Yale News

Ian Shapiro GRD ’83 LAW ’87 will step down from his position as the director of the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies after a 15-year tenure.

When Shapiro began as director in 2004, the center funded approximately 180 faculty members and 250 Yale students. Under his leadership, the center grew to support 400 faculty members and 750 graduate, professional and undergraduate students. The center also helped facilitate the creation of the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs in 2010. A committee will convene this semester to recommend a permanent in-house successor, who will fill Shapiro’s role by the start of the next academic year.

Having spent 40 years at Yale, Shapiro will continue to serve as a professor of political science. He noted that his 15-year run as the director is more than twice as long as that of any of his predecessors. Shapiro said his time at MacMillan was “a really terrific period to be here,” but that he felt it was the right time to step down. He added that as a professor political science with joint appointments at the Law School and the School of Management, he will still “have plenty of things to do.”

“The MacMillan Center is a great institution. Yale is a very department-centered University, and MacMillan is by far the largest interdisciplinary institute on campus,” Shapiro said. “It’s very gratifying to be able to direct the center that’s able to support that many people involved at the core mission of the University, which is research and teaching.”

Pericles Lewis, vice president for global strategy and deputy provost for international affairs as well as a member of the executive committee of the MacMillan Center, will chair the committee responsible for presenting a list of recommended successors to University President Peter Salovey. According to Lewis, the committee will seek input from stakeholders, including faculty members with appointments in the MacMillan Center. The search committee will convene in February, and Lewis told that the University’s goal is for the successor to begin their tenure on July 1.

Lewis said that some MacMillan faculty called for increased focus on various world regions and on natural sciences. Still, Lewis added that MacMillan will likely not seek “any major change in direction” after the new director is appointed.

Lewis said that Shapiro managed to grow the MacMillan Center after the financial crisis of 2008, and the Center’s endowment income stands at more than $20 million today as a result. He added that Shapiro greatly expanded the Center’s research on Africa, South Asia and the Middle East.

“I think Ian’s had a great impact on the Center over the past 15 years. It’s been a much more important source of funding for graduate students and faculty,” Lewis said. “I’m sure the next director will continue to have a large impact on these initiatives.”

Faculty members interviewed by the News praised Shapiro’s leadership. Political science professor Steven Wilkinson said that he has been particularly pleased with the large increases in funding for students’ dissertations and fieldwork during Shapiro’s tenure.

He added that Shapiro’s unique style of leadership, which Shapiro himself dubbed “leading from behind,” supported the ideas of individuals within the Center and the community at large.

“MacMillan’s support for — now — 400 faculty across the University who work on international affairs is vital to attracting the best scholars to Yale, and retaining them. As director, Ian Shapiro helps coordinate all of this with intellectual breadth, efficiency, skill, and a great sense of humor,” Wilkinson said.

The MacMillan Center is located at 34 Hillhouse Ave.

Carly Wanna | carly.wanna@yale.edu