Schwartz to head Humphrey School

He will leave the U.S. Department of State to take his post in October.

Amanda Bankston

The semester-long search for the next dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs ended last Wednesday when the school announced Eric P. Schwartz will take over the position in early October.

Schwartz has served as U.S. assistant secretary of state  for Population, Refugees and Migration  for the U.S. Department of State  since the summer of 2009, when he was appointed to the position by President Barack Obama.

His résumé reveals decades of public service with experience at the National Security Council, the United Nations, the U.S. Congress  and a number of human rights organizations.

âÄúMy whole career has been committed to advancing the common good through a commitment to international humanitarianism, international human rights and responsible U.S. engagement around the world,âÄù Schwartz said, âÄúand who more than Hubert Humphrey stood for those propositions?âÄù

Interim Dean Greg Lindsey, who was also a candidate for the position, said SchwartzâÄôs international experience made him an ideal choice for the position.

âÄúThe choice of a dean with international expertise who is on a first-name basis with leaders across the globe is a good one,âÄù Lindsey said.

Despite his extensive public service experience, Schwartz said, âÄúthe world of academia is not unknown to me.âÄù

Periodically from 2001-09, Schwartz taught graduate courses and workshops at Princeton UniversityâÄôs Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Aara Johnson, a Humphrey School student who served on the search committee, said SchwartzâÄôs relationship with the Woodrow Wilson School set him apart during the interview process.

She said during his interview that he spoke about maintaining relationships with his students, which was a trait she was seeking.

Johnson said that commitment to help students was what made former Humphrey Dean J. Brian Atwood  successful. Atwood left the school at the end of fall semester to join a think tank in Paris.

âÄúI hope he will recognize the great ambition and talent of students at Humphrey and realize what they want out of their graduate institution,âÄù she said.

Both Lindsey, who will return to his associate dean position when Schwartz takes over in October, and Johnson said SchwartzâÄôs biggest challenge will be facing the current financial strain.

âÄúWhat a pleasure âĦ itâÄôll be for me to try to assist in the effort to promote and vindicate the principle that public institutions matter,âÄù Schwartz said.

He said his family looks forward to their move to Minnesota in the fall.