Merit Janow will step down from her role as Dean of SIPA on December 31, 2021, but will continue to teach as a professor of the school.

Merit Janow, Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), will step down this winter, on December 31, 2021, according to an announcement from President Bollinger sent to the Columbia community yesterday which can be found in full below.

Janow will continue at SIPA as a Professor of Professional Practice in International Economic Law and International Affairs. President Bollinger explained that he will form a search committee to find an Interim Dean to replace Dean Janow in “due course.” The public must be made aware of the appointment of an Interim Dean by, at the latest, December 2021, as Janow’s last official day as SIPA Dean is at the end of the year.

She has been the Dean of SIPA since June 2013, where Janow has helped SIPA expand into the fields of cybersecurity and data analytics, create a funded initiative to support student-led start-ups, and emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion within the school.

Email to Columbia affiliates from President Bollinger on July 1 at 12:02 pm:

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

I write to share with you that Merit Janow will step down as Dean of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), effective December 31, 2021. I am very pleased that she will continue as Professor of Professional Practice in International Economic Law and International Affairs, and will remain a valued resource for me and so many others across the University, as one of the world’s leading scholars of international trade and investment and of the Asia-Pacific region.

Under Merit’s skilled leadership, SIPA has established itself as the leading public policy school focused on global and international issues, advancing our understanding of the world and offering solutions to challenges it faces, and preparing the next generation to lead. During her eight years as Dean, Merit has enhanced many of SIPA’s longstanding core strengths—from global economic and financial policy and international security to sustainable development, urban policy, human rights, and global energy and environmental policy—and has expanded the School’s research faculty, centers, and programs in these fields. She brought SIPA into emerging areas such as cybersecurity and data analytics, and deepened its expertise and impact in key countries, including China, Japan, India, and Brazil. And she fostered collaborations—across the University and around the world—all while promoting the importance of global institutions, as well as national governments and the private sector, in addressing the world’s major issues.

Merit has also strengthened SIPA’s reputation as a leader in innovative problem-solving and experiential learning and established an externally funded initiative to support student-led entrepreneurial start-ups. Importantly, working with faculty, students, and staff, she significantly heightened the School’s emphasis on diversity—hiring new faculty, creating new courses on race and justice, significantly increasing financial aid, and developing a plan to further advance equity and inclusion across SIPA.

I will share details regarding the appointment of an Interim Dean and the formation of a search committee to identify Merit’s successor in due course. I know that everyone joins in expressing our deepest thanks to Merit for her committed and tireless stewardship of SIPA—the legacy of her transformative leadership will be long-lasting.


Lee C. Bollinger

SIPA via Flickr