Michael Brown will step down as dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs at the end of this academic year, he announced in an email to faculty Thursday.
Brown, who has led the school for roughly the past decade, told faculty it was “time to pass the baton,” and that he will remain a tenured professor in the Elliott School. He is the University’s longest-serving dean and the last dean from former University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg’s administration.
“I am proud of the progress the Elliott School has made during my time as Dean, and I am proud of our position as one of the best schools of international affairs in the world,” he wrote in the email obtained by the Hatchet. “It has been a privilege to contribute to the advancement of this superb institution.”
He came to GW in August 2005, and has since more than doubled the school’s endowment from about $20 million to $44 million.
Brown has also grown the school’s faculty by about 20 professors, increased its number of research institutes and raised the school’s research profile, strengthening its expertise in regions like the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Africa.
The school was ranked ninth for undergraduate and seventh for graduate programs in Foreign Policy magazine two years ago.
An expert in international security and conflict studies, Brown wrote that he was interested in taking a sabbatical.
“Over the years, I have approved numerous faculty requests for sabbaticals, and I have become intrigued by the concept,” he wrote. “As it turns out, I have a lot of accumulated research leave and the world has accumulated a lot of security and conflict problems while I have been attending budget meetings in Rice Hall.”
Brown, who is about 60 years old, earned a Ph.D. in government from Cornell University. He previously served as a professor at the the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and served as director of Georgetown’s Center for Peace and Security Studies and director of the master’s program in Security Studies from 2000 to 2005.
He is the University’s fourth dean to step down in the past two years. Jean Johnson, dean of the School of Nursing, also announced in spring 2013 that she plans to take a sabbatical and step back into a faculty role once a replacement is chosen.
Through University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar, Provost Steven Lerman declined to comment on whether a search for a new Elliott School dean would begin this year.
“Mike Brown has been an outstanding leader at GW since he first joined the university nearly a decade ago,” Lerman said in a release. “He has been a tremendous asset to the George Washington community, and I am grateful he will continue to serve as a member of our faculty.”