John L. Jackson Jr. Named Dean of Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice
John L. Jackson Jr., the Richard Perry University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Senior Advisor for Diversity in the Office of the Provost, has been appointed dean of Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice, succeeding Richard Gelles, who has successfully served as dean since 2001. Jackson’s appointment will come into effect from July 1, 2014.
Jackson, a noted cultural anthropologist, has written and taught about the impact of mass media on urban life, globalization and the remaking of ethnic and racial Diasporas, and racialization and media technology.
“John is a distinguished teacher, a renowned scholar, and a visionary leader whose work crosses traditional academic boundaries and involves community partners in understanding and confronting societal challenges around the nation and the world,” said Amy Gutmann, Penn President. “He is the best person to advance the School of Social Policy & Practice toward its goal of becoming the leading center for interdisciplinary teaching and research on social innovation, impact, and justice.”
“John has the vision, energy, and skills to continue to strengthen the School of Social Policy & Practice, to help deepen its relationships and partnerships across the University and with communities locally and globally, and to further position it as a critical contributor to our vision of Penn as the model of an inclusive, integrated, and impactful university,” said Vincent Price, Provost.
Responding to his appointment as the dean, Jackson said; “I am so incredibly excited about this opportunity and I look forward to working with the faculty, students, staff and alumni of this impressive and inspiring school as they continue to demonstrate the value of putting cutting-edge scholarship, research and theory in service to the public good.”
Jackson joined Penn in 2006 as its first Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) University Professor. Jackson earned his B.A. in Communication summa cum laude from Howard University as a University Merit Scholar and received his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. with distinction in anthropology from Columbia University. He was a Junior Fellow in Harvard University’s Society of Fellows and a faculty member in Duke University’s Cultural Anthropology Department before coming to Penn where, in addition to his appointments in Anthropology, Africana Studies, and Communication, he is also affiliated with the School of Social Policy & Practice, the English Department, the Graduate School of Education, and the Penn Institute for Urban Research. In 2009, Jackson served as a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.