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Post from Emma

We asked three Team Harris ambassadors and the president of Women in Public Policy (WiPP) to share their insight on the announcement of the appointment of the new Dean of the Harris School, Katherine Baicker.

Becki Planchard (MPP ’17), President of Women in Public Policy

“Harris students had been anxiously waiting for months to hear who our new Dean would be. When the announcement hit our inboxes last week about incoming Dean Kate Baicker, I eagerly joined in text and email chains with my fellow leaders from Women in Public Policy, all of us excited about the news. I see Dean Baicker’s background in health policy and economics as an asset to our school—to me, she is an embodiment of our slogan, “Social Impact, Down to a Science.” We at WiPP are grateful for our interim Dean, Kerwin Charles, and his consistent efforts to shed light on and transform diversity at Harris. We are confident that Dean Baicker will bring in her own perspectives to lead Harris forward, building on the momentum of the past years. I look forward to returning as an alumna to see her leadership in action.”

Peter Biava (MPP 19), Team Harris ambassador

“I'm thrilled that Harris has a new dean! Katherine Baicker is the heavy-hitter academic that UChicago needs to lead Harris into the future as a trendsetter in pubic policy. Her accomplishments in the executive branch as an economic policy advisor demonstrates the type of leadership and rigor that Harris is famous for. Her expertise in health economics adds a wonderful dimension to the depth of expertise within the Harris faculty. 

I want to thank Professor Kerwin Charles who did a remarkable job as interim dean. I'm very proud that Harris is now in the hands of an equally genuine, personable, and capable leader in Professor Baicker. The future of Harris is extremely bright, and the next few years here will be exciting to see how everything unfolds!”

Faraz Ahmed (MSCAPP 18), Team Harris ambassador

“The appointment of Katherine Baicker as the new dean of Harris School of Public Policy is a reflection of school's commitment to increasingly expand the evidence based research in different policy fields. Her tenure as the Dean will open the doors for rigorous inquiry in the fields of health economics and health policy, which is quite pertinent in today's age where the debate on future health insurance has become increasingly complex.

Dr. Baicker's exceptional track record in both academic and professional arenas will also accelerate Harris's core focus on bridging the gap between practitioners and academia. Having served and serving on the leadership at prestigious institutions such as the Harvard's T. H. Chan School of Public Health, President's Council of Economic Advisors (2005-2007) and National Academy of Medicine (IOM), Dr. Baicker, in my view, will solidify the leadership potential of the Harris community and increasingly forge new partnerships between policy institutions and the student community at Harris. These collaborations will go a long way in devising the future policy making processes of America and other countries.”

Madeleine Toups (MPP 18), Team Harris ambassador

“Interim Dean Kerwin Charles has been a phenomenal resource for students in his time as Dean. I am very appreciative of his commitment to diversity and gender inclusivity at the Harris School, as well as genuine concern for students’ experiences. I look forward to his role at Harris in my final year in the MPP program.

That being said, I could not be more thrilled with Dr. Katherine Baicker’s appointment as Harris School’s new Dean. Dr. Baicker is knowledgeable and well-respected in a range of topics that are important to myself and current students, specifically her work in health economics. Healthcare is an increasingly important policy issue both in the United States and internationally, and having Dr. Baicker as a leader in this field at the helm of Harris will hopefully bring greater opportunities in healthcare reform and outreach for current students to explore as potential careers and research topics.

In addition to her high-caliber qualifications, Dr. Baicker will be the second woman to serve in this role. I look forward to working with her and Women in Public Policy to amplify women’s voice in advocacy, professional development, and inclusive dialogue on campus and at the Harris School.”