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James B. Steinberg named dean of Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

March 30, 2011

Kevin C. Quinn
(315) 443-8338

James B. Steinberg, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, has been named dean of SU’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and University Professor of Social Science, International Affairs and Law. The appointment, which will become effective this summer, was announced today by Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina.

SteinbergSteinberg is an internationally recognized expert in public affairs and foreign policy. Prior to serving as deputy secretary of state, he was dean of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. He succeeds Mitchel Wallerstein, who last year became president of Baruch College. Senior Associate Dean Michael Wasylenko has been serving as the interim dean of the Maxwell School since July 2010.

“I’m excited by the opportunity to work with Chancellor Cantor, Provost Spina and the outstanding faculty, staff and students of the Maxwell School,” says Steinberg. “For decades, the Maxwell School has been the gold standard for cutting-edge research, committed teaching and professional education in public service and the social sciences, and I’m confident that together we can take Maxwell to new heights in innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to meeting the local, national and global challenges of the 21st century.”

“Jim Steinberg personifies engaged scholarship at the highest level,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “Throughout his years in leadership roles across the branches of the federal government and at leading universities and think tanks, he has easily traversed the perceived boundaries between theory and practice in policy making—which makes him perfectly suited for Syracuse University, where boundary-breaking scholarship is our hallmark.”

Steinberg serves as the principal deputy to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Appointed by President Obama, he was sworn into office by Secretary Clinton in January 2009. Prior to his appointment in the Obama Administration, Steinberg served as dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs, a position he assumed on Jan. 1, 2006. He previously was vice president and director of foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. (2001-2005), where he supervised a wide-ranging research program on U.S. foreign policy.

From 1996-2000, Steinberg served as deputy national security adviser to President Clinton. During that period, he also served as the president’s personal representative to the 1998 and 1999 G-8 summits. Prior to becoming deputy national security adviser, he served as director of the State Department’s policy planning staff (1994-1996), and as deputy assistant secretary for analysis in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (1993-1994).

“Jim is precisely the kind of candidate whom we hoped to attract to Maxwell,” says Spina. “As an outstanding interdisciplinary scholar and an exceptionally experienced practitioner of public policy and diplomacy, he embodies signature strengths across the breadth of the Maxwell School. He has exactly the right combination of vision, intellect, experience and acumen to lead one of the nation’s premiere schools.”

Steinberg also has been a senior analyst at RAND in Santa Monica, Calif. (1989-1993), and a senior fellow for U.S. strategic policy at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London (1985-1987). He served as Senator Edward Kennedy’s principal aide for the Senate Armed Services Committee (1983-1985); minority counsel, U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee (1981-1983); special assistant to the U.S. Assistant Attorney General (Civil Division) (1979-1980); law clerk to Judge David L. Bazelon, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1978-1979); and special assistant to the assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare (1977). He is also a member of the Washington, D.C., bar.

Steinberg is the author of and contributor to numerous books and articles on foreign policy and national security topics, including “Difficult Transitions: Foreign Policy Troubles at the Outset of Presidential Power, Protecting the Homeland 2006/2007″ (Brookings Institution Press, 2008), and “An Ever Closer Union: European Integration and Its Implications for the Future of U.S.-European Relations” (Rand Publishing, 1995).

Steinberg received his B.A. from Harvard in 1973 and J.D. from Yale Law School in 1978. He is married to Sherburne “Shere” Abbott and they have two daughters, Jenna, age 9, and Emma, age 6. Abbott currently serves as associate director for environment of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President. Abbott is also joining SU, as vice president for sustainability initiatives and University Professor of Sustainability Science & Policy.

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