Lisa Anderson is the sixth Dean to lead Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, established in 1946. She has been on the faculty of Columbia since 1986 and, just prior to her appointment as Dean, served as Chair of the Political Science Department at Columbia. Dean Anderson also served as Director of Columbia’s Middle East Institute from 1990 to 1993. With her academic specialty being state formation and regime change, Dean Anderson is the author of Pursuing Truth, Exercising Power: Social Science and Public Policy in the Twenty-first Century (Columbia University Press, 2003), The State and Social Transformation in Tunisia and Libya, 1830-1980 (Princeton University Press, 1986), editor of Transitions to Democracy (Columbia University Press, 1999), and co-editor of The Origins of Arab Nationalism (Columbia University Press, 1991).
Dean Anderson holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. She earned a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University, where she also received a Certificate from the Middle East Institute. She was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Monmouth University in 2002. From 1981 to 1986, she was an Assistant Professor of Government and Social Studies at Harvard University. In addition to her responsibilities at Columbia, Dean Anderson is Past-President of the Middle East Studies Association, and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Social Science Research Council. She is on the Boards of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs and Human Rights Watch. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the editorial committee of Comparative Politics.