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Princeton begins search to replace SPIA dean, CEA chair nominee Cecilia Rouse

<h5>Former SPIA Dean Cecilia Rouse.</h5>
<h6>Jon Ort / The Daily Princetonian</h6>
Former SPIA Dean Cecilia Rouse.
Jon Ort / The Daily Princetonian

Following President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Cecilia Rouse, Dean of the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), to chair the Council of Economic Advisers, the University has created a committee to find her successor. 

The committee will identify candidates, conduct first-round interviews, and send finalist recommendations to President Christopher L. Eisgruber ’83, who will appoint the new dean with approval from the Board of Trustees.


In Rouse’s absence, Mark Watson, the Howard Harrison and Gabrielle Snyder Beck Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, will serve as Acting SPIA Dean from Jan. 4 until the new dean’s term begins. This will be his third stint as acting SPIA dean. He previously served in the position in 2009 — amid the financial crisis — and from March to July of this year.

“Both were unusually eventful times for the world, the US, Princeton, and the School,” Watson wrote in an email to The Daily Princetonian. “I hope this stint will be short and far less eventful.”

“Undoubtedly, [Dean Rouse’s] most important legacy is the extraordinary group of undergraduate and graduate students who studied here during her time as dean. She is leaving the School stronger than she found it,” he added.

Patrick Sharkey, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, chairs the committee. Christian Potter ’22 and Susan Ragheb GS, both members of the SPIA department, will serve as the committee’s undergraduate and graduate student representatives, respectively. Last month, Potter was elected President of the Undergraduate Student Government.

Eight other faculty members sit on the committee: Janet Currie, Professor of Economics and Public Affairs; Rafaela Dancygier, Professor of Politics and International Affairs; Alexander Glaser, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and International Affairs, and co-director of the Program in Science and Global Security; Jonathan Mayer, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs; Nolan McCarty, Professor of Politics and Public Affairs, and director of the Center for Data-Driven Social Science; Sanyu Mojola, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, and director of the Office of Population Research; Eduardo Morales, Professor of Economics and International Affairs; and Betsy Levy Paluck, Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, and deputy director of the Kahneman-Treisman Center for Behavioral Science and Policy.