Nisha Botchwey began her new role as dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs on January 10, 2022. Here is her initial message to the Humphrey School community.
Dear students, faculty, staff, and friends,
I am honored to start 2022 and the spring semester as your new dean at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, a School founded on a vision and legacy of advancing the common good in our diverse world.
Ever since I was selected for this role, following the extraordinary leadership of both Dean Laura Bloomberg and Interim Dean Catherine Squires, I have thought about the education and research that happens here. In so many ways it resonates with who I am today and the road I have traveled to get here.
Truly, to be part of this School means to have the opportunity to change people’s lives, shape public policy, and even bring about necessary justice—to be in service of one another and our fellow, global, citizens. What an inspiration.
This School holds a cherished place in the realm of public policy and administration, named after Mr. Minnesota and former vice president Hubert H. Humphrey. His service to all citizens of this country is something that I see reflected in the work of the School, inside and out of the classroom.
Mr. Humphrey said, “Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate,” and I cannot think of a better way to look at our role in public service than this.
Our School has much to be #HHHProud of, like affecting critical changes to international laws that will save lives, researching our responses to the pandemic to address the needs of today, and addressing climate change head on—just to name a few. To progress this work requires us to remove barriers, ensure varied perspectives are at the table, give space so all voices are welcomed, and be unafraid to change the status quo.
During my time at Georgia Tech, I took great pride in my support for students and faculty learning and teaching, especially during times of great challenge and change. When we faced potential roadblocks—the pandemic and the resulting expansion of remote instruction, and continued racial injustice—instead of giving up and saying “we can’t,” we adjusted how or what we were doing and continued our forward progress.
I believe, like you, this School is ready to continue that forward progress. As a nationally recognized top 10 public policy school in the country, we have exciting and impactful work ahead. This semester will bring its own challenges and roadblocks, and we can work through, around and over them together by adjusting and moving forward.
I am excited to get to know the University of Minnesota, the Humphrey School, and our community better.
Be well and encouraged,
Nisha Botchwey, PhD, MCRP, MPH