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Nolan McCarty to serve as interim SPIA Dean

<h5>The Princeton School of Public Policy and International Affairs (SPIA)</h5>
<h6>Mark Dodici / The Daily Princetonian</h6>
The Princeton School of Public Policy and International Affairs (SPIA)
Mark Dodici / The Daily Princetonian

Mark Watson has stepped down as interim Dean of Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA). Nolan McCarty — a SPIA and politics professor and former chair of the Department of Politics — will serve as the new interim dean. 

“I am honored that the President and Provost have entrusted me to lead the SPIA community,” McCarty wrote in an email to The Daily Princetonian. “In the meantime, our search for a new dean is actively underway.”


McCarty served as acting SPIA Dean from 2007 to 2008 and as Associate Dean (now called Vice Dean) from 2005 to 2011. He is also on the committee tasked with proposing a permanent replacement. 

The 11-member committee will send the recommended finalists to President Christopher L. Eisgruber ’83, who will appoint the new dean with approval from the Board of Trustees.

After former Dean Cecilia Rouse left to serve in the Biden administration as chair of the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA), Watson began his third stint as acting dean on Jan. 4. He previously served in the position during the financial crisis in 2009 and for a brief period in 2020.

“Both were unusually eventful times for the world, the US, Princeton, and the School,” Watson wrote in an email to the ‘Prince’ for a previous article

Regarding his most recent appointment, Watson wrote to the ‘Prince’ in January saying, “I hope this stint will be short and far less eventful.”

According to the announcement, Watson stepped down due to health concerns. He will resume teaching full-time.


The announcement was sent from Provost Deborah Prentice to all SPIA concentrators on March 16.

Watson did not respond to request for comment at the time of publication. 

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