Dean Timothy Barbari will take over as director of the Science, Technology and International Affairs program within the School of Foreign Service and the College, effective Jan. 1 of next year.
Barbari, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and associate provost for research for the main campus, will succeed professor of demography Elizabeth Stephen, who has served as STIA director since 2007.
The STIA program focuses on the study of health, energy, the environment, security and development, a curriculum that is founded on the historical, political, economic, cultural and social elements of global studies.
Stephen said she was satisfied with the program’s expansion during her tenure.
“STIA is an incredibly unique program, which I have been really honored to participate in. It translates science into technology and technology into science,” Stephen said.
Stephen will continue to teach and is planning on becoming more involved in the Asian studies program. She will be conducting research with money from a grant awarded by the Academy of Korean Studies alongside professors Victor Cha, Michael Green and Christine Kim.
As a chemical engineer, Barbari has the ability to directly strengthen the hard science element built into the STIA curriculum, according to Carol Lancaster, a dean of the SFS.
“He will bring to the leadership of STIA the training of a scientist combined with an interest in international relations and science policy and a passion for education,” Lancaster said.
Barbari is particularly excited to return to working with undergraduate students.
“Watching students develop a sense of who they are and where they want to go and helping them along that path is the most gratifying part of being a faculty member,” Barbari said in an email. “STIA, with its highly interdisciplinary nature, will be particularly so.”
Before assuming his role, Barbari will be on research leave at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, under the co-sponsorship of the National Bioenergy Center and the Strategic Energy Analysis Center.
Dan Mathis (SFS ’13) enthusiastically spoke of Stephen’s support and value. Mathis highlighted the development of the STIA e-portfolio program, which enables students to visualize and document their academic growth and facilitates the accessibility to academic records.
Barbari emphasized that he is not planning to undertake any immediate changes in the program.
“My primary goal would be to build strategically on what already exists and to do so by listening to what the many stakeholders in the program: Students, alumni, employers, faculty, staff, graduate and professional schools have to say about how it can be even better,” he said.