GSPIA dean to step down in 2020 after 12 years

John T. S. Keeler will step down as dean of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) effective June 30, 2020.

During his tenure, GSPIA was ranked second among public universities and 10th overall for international/global policy and administration in the 2019 U.S. News public affairs rankings.

Keeler said he plans to take a sabbatical in 2020-21 and then return as a professor.

In its announcement, the Office of the Provost lauded his many accomplishment over the past dozen years. Keeler launched the University’s Washington Center to better connect U.S. government resources to the school and its students, creating a spring semester program on lobbying, advocacy and public diplomacy for GSPIA and School of Law students.

The dean also began new GSPIA programs, including the post-baccalaureate credential in cybersecurity, policy and law with the law school; a GSPIA-School of Nursing joint degree; new majors in governance and international public management, energy and environment, and social policy; and the school’s first online program, the master of public policy and management, which will gain two specialized versions in the fall: the MPPM-Global Affairs and the MPPM-Nonprofit Management.

Keeler worked to establish Pitt’s Center for Disaster Management, the Center for Metropolitan Studies, the Shale Gas Governance Center, the Center for Analytics in Social Innovation, and (opening this fall) the Center for Governance and Markets.

He also created the school’s new leadership forum, several international collaborations and a new emphasis on diversity through the appointment of a community engagement coordinator.

Keeler came to Pitt in 2007 from the University of Washington–Seattle. A search committee will be formed this year to identify his successor, according to the provost’s office.

Earlier this month, Sabina Dietrick, an associate professor in GSPIA and co-director of the Urban and Regional Analysis Program in the University Center for Social and Urban Research, was named associate dean for the school.