Appointment of the FAS Dean of Social Science

[Summary: This message announces the appointment of Ken Scheve as FAS Dean of Social Science. I am grateful to current Acting Dean of Social Science Steven Wilkinson and to former FAS Dean of Social Science Alan Gerber for their leadership, and to the members of the FAS Social Science Dean Search Advisory Committee for their consultation and advice.]

To: FAS faculty and staff  
Cc: FAS Dean’s Office, FAS Steering, Provost’s Office, President’s Office, Vice Presidents, University Cabinet, GSAS Dean’s Office, Yale College Dean’s Office, Office of Public Affairs and Communication, Office of Faculty Administrative Services

Dear colleagues,

I write today with an update on leadership in the FAS Division of Social Science.

I am delighted to announce that Ken Scheve, Dean Acheson Professor of Political Science and Global Affairs, has accepted my invitation to serve as the FAS Dean of Social Science for a 5-year term, effective July 1, 2022, pending formal approval by the Yale Corporation.  

My thanks to Steven Wilkinson, current Acting FAS Dean of Social Science, for serving in the role for the 2021-2022 academic year. Steven took on the role of Acting Dean during a tumultuous pandemic year, and he has been an outstanding interim leader of the FAS’s Social Science division during this period. He will be returning, as planned, to his full-time role as Director of the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. During the Fall 2021 term, Steven served alongside Alan Gerber, who held the role of inaugural FAS Dean of Social Science from 2014-2021. I am grateful to Alan and Steven for their dedicated leadership.

Ken Scheve is a noted scholar of international and comparative politics with deep roots at Yale. Ken began his faculty career as an Assistant Professor in the FAS department of Political Science in 2001 and was promoted to Professor in 2006. He took brief sojourns from New Haven in 2004 and 2012, holding faculty positions at the University of Michigan and at Stanford, where he served in a range of leadership roles, and he returned to Yale in 2020. Since his return, Ken has served the FAS on the Social Sciences Area Committee and Tenure and Appointments Committee, on the FAS Faculty Resource Committee, and he has chaired faculty searches in the Department of Political Science. In addition, Ken served as Deputy Director for Academic Affairs at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. In his work at Jackson, he led faculty recruitment and the development of a curricula for Jackson’s new signature Master in Public Policy in Global Affairs degree.  

Ken’s research examines the domestic and international governance of modern capitalism and includes work on inequality and redistribution, the politics of globalization, the social and political consequences of long run economic change, and climate politics. He is a sought-after graduate student mentor and teacher, and he has received multiple awards in recognition of his exceptional mentorship of students. He teaches courses on governance and the global economy, comparative political economy, and other topics, including, most recently, Introduction to International Relations, a new and already popular undergraduate survey course on global affairs. Ken is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

I look forward to working with Ken to continue strengthening our outstanding social science departments, and to advance the initiatives, begun by Alan and Steven, that build the FAS’s capacity in the data-intensive social sciences and in applied research that addresses critical social and policy problems.

I am grateful to the members of the FAS Dean of Social Science Search Advisory Committee, who met in Spring 2021. Their thoughtful recommendations led to the appointments of Steven Wilkinson as Acting Dean and Ken Scheve as incoming Dean. They consulted with a broad range of faculty from across the FAS and the university, and their guidance was instrumental. I offer my thanks to Steve Berry, David Swensen Professor of Economics, who served as committee chair, for overseeing this process.

Warmest wishes,


Tamar Szabó Gendler
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Vincent J. Scully Professor of Philosophy
Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science