Political Science Department Chairman Ian Shapiro GRD ’83 LAW ’87 will become the new director of the Yale Center for International and Area Studies, Yale President Richard Levin announced Tuesday.
Shapiro, who led the international studies working group of the undergraduate curriculum review committee, will assume his new post on July 1. He will succeed retiring director Gustav Ranis, who since 1996 has led YCIAS, the University’s principal center for international teaching and research.
“Ian’s a proven leader and a proven builder of departments,” Levin said at a ceremony in Luce Hall Tuesday afternoon. “I think that this is going to be an exceptional period, building on the exceptional leadership of Gus Ranis.”
Political science professor William Foltz GRD ’63, a former YCIAS director himself, will replace Shapiro as chairman of the Political Science Department. He will serve as the department’s acting chairman until 2005, Levin said.
Shapiro said he is excited about leading YCIAS, likening the center to a “mini-university” because of its broad reach.
“I’m very much looking forward to listening and learning,” Shapiro said.
Shapiro said he hopes to expand the fundraising base of YCIAS, which maintains a $15 million annual budget.
“I think [fundraising] is certainly part of the enterprise,” Shapiro said. “While I’m very much interested in finding ways to contribute to teaching, I’m very interested in doing everything I can to help get more resources for research.”
Ranis said he thinks Shapiro will build on momentum at YCIAS, taking it to “even higher levels.”
“President Levin did a very thorough search and talked to a lot of people,” Ranis said. “We’ll have four or five months to make sure there’s a smooth transition.”
YCIAS Associate Director Nancy Ruther said she thinks Shapiro will undergo a smooth transition.
Former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, the director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, said he looks forward to working with Shapiro to help globalize the University.
“He brings the same kind of energy here,” Zedillo said. “Ian has been one of my very best friends here.”
Yale World Fellows Program Director Daniel Esty said Shapiro’s personal narrative — he was born in South Africa — in part, makes him a strong fit with YCIAS.
“He’s a great advocate for a globalized Yale, and I think he’ll do a wonderful job in advancing the vision that Rick Levin has put forward,” Esty said.
Shapiro is largely credited with expanding the Political Science Department over the past five years. The burgeoning department has hired well over a dozen new professors since it launched a rebuilding phase in 1999. Rising in popularity, it eclipsed economics in 2002 as the second-most popular undergraduate major.
“The main thing to say is that Ian has been a tremendously good chairman,” Foltz said. “He’s proven he has real leadership and the department’s been growing with bright junior appointments. We’re going through a generational change.”
Shapiro, who teaches two popular undergraduate lecture courses, will likely continue teaching while serving as the YCIAS director, several professors said.
“I think the top priority is to facilitate the study of international relations in the broadest definition,” Political Science Director of Undergraduate Studies David Cameron said.
Shapiro joined the faculty in 1984 and served as director of the Ethics, Politics and Economics Program from 1992 to 1998 and from 2000 to 2001.