Harvard Kennedy School Names Iris Bohnet as Academic Dean

Contact: Molly Lanzarotta
Phone: (617) 495-1115
Date: April 07, 2011

Cambridge MA – Iris Bohnet, Professor of Public Policy, has been named the new Academic Dean at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Bohnet will succeed Mary Jo Bane, Thornton Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy and Management, who served in the role over the past five years. Bohnet’s appointment begins July 1.

As Academic Dean, Bohnet will oversee all the major academic operations of the School including curriculum, faculty affairs, and the Faculty Steering Committee.

“Iris brings unique capabilities and a history of thoughtful leadership to her new role as Academic Dean,” said David T. Ellwood, dean of Harvard Kennedy School. “She has distinguished herself as an accomplished scholar and teacher in both our degree and executive education programs, and she believes deeply in our core mission of making the world a better place. I am confident that Iris will continue to build on the exceptional service that Mary Jo Bane has provided to the School in this important role.”

Bohnet came to Harvard Kennedy School as an Assistant Professor in 1998. A behavioral economist with a Ph.D. from the University of Zurich, her research aims to improve decision making and examines trust in organizations and society, often including a gender or cross-cultural perspective. She has been published in top scholarly journals such as the American Economic Review, the American Political Science Review and the Quarterly Journal of Economics, while also receiving attention in The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and many other publications.

Bohnet is also the Director of the Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) and the faculty chair of the executive program “Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century” for the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders (YGL). She will continue to hold senior leadership roles with both WAPPP and the YGL program.

“I am excited about the opportunity to help lead the Harvard Kennedy School and build upon the excellent work Mary Jo has done,” said Bohnet. “I look forward to collaborating with the dean, faculty, staff and students to advance first-rate research and teaching that will contribute to the solution of complex public problems around the world.”

Harvard Kennedy School maintains an abiding commitment to advancing the public interest by training skilled, enlightened leaders and solving public problems through world-class scholarship and active engagement with practitioners and decision makers. The school offers the depth, reflection, insight, and excellence of ideas and teaching that can shape future leaders, affect public policies, and make an impact on people and their daily lives.

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