Jeremy M. Weinstein named dean of Harvard Kennedy School

Jeremy M. Weinstein, an accomplished scholar of political science, experienced academic leader, and dedicated public servant, will become dean of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government on July 1, interim President Alan M. Garber announced Monday.

Weinstein, M.A. ’01, Ph.D. ’03, is currently the Kleinheinz Professor of International Studies at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. A Stanford faculty member since 2004, he has served that institution by developing and establishing cross-university initiatives and leading efforts to advance the social sciences, global and area studies, and issues of ethics, technology, and public policy.

“Widely respected for his energetic and empowering leadership style, [Weinstein] is responsible for the conception, establishment, and development of major initiatives,” wrote Garber in his message to the HKS community. “Jeremy is an exceptional scholar and leader with significant high-level policy experience who will bring to the deanship a rare combination of talents at a pivotal moment for HKS.”

“Jeremy is an exceptional scholar and leader with significant high-level policy experience who will bring to the deanship a rare combination of talents at a pivotal moment for HKS.”

Alan M. Garber, interim Harvard President

A tenured professor at Stanford since 2009, Weinstein has worked broadly on issues of comparative politics and public policy, with expertise on civil wars and political violence, ethnic politics, the political economy of development, democracy and governance, policing, and migration.

His scholarship has been published widely in leading journals, including American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Science, and more. His first book, “Inside Rebellion: The Politics of Insurgent Violence” won the William H. Riker Book Award from the American Political Science Association for best book on political economy. He is also co-author of “Coethnicity: Diversity and the Dilemmas of Collective Action,” which received the Gregory Luebbert Book Award for best book in comparative politics.

Weinstein is co-director of the Immigration Policy Lab, a research team that aims to improve the lives of refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants through partnerships with governments, nonprofits, and others to design and evaluate innovative policies and programs.

More recently, Weinstein has been teaching and writing on issues at the intersection of technology and democracy. His recent, co-authored book, “System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong and How We Can Reboot,” was excerpted in The Atlantic, Time, and Fast Company, and reviewed widely.

“The Harvard Kennedy School is a singular institution in the landscape of American higher education known for its unique combination of cutting-edge social science, breadth in public policy, and abiding commitment to public engagement. I am thrilled to return to Harvard to become dean and simply can’t imagine a better platform for working with extraordinary scholars, students, and practitioners to understand and address the most important policy challenges of the next decade.”

In addition to his wide-ranging scholarship, Weinstein is an innovative and experienced academic leader. Working with a team of faculty, he designed and launched Stanford Impact Labs (SIL), a university-wide initiative that trains and invests in teams of researchers working with leaders in government, business, and communities to design, test, and scale interventions to address persistent social problems. As faculty director of SIL, Weinstein is responsible for the leadership, management, and fundraising for Stanford’s key initiative to accelerate the public impact of the social sciences.

Weinstein has also played a critical role in curricular innovations at the intersection of ethics, policy, and technology. He co-teaches a popular undergraduate course in computer science — “Ethics, Public Policy, and Technological Change.”

He also launched and directs a new undergraduate major in data science and social systems, which enables undergraduates to develop expertise in computer science, statistics, and the social sciences, and to apply these skills to address important social problems.

Weinstein’s previous institutional leadership roles include serving as the Fisher Family Director of the Stanford Global Studies Division, a role in which he managed 15 centers and programs with a network of more than 400 affiliated faculty members. Earlier in his career, he served twice as the Ford-Dorsey Director for the Center for African Studies from 2007 to 2008 and again from 2011 to 2013.

“We are delighted to welcome Jeremy back to Harvard,” interim Provost John Manning said. “He is a proven institution-builder who has helped bring about innovation across disciplines and impactfully connected his teaching and research to real-world questions that shape the global landscape. He will be a superb and collegial leader for the HKS community in the years ahead.”

A dedicated public servant, Weinstein has also worked at the highest level of government on major foreign policy and national security challenges. Between 2013 and 2015, Weinstein served as deputy to the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and before that as chief of staff at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. In these roles, he was Ambassador Samantha Power’s principal policy adviser and chief strategist, and led a team of professional diplomats, political appointees, and civil servants.

He also served as a standing member of the National Security Council Deputies Committee, which advises the cabinet and the president on foreign policy issues. Before joining the State Department, Weinstein served at the White House as the director for development and democracy in the National Security Council from 2009–2011. He played a critical role in the design and launch of President Barack Obama’s Open Government Partnership, a global coalition of more than 75 governments working to transform how government serves its citizens.

Weinstein earned his B.A. in political science, economics, and public policy with high honors from Swarthmore College in 1997 and received his graduate degrees in political economy and government from Harvard.

Among his many awards, Weinstein received the Karl Deutsch Award for his significant contributions to the study of international relations, the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Stanford, and the Joseph Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize, given to the outstanding teaching fellow at Harvard when he was a Ph.D. student.

At Harvard, Weinstein will be joined by his wife, Rachel Gibson, a 2000 M.P.P. graduate of HKS, and two children.

Weinstein will succeed Douglas W. Elmendorf, A.M. ’85, Ph.D. ’89, who has served as dean since January 2016.

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