Bryan Brayboy to become SESP dean, will bring experience in Indigenous education to NU


Photo courtesy of Kayla Stoner

Bryan Brayboy. He is set to assume the position of SESP Dean on June 1.

Joanna Hou, Campus Editor

Bryan Brayboy, a citizen of the Lumbee Nation, will become dean of the School of Education and Social Policy on June 1, Northwestern announced in a news release Wednesday. 

Brayboy will leave Arizona State University, where he is president’s professor in the School of Social Transformation, to assume the position at NU. He is also Vice President of Social Advancement and serves as senior advisor to ASU’s president. 

“I’m excited to be joining SESP; the school’s faculty — at all ranks — are remarkable scholars, public intellectuals and policymakers who address the full spectrum of the role of learning and human development across the lifespan,” Brayboy said in the release. “The staff is incredible, and the students are vibrant, creative thinkers who are clearly on track to become leaders in their areas of study.” 

Brayboy has had extensive experience in diversity and inclusion and helped bring attention to Indigenous experiences in education, according to the release. He has served as director of multiple research institutes and has authored documents for the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences.

He has also helped train about 165 Native teachers to work in Indigenous communities, and has supported about 24 American Indian Ph.D. students through their education. 

The SESP search committee — formed in April 2022 — that selected Brayboy was overseen by NU Provost Kathleen Hagerty and chaired by SESP Prof. Emma Adam. Brayboy succeeds former SESP Dean David Figlio, who joined the University of Rochester as its provost in May 2022. Interim Dean Dan McAdams will oversee commencement responsibilities in June. 

“Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy is known for acting on research in ways that improve our communities and our society,” University President Michael Schill said in the release. “Bryan Brayboy has the experience and vision to lead this school in new and exciting directions. We are delighted to welcome him into our community.” 

Brayboy will also be the Carlos Montezuma Professor of Education and Social Policy.

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