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Yale Appoints Dean for New Professional School

Jan 20, 2022

Yale University is set to open a new professional school for the first time since 1976 this coming fall. Yale President Peter Salovey initially announced the school’s opening in April of 2019, writing that “the research conducted at the new school will provide the intellectual foundation for evidence-based policy-making.”

The new school, the Yale Jackson School of Global Affairs, currently exists as the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. Yale’s decision to expand the institute follows the release of the Provost’s Advisory Committee report recommending the creation of a school of global affairs. This decision speaks to the university’s commitment to educating global citizens who “understand the roots of war and peace, the most effective ways of encouraging economic development, the effects of environmental change, and the causes of global health challenges” and leaders “who will write international law, direct global corporations, shape economic and climate policies, lead militaries, and much more.”

Yale’s President, Peter Salovey, additionally announced on January 18th that James A. Levinsohn has been appointed as the new school’s inaugural dean. Levinhson has been leading the institute since 2010, with joint appointments in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Economics and in the Yale School of Management. Since 2010, he has overseen the development of many of its initiatives, including the current process of growing the institute into a professional school.

As it currently stands, the institute grants students Master of Arts degrees, but, once it becomes the new school, similar to other institutions’ schools of global affairs, it will grant its students Master’s degrees in Public Policy. Its Deputy Director of Academic Affairs Ken Scheve explains, “We adopted a Master’s in Public Policy degree name in order to communicate more clearly to our students and their prospective employers that our program was designed in order to provide a foundation for students to become professionals, have a lifelong career working in global affairs.”

As of now, its curriculum will require students to complete four core courses, but it will otherwise allow them the flexibility to choose their coursework in accordance with their future career goals.

According to Yale’s announcement, the school seeks to develop a multidisciplinary faculty, and has appointed members from a broad range of disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences, and Yale’s other professional schools. Yale also intends to appoint Senior Fellows with specialized policy experience in foreign affairs on rotation.

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