Office of the Provost


January 16, 2013

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce that Mr. Peter Kracht has accepted my offer to become the Director of the University of Pittsburgh Press, effective February 1, 2013.  As Director, Mr. Kracht will be responsible for leading the Press as it continues to grow its publishing program, enhance its electronic publishing, and navigate the ever-changing environment of scholarly publishing.  His responsibilities will include ensuring the continued quality of Press publications, the overall management of Press operations, recruitment and training of professional staff, and continuing and expanding productive collaborations with other University academic units.  He will also hold a university-wide leadership position as a member of the Council of Deans.

Mr. Kracht began his publishing career at Oxford University Press and over more than twenty-five years of publishing experience has established himself as an editor of distinguished books in several academic fields and a leading expert on scholarly publishing.  In his current position as Editorial Director and Director of Electronic Publishing at the University of Pittsburgh Press, he has been responsible for planning and supervision of editorial program and staff, book acquisitions, and development of new media for the university press publishing program. He has acquired books that have won major scholarly awards in their fields and supervised the work of acquisitions editors who have added award-winning titles to the Press’s list of publications. Under his leadership, the Press received a 2007 A. W.  Mellon Foundation grant to support the Slavic Studies program at the Press, in collaboration with two partner presses; a 2009 A. W. Mellon Foundation grant to launch a History of Science publishing program in collaboration with Pitt’s History and Philosophy of Science Department and the World History Center; and several grants for individual books from grantors such as the Buhl Foundation, Allegheny Foundation, Foundation for Landscape Studies, College Art Association, and Polish and Russian cultural ministries.

Mr. Kracht earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1984, and did graduate work at the School of International and Public Affairs/Harriman Institute for the Advanced Study of the Soviet Union at Columbia University, earning a SIPA Fellowship for academic achievement.  He has been an invited speaker at the Rocky Mountain Publishers Association annual seminar, keynote speaker at the Yale University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences annual seminar on academic publishing, and participated on numerous panels at academic conferences and at annual conferences of the Association of American University Presses.

During his publishing career, Mr. Kracht has held several key positions in scholarly publishing, including senior editor at Westview Press, executive editor at Greenwood Publishing Group, and editorial director at Praeger Publishers. Mr. Kracht joined the University of Pittsburgh Press in July 2005 as Editorial Director and was promoted to his current position, adding the responsibility for all electronic publishing activities at the Press, in 2007.  Since 2010 he has participated in the annual Recovering Forgotten History International Conference sponsored by Lazarski University (Warsaw) and the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education at their invitation, and now serves as co-organizer.  

Mr. Kracht’s vision for the University of Pittsburgh Press is well-matched to our overall academic vision for the University of Pittsburgh.  He is committed to building a publishing program that reflects the highest standards of scholarship, enhances the academic reputation of the University, and serves an international community of scholars and students. I am confident that his commitment to quality and emphasis on collaboration with other academic units within the University will help him advance these goals within the culture of the University community.

I am delighted that Peter has agreed to serve as Director of the University Press and have great confidence that his dedication to the academic mission of the University and his commitment to excellence will serve us well in his new role.  I very much look forward to working with him and believe that, under his leadership, the University of Pittsburgh Press will continue to thrive.


Patricia E. Beeson

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