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Jennie Stephens appointed as Director of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs

WGSS Executive Committee member and Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy Jennie Stephens has been appointed as Director of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs (SPPUA) in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, effective May 1st, 2018. Read more about her Stephens’ work and the director position in the letter below from Uta Poiger, Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Dear Colleagues, Students, Alumni and Friends:
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Jennie Stephens, Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy, as Director of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs (SPPUA) in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, effective May 1, 2018.
Dr. Stephens is well positioned to lead the School in expanding the impact of its educational, research, and public mission, while contributing to the College of Social Sciences and Humanities and Northeastern University. With particular strengths in resilience and sustainability science and policy, she is a leading interdisciplinary and collaborative scholar. Dr. Stephens is also an effective administrator and research leader who brings experience enhancing diverse networks and facilitating collaborations among faculty, students, programs and organizations both within and beyond Northeastern.
Dr. Stephens joined SPPUA in 2016, and holds affiliate faculty appointments in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Cultures, Societies and Global Studies.  Since her arrival at Northeastern, she has played a crucial and innovative role in the development of Northeastern’s Global Resilience Institute where she serves as Director of Strategic Research Collaborations. She has also served as the Co-Director of the recently launched Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy and is a faculty senator who served on the Senate Agenda Committee in 2017-2018. She will champion SPPUA’s innovative educational offerings, its interdisciplinary research, and the integration of data, technology and policy — all of which are central to the college and university mission in the Experiential Liberal Arts and Humanics. With faculty, staff and students, she will continue to build the School’s deep commitment to Boston and the Commonwealth and its many links to urban communities around the world. Together with the Global Resilience Institute and the School’s centers, including the Boston Area Research Initiative, the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, the Resilient Cities Lab, and the Social Impact Lab, she will enhance the School’s role in partnerships between government, the private sector, and academia.
Dr. Stephens’s research focuses on strengthening climate and energy resilience by understanding the complex social, political, and economic dynamics of energy system change as well as society’s responses to climate change. Her scholarship explores the renewable energy transformation, including changes in the reliance on fossil fuels, as well as gender diversity and energy democracy. Professor Stephens has published widely, including pieces in the Wall Street Journal, The International Spectator, Environmental Science & Technology, the Conversation, and Global Environmental Change. Her bookSmart Grid (R)Evolution: Electric Power Struggles (co-authored with Elizabeth Wilson and Tarla Rai Peterson) was published by Cambridge University Press in 2015. She has also written extensively about higher education as an agent of change in society. Dr. Stephensis a 2015-2016 Leopold Leadership fellow, and she received a 2017 Arab-American Frontiers Fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences.
Prior to joining Northeastern, Dr. Stephens was the Blittersdorf Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy at the University of Vermont. She did post-doctoral research at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and began her career as a faculty member at Clark University. Professor Stephens holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Environmental Science and Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and a B.A. in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard. 
Let me also thank Matthias Ruth for his leadership of SPPUA from 2014 to 2018. Under his guidance, the school completed a strategic planning process, and expanded its faculty and its educational offerings in the areas of data analytics and policy, and sustainability and resilience. Dr. Ruth fostered collaborations with faculty and programs across Northeastern University, with governmental agencies, and with international universities and non-profits. We wish Dr. Ruth all the best as he takes up his new role as Vice President for Research at the University of Alberta.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Stephens into this important leadership role within CSSH and Northeastern.

Uta G. Poiger
Dean, College of Social Sciences and Humanities
Published On: May 15, 2018 |
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