Lawrence Cabot Howard

Lawrence Cabot Howard, former dean of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), died March 19, 2018.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1925, Howard served in the Army in the Pacific during World War II. He earned his undergraduate degree from Drake University in 1949, his master's degree at Wayne State University in 1950 and a Ph.D. in political science in 1956 from Harvard University. During his graduate school years, a trip to sub-Saharan Africa sparked a career-long interest in that region’s development.

Howard began his academic career at Hofstra University (1956-1958) and Brandeis University (1958-1961, 1963) and then worked as an associate director of the Peace Corps in the Philippines (1961-1963). He then became associate director of the Center of Innovation in the New York State Department of Education in Albany, followed by a post as director of the Institute of Human Relations at the University of Wisconsin (1964-1967) and vice president of the Danforth Foundation in St. Louis (1967-69).

In 1969, Howard joined Pitt as GSPIA dean until his retirement as professor emeritus in 1973. During a sabbatical, he traveled to Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria as a Fulbright Scholar, and worked with the government of the Bahamas as a consultant in public administration policy management.

Clarence Curry, a retired lecturer in the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business (1975-97) and Howard’s fraternity brother, recalls Howard’s tenure here as one of the few Black leaders at the University during his time.

Howard took an interest in aiding all students, Curry recalled, “but given the scarcity of Black faculty and students at Pitt in that era, he took a general interest in mentoring minority faculty and students. He was outgoing and interested in developing younger faculty as well as students. He mentored me in terms of my career in the business school.”

This focus was also reflected in Howard’s work. He recruited students from African countries to attend a business development program, in which Curry also taught, as well as a special program for students from French-speaking African countries, taught in French.

“Part of GSPIA’s national and international reputation were the strong programs it had for students from developing countries,” Curry said. “He was very proud of that.”

Howard was an editor of the volume “Public Administration and Public Policy: A Minority Perspective” (1977), and co-author of “Public Administration: Balancing Power and Accountability” (1998).

In 1994, the Lawrence Cabot Howard Doctoral Research Award was established to support doctoral students with an approved dissertation proposal, excellent scholarship and a commitment to social justice, to which memorial contributions are suggested.

Howard is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard; daughters Jane, Susan and Laura; and many grandchildren, nieces and nephews.