Internationally recognized scholar Daniel Diermeier named dean of Chicago Harris

Daniel Diermeier, an internationally recognized scholar in political institutions, formal political theory, and the interaction of business and politics, as well as an expert in crisis and reputation management, has been appointed the next dean of the Harris School of Public Policy Studies.

As dean, Diermeier will lead a school known for its evidence-based approach to public policy issues, and leverage and enhance a wide range of University initiatives in Chicago and around the world. Diermeier, currently the IBM Professor of Regulation and Competitive Practice at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, will begin on Sept. 1.

Diermeier’s prolific scholarship has earned increasing recognition in recent years. In 2013 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as a political scientist and game theorist. Earlier this spring, he was named a Guggenheim Fellow in recognition of his exceptional scholarship in political science. He also was named a Faculty Pioneer by the Aspen Institute.

At Kellogg, Diermeier is director of the Ford Motor Company Center for Global Citizenship. At Northwestern he also holds appointments in the Departments of Political Science, Economics and Linguistics as well as the School of Law. During his time at Northwestern he co-founded the university-wide Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems; the CEO Perspective Program, a nationally recognized development program for C-Suite business executives developed as a partnership between Kellogg School of Management, the Corporate Leadership Center and the Chicago Booth School of Business; and the Northwestern Global Health Foundation.

“Daniel is a scholar and educator of great energy and broad accomplishment,” wrote President Robert J. Zimmer and Provost Eric D. Isaacs, in an email to Chicago Harris faculty, students and staff. “His deep and creative engagement with challenges facing governments, businesses and societies and his commitment to the education of policy leaders make him an outstanding leader for the Harris School. He will be an important leader in the University’s partnership and engagement with Chicago and with other local, state and federal governments, as well as an important voice and resource in our growing global engagement.”

Diermeier was appointed by Zimmer and Isaacs upon the recommendation of a search advisory committee of Chicago Harris faculty members, following a national search.

Diermeier has published two books and more than 80 journal articles. While most of his research has focused on political science, economics and management, he has also written on topics such as linguistics and computer science. His 2011 book, Reputation Rules: Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset, has become a highly regarded text in academia and business. He is a contributor to publications such as Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Business Week, the Financial Times, Fortune and The New York Times

In 17 years at Northwestern, Diermeier has been recognized with a number of teaching awards, including the 2001 Kellogg Lavengood Professor of the Year Award and the 2013 Kellogg Alumni Professor of the Year award. Diermeier earned his PhD in political science from the University of Rochester, as well as master’s degrees in political science from the University of Rochester and the University of Munich, and a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Southern California.

Diermeier said that Chicago Harris’ focus on rigorous analysis of social and political challenges, with an emphasis on practical results, provides a strong attraction for him and for other scholars.

“The University of Chicago has tremendous momentum in its efforts to engage with serious issues, here in the Chicago area and around the world. The Harris School stands poised to draw on the powerful intellectual resources of the University and help find new avenues for creating real-world impact,” Diermeier said. “This is a compelling and opportune moment for the school, and I am eager to begin working with the many outstanding scholars at Harris in tapping this tremendous potential.”

"I am thrilled with the appointment of Daniel Diermeier as dean,” said Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, professor and deputy dean for faculty at Chicago Harris, and a co-chair of the search advisory committee. “He is a rare individual, possessed of deep intellectual values, a world-class record of scholarship, an entrepreneurial spirit, extraordinary creativity and remarkable personal charisma. This is a time of great energy and innovation at Chicago Harris. And I am confident that Daniel will lead us to even greater things than we have yet to imagine."

One of seven professional schools at the University, Chicago Harris offers seven master’s degree programs as well as doctoral education, as part of its mission to educate the next generation of public policy leaders.

Reaching across disciplinary lines, Chicago Harris continues to define new approaches to some of the most important challenges facing urban and global policymakers. Faculty appointments in recent years have been extended to some of the University’s most prominent scholars across related fields, while the school has added new scholars in fields such as energy policy and the empirical analysis of political participation.

The school has also brought in new expertise from the ranks of practitioners in recent years, including the appointments of distinguished senior fellows such as former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., and David Axelrod, director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and a veteran political advisor.

Diermeier will succeed Colm O’Muircheartaigh, a longtime professor at Chicago Harris, who announced in January that he would return to teaching and research full-time at the end of his five-year term as dean. As dean, O’Muircheartaigh has led significant improvements in student recruitment, increased the school’s international engagement and built upon its external outreach, especially with alumni.

“On behalf of the Harris faculty and the entire Harris community, I am delighted to welcome Professor Diermeier as our next dean,” said O’Muircheartaigh. “Professor Diermeier has an outstanding reputation for leadership across a number of policy-related disciplines. I’m confident that, with his guidance, Harris will continue to build upon its past successes as one of the premier public policy schools in the nation. We look forward to his arrival on campus.”

O’Muircheartaigh completes his term on June 30. Dan Black, professor and director of the Chicago Harris PhD program and a senior fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago, will serve as interim dean from July 1 until Sept. 1.