Alasdair Roberts Named Director of
the UMass School of Public Policy
Alasdair Roberts has been named the new Director of the UMass Amherst School of Public Policy (SPP) and will join the faculty of the Department of Political Science. The announcement was made by the Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, John A. Hird, on March 27. Roberts will officially step into the role on September 1, 2017.
Stan Rosenberg, President of the Massachusetts Senate, lauded this appointment, stating "In this political environment, we need all hands on deck to help people understand more and more about how our government works and how good public policy is developed. The appointment of Dr. Roberts brings new vision and energy to this critical work."
Jane Fountain, distinguished professor of political science and public policy, chaired SPP's inaugural director search committee. "Our committee was inspired by Al Roberts' vision for a policy school that prepares a growing number of students for lives of meaningful service and serves the Commonwealth, the nation and international affairs through innovative policy development and analysis," says Fountain. "As a SPP faculty member, I look forward to Al's leadership, and as chair of the Department of Political Science, I'm excited to have him as a colleague."
Professor Roberts is an internationally renowned scholar in the fields of governance, law, and policy. He most recently served as Professor of Public Affairs at the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri. He also holds a courtesy appointment in the School of Law and an adjunct appointment in the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri. Prior to this, Roberts was a member of the public administration faculty of Queen's University in Canada (1990 to 2001), and the Maxwell School at Syracuse University (2001 to 2008). He was also the Jerome L. Rappaport Professor of Law and Public Policy at Suffolk University from 2008 to 2014.
Professor Roberts received a JD from the University of Toronto in 1984, a Master's degree in Public Policy from Harvard University in 1986, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University in 1994.
A prolific writer, Roberts is the author of six single-authored books, two edited books, and numerous articles. His books include Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age (Cambridge, 2006), The Collapse of Fortress Bush (NYU, 2008), The Logic of Discipline: Global Capitalism and the Architecture of Government (Oxford, 2010), America's First Great Depression: Economic Crisis and Political Disorder after the Panic of 1837 (Cornell, 2012), The End of Protest: How Free-Market Capitalism Learned to Control Dissent (Cornell, 2013) and, most recently, Four Crises of Democracy from Oxford University Press in 2016. He is co-editor of the journal Governance (ranked #5 of 163 journals in Political Science and #2 of 47 in Public Administration), and has two new books under contract.
Commenting on Roberts' appointment, UMass Provost Katherine Newman stated, "I could not be more pleased or excited to know that Alasdair Roberts will be joining the UMass family...Between his distinguished scholarship and his many leadership roles in the field, Dr. Roberts is the ideal leader for the new School."
Dean Hird noted: "As one of the world's leading figures in public administration and policy, [Al Roberts] will bring tremendous energy, creativity, vision, and leadership to SPP."
Dean Hird also thanked Charles Schweik, professor of environmental conservation and public policy for his service as SPP's interim director over the past year. "Charlie has worked tirelessly to build support around campus, develop new connections on- and off-campus, plan new curricular improvements, negotiate for new faculty positions, improve staffing, and more. We are all grateful for his service to the School of Public Policy."
Additional information about Alasdair Roberts is available here.