A Princeton Dean Is Named to Lead Brown

Ann McClure's picture

Christina Hull Paxson, the dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton, will become president of Brown University on July 1. She succeeds Ruth J. Simmons, who said in September that she would step down.

Dr. Paxson, 52, is an economist who began teaching at Princeton in 1986. In 2000, she founded the Wilson School’s Center for Health and Wellbeing, serving as its director until 2009, when she became dean. Her work in recent years has focused on the relationship of economic factors to children’s health and welfare.

Dr. Paxson has served as chairwoman of Princeton’s economics department. She is also a senior editor of The Future of Children and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is probably best known in the popular media for her research, with Anne Case, on the relationship of children’s height to status, intelligence and earnings.

Chancellor Thomas J. Tisch, who led a search committee, said Dr. Paxson’s record at Princeton and her success at the Woodrow Wilson School showed that she was the right candidate. Dr. Paxson, he said, had “taken the school and made it a happy place. If she can make Brown any happier, I think we’d burst the thermometer.”

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