With new School of Foreign Service Dean Joel Hellman’s assumption of office this summer comes a restructuring of the dean’s office, seeing the creation of three new administrative positions and a Centennial Vision Committee to guide discussions concerning the future of the school.
Hellman spliced the senior associate dean position into two, creating separate offices for undergraduate and graduate affairs. James Reardon-Anderson, who previously held the position under the leadership of the late Carol Lancaster (SFS ’64), will retain his teaching duties and serve as senior advisor on Qatar, in his capacity as former SFS-Q dean.
Daniel Byman, a former director of the Security Studies Program, assumes the senior associate deanship for undergraduate affairs. Mitch Kaneda retains his position as director of the bachelor’s of science in foreign service program. Anthony Arend, the director of the master’s of science in foreign service program, will add the senior associate deanship for graduate and faculty affairs to his slate.
Byman, who also serves as the director of research at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, said that he is excited to begin his duties and hopes to maintain the academic excellence of the SFS as well as provide students with the skills to excel in their careers.
“Dean Hellman has put together a great team, and I am eager to work with Associate Dean Mitch Kaneda and others in the SFS program to ensure that it remains the best undergraduate institution for the study of international affairs,” Byman wrote in an email to The Hoya.
In addition to his deanship, Byman will continue to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in the SFS.
“Although I am excited about my administrative duties, I love teaching, and I would never give it up,” Byman wrote. “I’ll still teach both the graduate and undergraduate level in the semesters to come.”
SFS Associate Dean Emily Zenick will now serve as chief of staff to Hellman, a new position in the dean’s office. Zenick will both coordinate various initiatives of the dean’s office and serve as a liaison across the school’s departments. She retains her duties as advisor to the current cohorts of the regional and comparative studies major.
Zenick’s duties will also include the management of the strategic goals of the SFS and the communication of these initiatives to other offices and schools.
In an email to The Hoya, Zenick said that she looks forward to working on affairs related to the direction of the school at a greater capacity.
“In my 16 years as an advising dean to first [McDonough School of Business] and then SFS students, I have developed a strong understanding of deep affection for Georgetown students,” Zenick wrote. “I feel grateful for all my experiences in working closely with students and look forward to this new opportunity to continue working on issues of importance to our community.”
As the SFS reaches its centennial in 2019, Hellman also created a Centennial Vision Committee to shape the school’s direction for the future.
“We need to begin a dialogue about where the school is going in the next hundred years,” Hellman said. “The school was created in 1919, largely to create a specialized cluster of people to be the kind of representatives of the United States abroad, whether it’s in diplomacy or commerce or in any other field. A hundred years later, the school is very different. The kinds of people that we have are very different.”
The committee will consist of associate professors in a variety of academic fields within the SFS, including Joanna Lewis, Rochelle Davis and Lahra Smith.
“What I decided to do is to bring in some of our associate professors [who are] in their middle of their careers. They’ve been here long enough that they’re tenured and they know the place, but they’re still early enough in their careers … so they really have a stake in our future,” Hellman said.
According to Associate Professor David Edelstein, who will serve as a co-chair of the committee, the members will communicate with different stakeholders about crafting an updated vision for the school.
“We’ll be consulting with a variety of constituencies inside and outside of the school in an effort to do so,” Edelstein wrote in an email to The Hoya. “It’s exciting work as it provides an opportunity to think in grand terms about where the school might be going and how we might get there.”
One of Hellman’s own plans for the school is to increase the collaboration between departments to foster an interdisciplinary education for students.
“One of the things I want to do is think about how we build on all [our] existing strengths and create more of a one SFS that draws on all those strengths, both [in] the undergraduate program and the graduate program so as to lessen the gaps between the graduate program doing one thing and maybe the undergraduate doing another,” Hellman said.
Hellman said that he hopes the new structure of the dean’s office will help create more connection between different programs in the school.
“I think we want to start building in more flexibility into the program for [students] … and more connectivity in the program,” Hellman said. “I hope this structure will help us.”