Email sent out on 29 April 2008
Dear fellow member of the Columbia community:
I am very pleased to announce the appointment of John Coatsworth as the new Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs. John has done an outstanding job as acting Dean of SIPA this past year, and it will be a pleasure to continue working with him in this permanent role.
This will be a critical period in the history of SIPA, especially as the School prepares to move into its own building in Manhattanville. In the short period of time in which John has been leading the School, he has been able to galvanize the SIPA community to begin preparing for its future. This will be absolutely critical in determining the course of SIPA over the next several years, which will in turn be extremely important in shaping the character of the University, particularly on the matter of our collective engagement with a wide range of public policy issues and globalization. I think we are very fortunate at this moment to have a dean with John's abilities.
Let me take just a moment to note John's career. He is a leading expert on Latin American economic and international history. He taught at the University of Chicago from 1969 until he joined the Harvard faculty in 1992. From 1992 until 2007, he was Monroe Gutman Professor of Latin American Affairs at Harvard, where he also served as the founding director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies from its creation in 1994 until 2006. He also chaired the Harvard University Committee on Human Rights Studies. His other academic posts have included visiting professorships at El Colegio de México, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the National University of Buenos Aires, the Instituto Torcuato di Tella in Buenos Aires, and the Instituto Ortega y Gassett in Madrid.
A onetime Guggenheim Fellow, John is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Council on Foreign Relations, and numerous professional associations. He is a former president of the American Historical Association and was recently elected to the presidency of the Latin American Studies Association. He first came to Columbia as a visiting professor in 2006-07 and joined the faculty in 2007 before becoming acting Dean of SIPA.
I would like to extend a special thanks to Provost Alan Brinkley, Vice President for Arts and Sciences Nick Dirks, and the members of the search committee: Kyle Bagwell, Pat Contreras, Lori Damrosch, Merit Janow, Rashid Khalidi, Rob Lieberman, Mahmood Mamdani, Peter Marber, Katharina Pistor, Ailsa Roell, Joseph Stiglitz, Dorian Warren, Ellen Brown, Nat Sutton, and Roxie Smith. The Committee worked diligently over thirteen months to recommend three excellent candidates. I am grateful to all of them.
John Coatsworth now joins two other remarkable new deans at Columbia during this academic year -- Carol Becker, the new Dean of the School of the Arts; and Linda Fried, who officially takes up her post next month as the new Dean of the Mailman School of Public Health. Clearly, strong academic leaders are critically important to fulfilling the mission of the University.
Please join me in officially welcoming John Coatsworth as Dean of SIPA.
Sincerely, Lee C. Bollinger President