Center welcomes Mack Brown chair

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After a three-year search, UT’s Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law announced Tuesday that an international history professor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison will be the first to fill a global policy chairmanship this fall.

The research center appointed Jeremi Suri to serve as the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs. Suri will teach in the department of history and the LBJ School of Public Affairs, which houses the center.

Suri will lead a history and policy program that will bring the two fields together, Strauss Center director Francis Gavin said. He said the center wanted to take time to find someone who would perfectly fill the position.

“His work is policy-relevant and creative,” Gavin said. “He’s an award-winning teacher, and he’s been an institution-builder.”

The chairmanship, created in May 2008, honored Mack Brown for the qualities Gavin said he hopes students develop at the center.

“Mack, in his leadership, reflects some of the best aspects of the University — leadership, creativity and bringing different communities together,” he said. “In an age of globalization, those are the skills we want our students to have.”

Suri has visited the University and said he is excited to join the faculty at UT.

“I am attracted by the opportunity to collaborate with the best minds in the field and build innovative programs that will train the leaders of tomorrow,” he said in an email. “I am also very impressed with the quality and eagerness of undergraduate and graduate students that I have met at UT.”

Suri said he wants to expand international affairs research and create partnerships between the University and businesses, government offices and nonprofit organizations as the Mack Brown chair.

“I want to help build the very best teaching program for the future government, business, and intellectual leaders of our society,” he said.

Florencia Mallon, chair of the history department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said Suri was active in the community during his time at the university and developed an online course taken by military members stationed around the world.

Mallon also said Suri personally impacted the students he taught.

“He also is a very dynamic and effective undergraduate teacher and developed a really strong following among undergraduates here,” she said. “He also leaves behind a number of graduate students here at Wisconsin who came to Wisconsin to work with him because of his national reputation.”