John Keeler to Step Down as Dean of GSPIA

Dear Colleagues,

John T.S. Keeler has served as dean of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) and as a valued member of the Council of Deans since 2007. It is with deep appreciation for all he has brought to GSPIA and to the University community that I write to share that John has announced his decision to step down as dean, effective June 30, 2020.

John came to the University of Pittsburgh in July 2007 as an already internationally renowned scholar, teacher, and leader from the University of Washington at Seattle, where he was a professor of political science, director of the Center for West European Studies and European Union Center of Excellence, and chair of the Division of French and Italian Studies.

Widely recognized for his expertise and research in comparative public policy, European Union politics, transatlantic relations, and American foreign policy, John put that experience and knowledge to work to strengthen and transform GSPIA’s research and scholarship base with an eye toward our global environment. Thanks to his vision, GSPIA now ranks #2 among public universities and #10 overall for “International/Global Policy and Administration” in the 2019 U.S. News Public Affairs rankings. This category itself is largely a result of John’s tireless, 10-year effort in lobbying NASPAA (the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration) to request that U.S. News add a specialization on international affairs to its annual rankings for Public Affairs.

With support from the Office of the Provost, in 2009 John launched the University of Pittsburgh Washington Center to strengthen ties with the nation’s capital for GSPIA and other units. The center is administered by a GSPIA staff person who organizes events by video-conference to connect students with DC-based alumni, assists students seeking DC internships, and manages special programs including a Spring DC Semester program on “Lobbying, Advocacy and Public Diplomacy” designed for students from both GSPIA and the Law School.

Under his leadership, GSPIA enhanced its curriculum through the addition of new programs like the Post-Baccalaureate Credential in Cybersecurity, Policy and Law to be taught jointly with SCI and Law; the GSPIA-School of Nursing joint degree program; and new majors in Governance and International Public Management, Energy and Environment, and Social Policy

He also led the development of GSPIA’s first online program, the MPPM (Master of Public Policy and Management) Online; in the fall of 2020 two new specialized versions of this program will become available, the MPPM-Global Affairs and the MPPM-Nonprofit Management.

Under his direction, GSPIA established a number of new centers, including the Center for Disaster Management, the Center for Metropolitan Studies, the Shale Gas Governance Center, the Center for Analytics in Social Innovation, and the Center for Governance and Markets (expected fall 2019).

John also launched the school’s Frances Hesselbein Forum Leadership Program in International Affairs to expand the unit’s leadership training and, together with the Department of Sociology, introduced the Gender Inequality Research Lab (GIRL) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program. Establishing a global community via international partnerships has been a high priority since the beginning of John’s tenure. GSPIA established an annual Workshop on Public Policy and Administration with the Graduate School of Public Administration at Seoul National University, collaborated on water policy in the U.S. and Colombia with the School of Government at the University of the Andes, and initiated student exchange or dual degree programs with Kobe University, Nanjing University, the University of the Witwatersrand, and the University of Geneva.

During John’s tenure, GSPIA has also enhanced its diversity profile with the appointment of a Community Engagement Coordinator and a substantial increase in the recruitment of underrepresented minority students.

Honored nationally and internationally for his contributions, John was recognized with the Chester A. Newland Presidential Citation of Merit from the American Society for Public Administration, was named a Donald C. Stone Lecturer for the American Society for Public Administration, was elected a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, and served as president of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs. Previously, he served as chair for the European Union Studies Association and as a USAID Consultant to the Supreme Rada of Ukraine. He was also honored with the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques from the French Ministry of National Education, the Chevalier de l’Ordre du Merite Agricole from the French Ministry of Agriculture, and the Gabriel A. Almond Award from the American Political Science Association.

John earned his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Southern California and both his master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from Harvard University.

John has numerous publications to his credit, including books such as The Politics of Neocorporatism in France: Farmers, the State and Agricultural Policy-making in the Fifth Republic, Chirac’s Challenge: Liberalization, Europeanization and Malaise in France, Agricultural Policy, Defending Europe: The EU, NATO and the Quest for European Autonomy, Réformer: Les Conditions du Changement Politique and numerous journal articles.

John’s accomplishments are as far-reaching as they are significant—and the University of Pittsburgh has benefitted greatly from his contributions.  He will be deeply missed.  As he continues his work through the 2019-2020 academic year, please join me in thanking John for all the ways he has impacted our community for the better.  A search committee will be formed this year to identify his successor.


Ann E. Cudd
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor