Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation
Main content start

Dean search committee is beginning its work

Email from Provost Drell announcing the launch of a search committee for a founding dean of the new school focused on climate and sustainability.

Dear Colleagues, 

The Search Committee for a founding dean of the new school focused on climate and sustainability is now beginning its work.  The committee will be conducting a broad search including internal and external candidates.

The members of the committee are:

  • Persis Drell, Provost & Committee Chair
  • Jack Baker Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Karen Casciotti, Professor, Earth System Science & Director of Earth Systems Program
  • Stephen Dobbs, PhD candidate in Geological Sciences
  • Scott Fendorf, Professor, Earth System Science & Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
  • Judith Goldstein, Professor, Political Science
  • Stephanie Kalfayan, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
  • Rosemary Knight, Professor, Geophysics
  • Fiorenza Micheli, Professor and Co-Director, Hopkins Marine Station
  • William Mitch, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Adam Nayak, Undergraduate student in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Jonathan Payne, Professor, Geological Sciences & Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs
  • Jim Plummer Professor, Electrical Engineering
  • Tim Stearns Professor, Biology & Senior Associate Vice Provost of Research
  • Hamdi Tchelepi, Professor & Chair, Energy Resources Engineering 

The Search Committee does not select the founding dean; we will be assessing potential candidates and presenting University leadership with an unranked list of plausible candidates.  Marc Tessier-Lavigne and I will make the final decision about the founding dean of the new school focused on climate and sustainability.

We will not communicate broadly about the progress of the search; in fact, to protect confidentiality, we may not be in touch again until the process is concluded.  However, as a first and important step in the search process, we seek the counsel of members of the community. We value input from all the members of our community — faculty, staff, students and alumni. We welcome suggestions, not only about individual candidates, but about your concerns and hopes for the school going forward and about the sorts of traits you think are generally important for the founding dean.

In the next few weeks we will be arranging a town hall meeting to hear your thoughts directly, but in the interim, you may send your comments and nominations by November 1, 2021, for the committee’s review by email to  Please be assured that all communications to the committee will be kept confidential.

I know I speak for the whole committee when I say that we will take this job very seriously and will work to ensure the best outcome for the future health of the new school.

Thank you for your assistance, and we look forward to hearing from you.  

Persis Drell

Provost and Chair

Explore More