Robert Lieberman, Ph.D., a distinguished political scientist and former academic administrator at Columbia University, is a professor in the Department of Political Science. He served as the 14th provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Johns Hopkins from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2016. He stepped down to pursue his acclaimed research and scholarship on issues of race and inequality.
As provost, Lieberman was the university’s chief academic officer, responsible for working with the deans of Johns Hopkins’ nine academic divisions and overseeing research at a university that for decades has received more federal research and development dollars than any other.
Lieberman has played an active role in strengthening governance and academic decision-making at JHU, and his scholarly expertise have made him a natural advocate for the role and value of diversity. He conceived the highly successful JHU Forums on Race in America, led the development of the recently announced Faculty Diversity Initiative – a five-year program designed to bring outstanding under-represented and minority faculty to Hopkins – and worked to enhance the university’s practices and accountabilities around equity issues.
Lieberman has implemented the Bloomberg Distinguished Professorships, drawing in 19 renowned faculty members whose cross-disciplinary endeavors touch nearly every corner of the university. He also led the development of the Catalyst and Discovery awards, which reward innovative early-career research and distinguished cross-divisional research collaborations, and the President’s Frontier Award, a $250,000 award given annually to a faculty member who demonstrates significant scholarly achievement and shows exceptional promise for important future work.
Before joining Johns Hopkins, the Boston-bred and Yale-and-Harvard-educated Lieberman had been a faculty member at Columbia since 1994, becoming a department chair in 2007, vice dean for academic affairs in 2009, and interim dean of the School of International and Public Affairs more than a year ago.
Lieberman’s first book, Shifting the Color Line: Race and the American Welfare State, won the 1999 Lionel Trilling Book Award for the best book by a Columbia faculty member. He has since published Shaping Race Policy: The United States in Comparative Perspective and co-edited a Johns Hopkins University Press title, Democratization in America: A Comparative-Historical Analysis. He also co-edited Beyond Discrimination: Racial Inequality in a Postracist Era, released in August 2013 by the Russell Sage Foundation.