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Hird Appointed Dean of College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

John A. Hird has been appointed Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, effective April 1. He has been interim dean since April 2014.

Provost Katherine S. Newman, who made the announcement, said, “John Hird has served with distinction and uncommon creativity in the role of interim dean and we are very fortunate that he will continue to provide leadership and vision in the years ahead.”

“It’s a genuine privilege to be asked to serve the outstanding faculty, students and staff of SBS,” says Hird. “The college is showcasing the quality and relevance of its social science research for the Commonwealth and beyond through its ‘Social Science Matters’ project, substantially enhancing and highlighting the importance of the SBS student experience, and working with campus leaders to promote this great land-grant university. It’s an exciting time to be leading this ambitious college.”

A faculty member at UMass Amherst since 1989, Hird is professor of political science and public policy. He was the founding director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration and the master’s program in public policy and administration from 1998 to 2006. Hird chaired the department of political science from 2006-11, when he was appointed associate dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. In 2012, he was appointed senior associate dean.

His research focuses on the use of expertise in public policymaking. Hird is the author of “Superfund: The Political Economy of Environmental Risk,” “Power, Knowledge, and Politics: Policy Analysis in the States” and “Controversies in American Public Policy.” He and UMass Amherst political science professor Peter M. Haas are the co-authors of “Controversies in Globalization,” published in a second edition in 2013. Hird has published articles in the American Political Science ReviewJournal of Policy Analysis and ManagementPolicy Studies JournalYale Journal on RegulationSocial Science QuarterlyRegulation & Governance and other professional journals.

Hird’s current projects include a forthcoming book with the University of California Press on the use of policy analysis in public policymaking and an edited international volume on policy analysis, both expected in 2016. He is also working on a National Science Foundation-funded project with UMass Amherst political scientist Bruce Desmarais on the use of science and other forms of evidence in regulatory policymaking.

Hird received his Ph.D. in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and served as a research fellow at the Brookings Institution in 1987-89 and economist with the President’s Council of Economic Advisers in 1988-89.

This article originally appeared in a news office release.

News Type: 

  • Faculty News