March 2, 2017: Humphrey School Leadership Transition

Dear Colleagues,

Eric Schwartz, dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs since fall 2011, has announced his decision to step down June 12. He will leave Minnesota to assume the presidency of Refugees International, a global independent advocacy organization in Washington, D.C., focused on refugee protection.

Dean Schwartz has served both the Humphrey School and the broader University with great distinction. As dean, he has advanced excellence in scholarship, expanded public engagement initiatives, significantly increased student scholarship support, and led development of new academic programs, including a rapidly growing Ph.D. program in public affairs and, in partnership with the College of Liberal Arts, a newly launched master of human rights degree program.

Under his leadership, the Humphrey School gained national prominence for innovative initiatives to develop pipelines of diverse leaders, serving as the host institution for the national Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellowship Program, sponsoring a PPIA undergraduate summer institute to prepare future leaders, and hosting leadership training for emerging African leaders as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship. During Dean Schwartz’s five-and-half years at the helm, the Humphrey School climbed in national rankings, receiving recognition as a top 10 school, and advanced its mission to inspire, educate, and support leaders to play key roles in public life and to solve pressing real-world challenges.

In assuming leadership of Refugees International, Dean Schwartz continues a lifetime of service in human rights and humanitarianism, as reflected in his 30+-year career spanning senior positions in government, philanthropic and non-governmental communities, and academia. I am pleased to note that he will sustain his relationship with the University of Minnesota through periodic mentoring projects for the Humphrey School that will expand student learning experiences in international humanitarianism, foreign policy, and advocacy.

I look forward to working with Humphrey School faculty and staff as we turn toward the planning and consultation that are a necessary part of school and college leadership transitions. I will be back in touch with the Humphrey School about next steps.

I want to thank Eric for his exemplary service to the Humphrey School and to our University. His leadership has positioned the Humphrey School exceptionally well for the future, and his commitment to humanitarianism and public service is an inspiring example for our students and for us all.

Karen Hanson
Executive Vice President and Provost

Email sent March 2, 2017 to the systemwide administrative email list.