Campus & Community

Brandt appointed dean of Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

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Allan M. Brandt, who holds appointments in Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and the Medical School, has been named dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) at Harvard, effective Jan. 1.

In making the announcement, Michael D. Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, said, “Allan is an exceptional scholar and teacher who will bring to the position a deep understanding of the complex issues facing the graduate school.” He added, “His dual appointments in FAS and the Medical School, his service on committees, experience as a department chair, and his service as the director of the Social Science Track of the M.D./Ph.D. Program give him a unique background on which to draw when looking broadly at our graduate programs, both within the FAS and jointly with the other Schools. With creative energy, enthusiasm, and a collaborative spirit, Allan will continue to move us forward in the areas of teaching, training, and funding for graduate students in our many graduate programs, long-standing and new alike.”

“I am enormously honored to assume the leadership of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at this very exciting time,” Brandt said. “Graduate education is a critical aspect of the University’s deepest values and commitments. I very much look forward to working with the faculty, as well as Dean Smith, Provost Hyman, and President Faust to assure that our exceptional graduate programs continue as a source of great innovation and creativity.”

“Allan Brandt will bring extraordinary intelligence, intellectual range, organizational savvy, and concern for the welfare of students to the vital role of leading the GSAS,” said President Drew Faust. “He’s an excellent University citizen and an exceptionally thoughtful, collegial, and humane person, and I look forward to welcoming him to the Council of Deans.”

Harvard Provost Steven E. Hyman added, “As a well-respected scholar with roots across the University, Allan is an ideal leader for the GSAS. His broad range of interests and experience will serve Harvard well, and I greatly look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Brandt, professor of the history of science and Amalie Moses Kass Professor of the History of Medicine, came to Harvard as an instructor in 1982. He was promoted to assistant professor, then associate professor at Harvard before leaving to join the department of social medicine and department of history faculty at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, from 1990 to 1992. He returned to Harvard in 1992 as a professor in both FAS and the Medical School.

Brandt has been an active member of numerous FAS committees, including the Health Policy Interfaculty Initiative, Special Concentrations, Library Committee, and Historical Studies Core Committee. He also served as a member of the Faculty Council (1992-95). For the Medical School, he has served on the Conflict of Interest Committee, Rare Books and Archives Committee, Joint Library Committee, Subcommittee of Professors, and the Academic Promotions Committee. He served as chair of the Department of the History of Science from 2000 to 2006, and from 1996 to 2004 as director of the Division of Medical Ethics at the Medical School.

Brandt’s major research interests include the social history of American medicine, science, and public health; ethics and values in health care; history of human subject research; and American social and political history. He has written extensively about ethical and policy issues in the history of disease. His new book on the social and cultural history of tobacco use, “The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of the Product that Defined America” (2007) has recently been awarded the Albert J. Beveridge Prize from the American Historical Association and the Arthur Viseltear Prize from the American Public Health Association. Brandt is the recipient of several fellowships and awards, including the Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor Award, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund History of Medicine Award. He was the Charles E. Culpeper Scholar in Medical Humanities.

Outside of Harvard, Brandt has been adviser and committee member for numerous health organizations, including the World Health Organization AIDS/HIV Program, the Hastings Center Study Group on AIDS and Civil Liberties, and two AIDS/HIV-focused committees of the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine.

Born in Washington, D.C., Brandt received an M.A. (1975), an M.Phil. (1978), and a Ph.D. (1983), all in American history from Columbia University. His B.A. degree in history is from Brandeis University.