Updated March 28 at 4:32am

Brown taps MIT’s Locke to head Watson Institute


PROVIDENCE – Brown University has appointed Richard M. Locke, deputy dean of the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as the Howard R. Swearer Director of the Watson Institute for International Studies. Locke will join Brown in January 2013.

“Richard Locke is a collaborative academic leader whose distinguished scholarly career, focused on issues of global importance that are well-aligned with the Institute’s mission, make him particularly well suited to the Watson directorship,” said Brown President Christina Paxson in a statement. “His commitment to advancing teaching and research on issues of international importance will enhance the Institute’s reach as a center of relevant scholarly activity.”

Locke’s appointment was made from an international search chaired by Paxson and involving the university provost, the Watson Institute’s Board of Overseers, faculty members and administration staff.

The Institute had been for the last two years under the interim directorship of Carolyn Dean, professor of history, and Peter Andreas, professor of political science and international, each for a one-year period.

Michael Kennedy, a Brown professor in sociology and international studies, served as director from 2009-2011.

The Watson Institute, founded over two decades ago, works to analyze global politics, power, and society across academic disciplines to identify causes and possible cures for urgent international problems.

“I am delighted to be offered this wonderful opportunity to serve as the next director of the Watson Institute,” Locke said in a statement. “The Watson Institute remains one of the country’s leading centers for international studies and I look forward to working with my new colleagues at Brown to increase the Institute’s visibility and impact in the years to come.”

Locke joined the MIT Sloan School of Management faculty in 1988 after earning his Ph.D. in political science at MIT. He also serves as a professor of political science and management and head of the MIT political science department.

At MIT, he helped develop the Laboratory for Sustainable Business, a course that aims to give students in-depth knowledge of societal sustainability issues, and founded the Global Entrepreneurship Laboratory, a course that places students in internships with startup companies in emerging markets.

He was named a 2005 Faculty Pioneer in Academic Leadership by the Aspen Institute and also was awarded the MIT Class of 1960 Teaching Innovation Award in 2007 as well as the Jamieson Prize for Excellence in Teaching in June 2008.

His current research is focused on improving labor and environmental conditions in global supply chains.

The Watson Institute is the legacy of Thomas J. Watson Jr., a 1937 Brown graduate who was the U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union during the Carter administration.

The Swearer Directorship of the Institute is named for Howard R. Swearer, the 15th president of Brown University and the Institute’s founding director.


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