McCormack's Interim Dean: Professor and Associate Dean, Rita Kiki Edozie
Rita Kiki Edozie has been appointed interim Dean of the John W McCormack School of Policy and Global Studies on August 3rd, 2021. She is McCormack’s fourth dean, but comes with many firsts, including first female dean, first dean of color, first traditional academic dean, and the first dean with global policy expertise. Kiki, as she is called, served as McCormack’s Associate Dean since August 2017 where she has worked in partnership with Dean David Cash to provide cutting-edge and innovative vision and leadership to the school's programs and initiatives by way of fostering an environment of policy research and teaching that has sought to drive community impact at the local, state, national and global levels.
Kiki brings a twenty-year leadership record in public affairs and global studies to her faculty and administrator portfolio, beginning her academic career in 2001 with an appointment as Institute of African Studies Deputy Director at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University in New York City. Between 2005 – 2013, Kiki was progressively promoted from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of International Relations with tenure, and ultimately to full Professor at Michigan State University’s James Madison College of Public and International Affairs. At MSU, as head of unit and director, from 2011-2015, Kiki also chaired the university’s African American and African Studies (AAAS) degree programs where she oversaw the training of PhD students, 80% of whom were placed in successful tenure track or academic appointments upon completion of their five-year programs. Also, at MSU, from 2011-2012, Kiki participated in MSU’s year-long Academic Leadership Fellowship Program organized by the consortium of Big Ten Midwest R1 universities. Kiki speaks positively about the program’s intensive administrative leadership development that prepared her to address the challenges of academic administration at major research universities, like tightening budgets, changing student populations, and increasing pressures from external sources.
Since joining UMass Boston in 2017, as MGS’ Associate Dean, Kiki achieved several accomplishments in her short four-year tenure, including establishing a first-time student success program– the dean’s office student success (DOSS) program, launching an inaugural faculty research funding program – the Dean’s Office Faculty Fund for Advancing Research (DOFFFAR), and establishing the McCormack Racial Equity Taskforce (MRET). She also established a campus wide, African Studies program under the platform of the Africa Scholars Forum (ASF).
Earning her PhD in Politics and International Relations from New York City’s New School for Social Research in 1999 giving her a longstanding teaching and research expertise platform in African affairs, comparative democracy, global development, and race relations; at McCormack, in addition to her role as Associate Dean, Kiki has held an appointment as active, tenured full professor of global governance and international relations in MGS’ department of conflict resolution, human security and global governance. She teaches courses in international relations theory, international political economy, and international security, and trains PhD and MA thesis students in global governance, international relations, and conflict resolution.
Kiki is an accomplished scholar having published eight books (with one forthcoming, Africa’s New Global Politics: Regionalism in International Relations, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2022) and several peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and policy briefs, including co-authoring Changing Faces of Greater Boston with UMB’s ethnic studies institutes, the Donahue Institute, and the Boston Foundation (2019). She is on the board of directors of the world-renowned academy and Rutgers University-based African Studies Association (ASA) and on the executive board of the West African Research Association (WARA) hosted at BU. Kiki has fostered local, national, and global networks, including holding the position of honorary professor at the University of South Africa (UNISA) where she has led several undergraduate and graduate student and faculty exchanges.
As interim Dean, Professor Edozie hopes to lead MGS on important strategic priorities, including fundraising and strengthening the college’s extramural grant awards; strengthening cross-campus collaborations to grow and expand the college’s academic programs; and conducting myriad DEI initiatives that will serve to diversify doctoral student enrollments, increase faculty and staff of color appointments, and improve the curricular and workplace compositional climate of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the college.
Our Distinctive Strengths
Nationally recognized as a model for public service schools, the McCormack Graduate School is committed to social justice and equity. We offer an interdisciplinary education and conduct cutting edge research that seeks to understand and remedy some of the most important social, political, economic, and environmental issues of our time.
Our distinctive strengths include:
- Pioneering academic programs recognized for their innovation, applied learning opportunities, and focus on equity.
- Research funded by the Carnegie, Fulbright, Guggenheim, National Science Foundation, and National Institutes of Health, among others.
- Educational and research partnerships in Brazil, China, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Nigeria, South Africa, and others
- Entrepreneurial centers focusing on aging issues, peace, public collaboration, public management, social policy, sustainability, and women in politics and public policy
We welcome new students, research partners, and community collaborators to help us build a better world for all.
Pioneering and Award-Winning Academic Programs
Noting the public service mission of the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, BestValueSchools.com ranks UMass Boston 29th in its list of the 50 Most Innovative Public Service Schools in the United States.
U.S. News & World Report ranks several of our offerings among its Best Graduate Schools:
Our Conflict Resolution Master’s Program was one of the first in the field of dispute resolution graduate education.
Our Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy Program has earned awards from the University Continuing Education Association and the American Association of University Women for innovation and progress toward equity.
Our Gerontology PhD Program has produced one quarter of all the PhDs in the field. It is one of the oldest and largest such programs.
Our Global Governance and Human Security PhD Program is the first of its kind.