Beginning July 1, 2015, Dr. Melissa Nobles, the Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science and current head of the Department of Political Science, will succeed Dean Deborah Fitzgerald, who announced last fall that she would step down this June, having served since 2006.
Melissa joined our faculty in 1995, fresh from earning her PhD in political science at Yale. Since then she has distinguished herself as a scholar in MIT’s best problem-solving tradition, living out her department’s commitment to “rigor and relevance” through pioneering research on global questions of racial and ethnic politics and justice. In her two books, Shades of Citizenship: Race and the Census in Modern Politics and The Politics of Official Apologies, she draws illuminating comparisons across societies as disparate as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Brazil and the United States. This cross-cultural perspective also informs her teaching, where she takes particular pleasure in watching students from the US and other parts of the world open each other’s minds to new points of view. Photo: Stuart Darsch