he was valedictorian and student body president.

Joel has been awarded the 2005 Distinguished Teaching Award and the 2016 Robert K. Jaedicke Silver Apple Award at the GSB.

He and his wife, Diana, have been married for over 45 years and have 7 children and 25 grandchildren.

Academic Degrees

  • MBA, Harvard Business School, 1973
  • BS, Brigham Young University, 1971

Academic Appointments

  • At Stanford University since 1992.
  • Adjunct Professor of Management, Stanford GSB, 2011-present
  • Lecturer, Stanford GSB, 1992-1995, 1997-present

Professional Experience

  • Founder, CEO, Chairman, Peterson Ventures, Inc., 1991-present
  • Managing Partner, Trammell Crow Company, 1988-1991
  • Regional Partner, TCC Pacific Northwest, 1988-1989
  • Comanaging Partner, TC Group, 1987
  • President, Trammell Crow Residential, 1986
  • CFO, Trammell Crow Company, 1976-1985
  • Founder, Trammell Crow Services, 1985
  • Treasurer, Trammell Crow Company, 1975
  • Project Manager, Trammell Crow International (France), 1973-75
  • Student Body President, Valedictorian, Hinckley Scholar, Brigham Young University

Awards and Honors

  • MBA Distinguished Teaching Award, Stanford GSB, 2005
  • Robert K. Jaedicke Silver Apple Award, Stanford GSB, 2016



Joel C. Peterson, David A. Kaplan
HarperCollins Leadership
September 17, 2019

Stanford Case Studies

Joel Peterson, Mark George
Joel Peterson; Bethany Coates
Bethany Coates, Joel Peterson
Katherine Bose, Joel Peterson
Katherine Bose, Joel Peterson
Patrick Arippo, Joel Peterson
Katherine Bose, Joel Peterson
Katherine Bose, Joel Peterson
Katherine Bose, Joel Peterson
Bethany Coates, Joel Peterson
Harold Grousbeck, Joel Peterson, Jeffrey Pfeffer, Alex Tauber
H. Grousbeck, Joel Peterson, Alex Tauber
H. Grousbeck, Joel Peterson, Alex Tauber
Joel Peterson, Joshua Spitzer
Mike Harkey, Joel Peterson
Joel Peterson, Alex Tauber
Harold Grousbeck, Joel Peterson, Alicia Seiger
Joel Peterson, Alicia Seiger
Craig Blanchard, Jack Kolodny, Joel Peterson
Joel C. Peterson, Kevin Taweel
Joel Peterson, A. Seiger

Service to the Profession

Board of Directors

  • JetBlue
  • Franklin Covey, Inc.
  • Packsize

Past Member

  • Bonobos
  • Ladder Capital Finance
  • Integra Healthcare
  • Dallas Market Center
  • Trammell Crow Company Board
  • Texas Commerce Bank Dallas Board
  • Covery Leadership Center Vice-Chairman
  • Asurion
  • Continental Fire and Safety
  • Accudocs

In the Media

Insights by Stanford Business

April 14, 2020
Face hard truths, act decisively, lean on your board, and communicate “lavishly,” says the JetBlue chairman.
December 19, 2016
Read 10 Stanford Business stories from the past year, including pieces on work-life balance, power, and management.
December 06, 2016
Reading recommendations from the Stanford GSB community.
June 13, 2016
The chairman of JetBlue explains how a high-trust culture makes a better company (and life).
April 11, 2014
The founder of Trunk Club discusses shopping for men, on-the-job challenges, and his greatest achievement.
July 16, 2013
The Stanford GSB lecturer and chairman of JetBlue airlines explains how to bring the best people on board.

School News

March 27, 2019
These Stanford GSB women are changing their industries and their communities.
April 23, 2018
Two first-time political candidates talk about applying the lessons they learned at Stanford GSB.
May 01, 2005
Students honored professors Andrzej Skrzypacz and Ron Kasznik, and lecturer Joel Peterson with three outstanding faculty awards.