Brown University elects new president

CHRISTINA PAXSON was named the new president of Brown University on Friday.
Posted 3/2/12

PROVIDENCE – Brown University has named economist Christina Hull Paxson its new president.

Paxson is currently dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University; she will start her duties as the 19th president of Brown, succeeding Ruth Simmons, on July 1.

“It is a privilege and honor to join the Brown community,” Paxson said in a news release Friday.

“I am drawn to Brown’s distinctive approach to education and scholarship, with its emphasis on intellectual independence and free inquiry. Under Ruth Simmons’s leadership, the university has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade. I look forward to working with the exceptional community that is Brown to continue to build this extraordinary institution.”

Paxson earned her master’s and Ph.D. in economics at Columbia University. She began as an assistant professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University in 1986 and became a full professor in 1997; she was named the Hughes-Rogers Professor of Economics and Public Affairs in 2007. She has been given five annual awards for teaching excellence by the graduate students at the Woodrow Wilson School.

She was elected as vice president of the American Economics Association in 2012 and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She has been the principal investigator on a number of research projects supported by the National Institutes of Health, the most recent of which is a study of adversity and resilience after Hurricane Katrina, a news release said.

“The search committee at Brown University has made a truly inspired choice for its 19th president, although it means that Princeton will lose one its most distinguished faculty members and effective academic administrators,” said Shirley M. Tilghman, president of Princeton University.

“At every stage of her 26 years at Princeton, Chris Paxson has left an indelible mark on this university. Chris has consistently shown the kind of good judgment and admirable leadership that makes her a natural choice as Brown's president. As sad as I am to lose her as a colleague at Princeton, it will be a great pleasure to welcome her to the Council of Ivy Presidents.”

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