Iris Bohnet, professor of public policy, has been named the new academic dean at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). Bohnet will succeed Mary Jo Bane, Thornton Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy and Management, who served in the role over the past five years. Bohnet’s appointment begins July 1.
As academic dean, Bohnet will oversee all the major academic operations of the School including curriculum, faculty affairs, and the faculty steering committee.
“Iris brings unique capabilities and a history of thoughtful leadership to her new role as academic dean,” said HKS Dean David T. Ellwood. “She has distinguished herself as an accomplished scholar and teacher in both our degree and executive education programs, and she believes deeply in our core mission of making the world a better place. I am confident that Iris will continue to build on the exceptional service that Mary Jo Bane has provided to the School in this important role.”
Bohnet came to HKS as an assistant professor in 1998. A behavioral economist with a Ph.D. from the University of Zurich, her research aims to improve decision making and examines trust in organizations and society, often including a gender or cross-cultural perspective.
“I am excited about the opportunity to help lead the Harvard Kennedy School and build upon the excellent work Mary Jo has done,” said Bohnet. “I look forward to collaborating with the dean, faculty, staff, and students to advance first-rate research and teaching that will contribute to the solution of complex public problems around the world.”