School Leadership

Interim Dean Catherine Squires

Portrait of Catherine Squires

Catherine R. Squires, PhD, joined the Humphrey School as associate dean in August of 2020 and was named interim dean in August 2021. Previously, she was in the College of Liberal Arts as a professor of communication studies.

Squires' work investigates the interactions between social identities, media discourses, and publics. She is the author of Dispatches from the Color Line (SUNY, 2007) and African Americans and the Media (Polity, 2009). Her most recent book, The Post-racial Mystique (NYU Press, 2014), explores how a variety of media—the news, network television, and online, independent media—debate, define and deploy the term “post-racial” in their representations of American politics and society.

Squires is a member of the Historical Injustice Collaborative at the Institute for Advanced Study, working on ways to reconsider Minnesota historical narratives and engender resilient partnerships with communities that have historically been excluded from dominant tellings of the Minnesota story. 

She is also engaged in long-term partnerships with Gordon Parks High School and Hallie Q. Brown Center in St. Paul. Squires and University of Minnesota students collaborate with community members and high school students to deepen their knowledge about the school's and center's namesakes, local African American history, and foster publicly oriented creative projects. Read more about Interim Dean Squires.

Interim Associate Dean for Research Ryan Allen

Portrait of Ryan Allen

Ryan Allen, PhD, has been a member of the Humphrey School faculty since 2007 in the urban and regional planning area. As interim associate dean for research, Allen will serve as point of contact for the Humphrey School’s research faculty and center directors, and update faculty on policies regarding research ethics, procedures, grant funding, and other related information.

He will also represent the School in the University's Council of Research Associate Deans (CRAD), the Center for Transportation Studies (CTS), and the Hennepin University Partnership (HUP).  

Allen’s research focuses on housing and community development, with a substantial emphasis on understanding immigrant integration in the United States. He uses quantitative and qualitative research methods to advance theory, and policy and planning conversations on important social issues, particularly racial, ethnic, and economic inequality, access to economic and social opportunities, immigrant legal status, and immigrant integration. 

In addition to his role as interim associate dean for research, Allen will continue to serve as the area chair and director of graduate studies for the Urban and Regional Planning Program. Read more about Interim Associate Dean Allen

Interim Assistant Dean for Graduate Education Diana Beck

Portrait of Diana Beck

Diana Beck has been with the Humphrey School since August 2018 as the director of academic programs. In this role, she leads the development, implementation, and evaluation of our academic programs, working closely with the directors of graduate studies, faculty, staff, students, and other stakeholders to advance curricular innovation, leverage emerging trends and best practices in professional student education, and support key curricular initiatives including around equity and inclusion and engaged learning.

Beck has shown great leadership in supporting the academic programs team throughout the pandemic. She also has worked creatively with the directors of graduate studies and area chairs on the curriculum committee to generate ideas to move us closer to our diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.

As interim assistant dean, Beck will continue to lead the academic programs staff and work with the curriculum committee. She will also represent the School at university-wide meetings, such as the Professional Education Council and the Council of Graduate Associate and Assistant Deans. Read more about Interim Assistant Dean Diana Beck.

Advisory Groups

There are five key stakeholder groups that advise the dean and associate dean. They are:

Alumni Board

The Humphrey School Alumni Society Board of Directors plays a key role in promoting and achieving the mission of the Humphrey School by providing an effective vehicle for alumni involvement. The Alumni Board facilitates practitioner-based experiences and promotes the School among key partners. Meet the Alumni Board

Dean's Advisory Council

This distinguished group of community advisors provides advice and counsel to the dean and helps the Humphrey School strengthen its connections with the community. Meet the Dean's Advisory Council

Equity and Inclusion Council

The Equity and Inclusion Council is responsible for generating discussion and initiatives that value and actively promote equity, inclusion, and diversity by helping achieve the goals established in the Equity and Inclusion Strategy and Implementation Plan. Learn more about the Equity and Inclusion Council

Executive Council

The Executive Council is an elected representative group of Humphrey School faculty, students, and staff. It has responsibility for all matters not otherwise under the authority of the Dean or the Humphrey School graduate faculty, including policies and practices relating to school administration, human resources, community engagement, and finance. Meet the Executive Council

Senior Leadership Staff

A core group of directors makes up the Humphrey School Senior Leadership Staff. These directors work together to advise the Dean and Associate Dean, as well as manage day-to-day operations within the school. Meet the Senior Leadership Staff