Dr. Vali Nasr, professor of international politics at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, has accepted the position of dean of The Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), a post that he will assume on July 1, 2012.
In a memo to faculty, staff and students this morning, Fletcher’s Dean Stephen W. Bosworth described the news as “bittersweet.” “As both a Fletcher and Tufts alumnus, as well as one of the School’s most respected faculty members, Professor Nasr has made enormous contributions to the University,” said Bosworth. “His professional accomplishments have long been -- and continue to be -- a source of institutional and personal pride.”
In addition to his academic contributions, Nasr is a senior fellow in foreign policy at Brookings Institution, a member of the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Policy Advisory Board and a columnist with Bloomberg View. From 2009 to 2011, he was senior advisor to the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who was then U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Nasr is the author of “The Rise of Islamic Capitalism: Why the New Middle Class is Key to Defeating Extremism,” The New York Times best-seller “The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam will Shape the Future,” and “Democracy in Iran: History and the Quest for Liberty.” He has written for The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, and is frequent commentator in public media.
“Vali Nasr is a distinguished scholar and teacher, an adept policy analyst and adviser, a highly regarded public intellectual and an accomplished administrator,” said Ronald J. Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins, in a press release issued by the school today. “He has an excellent understanding of the challenges facing graduate schools of international studies (…) He is superbly qualified to meet those challenges and seize those opportunities.”
Nasr’s ties to the Fletcher and Tufts communities stretch nearly three decades. In 1983, he graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University with a B.A. in international relations and was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his masters from The Fletcher School at Tufts University in international economics and Middle East studies in 1984, and his Ph.D. from MIT in political science in 1991. Nasr joined the faculty of The Fletcher School in 2007. At Tufts, he is associate director of the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies.
“I have greatly cherished my years of teaching at Fletcher. It has been a wonderful period of learning, cooperation and accomplishment for me. I have benefited immensely from working with my colleagues, staff and especially students,” said Nasr. “Fletcher is an exceptional institution of higher learning with a distinct mission and contribution. As an alumnus of Fletcher with deep and ongoing ties to its community, I look forward to continuing to benefit from its progress.”
“[Vali] is an admired and prolific scholar and spokesperson on matters of public policy,” added Bosworth. “He is also a truly excellent teacher. We will miss him, but we will take pride in his ongoing success.”