Political scientist Louise Richardson, an associate professor of government at Harvard University and the head tutor in the University’s department of government, has been appointed executive dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Richardson assumed her new responsibilities on July 2.
“We are very fortunate to have Louise Richardson as our executive dean. She has a stellar reputation as an administrator and an intellectual,” said Drew Gilpin Faust, the dean of the Institute. “Her expertise in both areas will be invaluable as we work together to shape the direction of the Institute and to implement its mission.”
“I am delighted to have this extraordinary opportunity at the Radcliffe Institute,” said Richardson. “I look forward to working with Drew Faust to build the new Institute into an unrivaled center for advanced study, with an enduring commitment to women, gender, and society.”
Richardson is an expert in international terrorism, international relations theory, and British foreign and defense policy. Her numerous writings include the book “When Allies Differ: Anglo-American Relations in the Suez and Falkland Crises” (St. Martin’s Press, 1996). She has been the recipient of research and travel awards from The Ford Foundation, The Krupp Foundation, The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and The Sloan Foundation.
Richardson, who is a native of Ireland, matriculated at the University of Dublin at Trinity College, earning undergraduate and master’s degrees. She also holds a master’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University. Richardson came to Harvard in 1981 as a graduate student and received her Ph.D. in 1989. She was awarded the Sumner Prize for the best doctoral dissertation “dealing with any means or measures tending towards the prevention of war and the establishment of universal peace.”
Richardson joined the faculty in 1989 as an assistant professor and was appointed associate professor in 1994. An educator at the undergraduate and graduate levels, she has been honored with the Levenson Prize, awarded by the undergraduate student body; the Abramson Award, presented annually to a Harvard faculty member for excellence and sensitivity in teaching undergraduates; and teaching awards from the Bok Center.
She has also been head tutor in the department of government for six years. In that position, Richardson was responsible for the undergraduate program in a department with 500 undergraduates and 55 faculty. Under her leadership, new curricular and advising initiatives were launched, and the percentage of women concentrators doubled.
Richardson’s administrative experience includes membership on the Faculty Council, the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, the Committee on Undergraduate Education, and the executive committee of the Center for International Affairs.
The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University is a scholarly community where individuals pursue advanced work across a wide range of academic disciplines, professions, and creative arts. Within this broad purpose, the Institute sustains a continuing commitment to the study of women, gender, and society.