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Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

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Last modified: Thursday, April 17, 2008

John Graham to lead IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs

April 17, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS -- John D. Graham, a former Harvard faculty member and top official with the White House Office of Management and Budget, has been named dean of the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

The appointment, subject to approval by the IU Board of Trustees, was announced today by Charles Bantz, chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. It takes effect Aug. 1.

"Dean Graham brings scholarly distinction, national public service and decanal experience to a distinguished school," Bantz said. "His leadership will enhance SPEA's research, education and civic engagement and carry on the school's 35-year history of making vital contributions to Indiana, the nation and the world."

Graham has since March 2006 been dean of the Pardee RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, Calif. Prior to holding that position, he spent five years as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget.

"It is an honor for me to assume the deanship of one of our nation's finest public affairs programs," Graham said. "I look forward to working with IU SPEA faculty, students and alumni as we address urgent issues such as health care, energy, environment and the loss of manufacturing employment in Indiana and the nation."

IU President Michael A. McRobbie said, "I am delighted with the appointment of John Graham, a proven leader with extensive experience in both university and government settings. The School of Public and Environmental Affairs is one of the most highly regarded institutions of its kind, and I am confident that Dr. Graham will lead it to even greater heights."

The previous dean of SPEA, Astrid Merget, left in 2007 to become provost and executive vice president of Louisiana State University. Professor C. Kurt Zorn has served as interim dean for the past year.

Bantz named a 15-member search committee that sought out and interviewed candidates. Graham visited IU campuses and met with faculty, staff and students in February. The dean of SPEA reports to the chancellor of IUPUI.

"I am pleased that John Graham will be leading the School of Public and Environmental Affairs," said Lauren Robel, dean of the IU School of Law-Bloomington and the chair of the search committee. "SPEA is an excellent school that deserves an excellent leader, and in Graham, it will be getting energy, vision and integrity."

Graham spent 16 years at the Harvard School of Public Health, where he was a faculty member, deputy chairman of the Department of Health Policy and Management and founding director of the Center for Risk Analysis, which he led from 1989 to 2001.

At the Office of Management and Budget from 2001 to 2006, he oversaw for President Bush federal regulatory policy, statistical policy and information, and directed a staff of 50 career policy analysts with backgrounds in science, engineering, economics, statistics and law.

The Pardee RAND Graduate School, where Graham has been dean and chair in policy analysis for the past two years, is part of the RAND Corp. think tank. It boasts the world's largest doctoral program in policy analysis.

Graham has a doctorate degree in urban and public affairs from Carnegie-Mellon University, a master's degree in public affairs from Duke University and a bachelor's degree with honors in economics and politics from Wake Forest University. He is the author or co-author of seven books on safety, regulation and risk assessment and more than 140 published papers and reports. He is married and has two daughters.

Sally Katzen, who headed the OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Clinton Administration, praised Graham, who succeeded her in the position.

"John Graham took constructive steps toward increased transparency, consulted broadly, listened to what others said, and worked to understand all sides of issues. He is a bona fide academic," said Katzen, a visiting professor of law at George Mason University.

William Ruckelshaus, an Indiana native who became the first head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, said, "I've known John Graham for over 25 years. He has had a long career assessing and managing the risks to public health and the environment. He has always been scrupulous, honest and thorough in his actions. SPEA is fortunate in having a person of Graham's stature as its new dean."

Created in 1972, the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs has earned national distinction for innovative educational programs that combine administrative, social, economic, financial and environmental disciplines. It was ranked No. 2 for graduate programs in public affairs last month by U.S. News & World Report.