Celebrating Dean Michael E. Brown’s Legacy of Progress

June 17, 2015

After a decade of extraordinary accomplishments at GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs, Dean Michael E. Brown will be stepping down from his leadership role in June 2015.

“Mike Brown began his tenure as dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs with a vision and a plan: to make the Elliott School a top academic school of international studies and a preeminent, recognized venue for scholarly research, exposition, and practice. He has achieved both through careful planning, consensus building, and charismatic leadership,” said chairman of the Elliott School’s Board of Advisors Steven L. Skancke. 

The Elliott School has grown tremendously during Dean Brown’s tenure. While student enrollment remained relatively the same—a strategic decision on the part of the leadership—the number of full-time faculty increased substantially, from 45 budgeted faculty members in 2005 to 68 in 2015. The school also added two new M.A. programs—in Global Communication and Middle East Studies—and dozens of new academic concentrations and courses.

GW President Steven Knapp said Dean Brown’s “dedicated leadership and clarity of vision have raised the Elliott School to a new level of national prominence.”

“As an overseas alumna and member of the Board of Advisors, I have been so impressed at how Mike has been able to build bridges between people of different cultures, opinions and backgrounds,” said Alia Marwah Eyres (B.A. ’01). “Now that I have my own children who may one day attend the George Washington University, I am especially grateful for Mike’s leadership as dean and his passion to make the Elliott School of International Affairs the very best.”

When he took the helm in 2005, Dean Brown cited enhancing the school’s research initiatives as a top priority. Under his leadership, the Elliott School has launched four new institutes: the Institute for International Economic Policy, the Institute for Middle East Studies, the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication (in cooperation with GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs), and the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies. The Elliott School now has nine research institutes and centers—on par with other leading schools of international affairs. These institutes underpin a wide and growing array of individual and multi-person research projects on topics including: energy security, global gender issues, global economic governance, peacekeeping, ultra-poverty, the impacts of climate change, political mobilization, and worldviews of rising powers, as well as regionally-focused projects on Eurasia and the Middle East.

“Mike has done a fantastic job of supporting the Elliott School faculty by increasing the available research funding and by expanding the number of research institutes and centers. He has done a lot to support us and our research both professionally and personally,” said Elliott School faculty member Hope M. Harrison, “All of my research trips to Berlin for my forthcoming book on Germany since the fall of the Berlin Wall would not have been possible without his support!”

To honor the important work that Dean Brown has achieved and ensure that the Elliott School maintains its forward momentum, the Elliott School has established the Michael E. Brown Faculty Research Fund. The fund will support faculty research school-wide, across all of the issues, regions, and disciplines that are studied at the Elliott School. In addition, resources from the Michael E. Brown Faculty Research Fund will support the Michael E. Brown Research Prize, a prize that will be awarded annually to an Elliott School faculty member who demonstrates a sustained level of excellence and commitment to rigorous international affairs research.

Dean Brown, an expert on international security and conflict issues, will continue to serve on the Elliott School’s faculty after he steps down as dean.