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April 29, 2008

Columbia University Names John Coatsworth
Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs

Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger announced today the appointment of John Coatsworth as the new dean of the School of International and Public Affairs. Coatsworth had been serving as acting dean since July 2007.

Dean John Coatsworth
Dean John Coatsworth

“John has done an outstanding job as acting dean of SIPA this past year,” said Bollinger, “and it will be a pleasure to continue working with him in this permanent role. 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.”  Read President Bollinger’s letter to the University community.

A leading expert on Latin American economic and international history, John Coatsworth came to Columbia from Harvard in 2006. He began as a visiting professor and then joined the full-time faculty in 2007 before becoming SIPA acting Dean. 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. From 1969 to 1992, John taught at the University of Chicago, where he chaired the History Department and directed the university's Center for Latin American Studies.

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.

“I am honored at the prospect of serving as SIPA’s dean during what promises to be a transformative era in the School’s history,” said Dean Coatsworth. “SIPA has incomparable advantages: its outstanding faculty and superb staff, its enthusiastic and loyal alumni, its growing reputation for excellence, its place at the center of one of the world’s greatest research universities, and its location in the most global of US cities.”

Coatsworth joins two other new deans during the current academic year. Carol Becker joined Columbia as the new dean of the School of the Arts. She came to the University from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was dean of faculty and senior vice-president for academic affairs. Dr. Linda Fried joined Columbia as the new dean of the Mailman School of Public Health after a distinguished career of more than two decades at Johns Hopkins University, where she was a professor of medicine, epidemiology, health policy and nursing and serves as director of the Center on Aging and Health.