The New School Appoints Alexander Aleinikoff Dean of The New School for Social Research

T. Alexander Aleinikoff

New York, June 27, 2023—The New School announced today that T. Alexander Aleinikoff has been appointed Dean of The New School for Social Research (NSSR). Aleinikoff, currently Director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility and a University Professor at NSSR, will begin in this role on July 15, 2023 as Dean William Milberg steps down and prepares for a one-year sabbatical. 

Aleinikoff’s appointment follows a robust search for a strong leader committed to NSSR’s focus on rigorous interdisciplinary graduate education and research. As Dean, Aleinikoff will serve as NSSR’s principal academic and strategic leader, furthering its strengths in traditional social sciences disciplines, and expanding its innovations in newer fields like migration and mobility, capitalism studies, gender and sexuality studies, creative publishing and critical journalism, and design and social thought.

“We sought someone with a strong commitment to advancing academic excellence and strengthening a teaching and learning environment rooted in interdisciplinary education, scholarship, and research,” said Renée T. White, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at The New School. “Alex is a proven leader with a rich scholarly background in the social sciences, who brings with him a deep knowledge of NSSR, The New School, and higher education. He is poised to guide NSSR towards a dynamic future that carries forward The New School’s time-honored legacy of groundbreaking inquiry and interdisciplinary graduate education.”

Aleinikoff succeeds Will Milberg, who concludes his tenure as Dean of NSSR on July 15, 2023. After a one-year sabbatical, Dean Millberg will return to the Economics faculty at NSSR and Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts where he serves as Professor of Economics. He will continue his involvement with the Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies.

A leading scholar in immigration and refugee law, Aleinikoff has written widely in the areas of immigration and refugee law and policy, transnational law, citizenship, race, and constitutional law. He joined The New School in January 2017, and currently serves as Director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility and is a University Professor at NSSR. 

"I came to NSSR aware of its history, reputation, and commitments to critical scholarship and the pursuit of social justice,” said Aleinikoff. “My admiration for the faculty, students and staff has continued to grow over these past half dozen years. I now welcome the opportunity to help NSSR navigate through the next several years—carrying forward the strengths of the past while thinking in creative and progressive ways about its role in The New School of the future.”

Before coming to The New School, Aleinikoff held the position of United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees (2010-15). He served on the faculties of the Georgetown University Law Center, where he also served as Dean and Executive Vice President for Law Center Affairs, and at the University of Michigan Law School. He was Co-Chair of the Immigration Task Force for President Barack Obama’s transition team in 2008, and from 1994 to 1997, he served as the general counsel, and then executive associate commissioner for programs, at the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). 

Aleinikoff’s published works include The Arc of Protection: Reforming the International Refugee Regime (Stanford Univ. Press, 2019), which he co-authored with Leah Zamore, and Semblances of Sovereignty: The Constitution, the State, and American Citizenship (Harvard Univ. Press, 2002). Aleinikoff is also a co-author of leading legal casebooks on immigration law and forced migration.

Aleinikoff was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014. He holds a B.A. from Swarthmore College and a J.D. from the Yale Law School.

Offering rigorous programs in the social sciences, philosophy, and history, The New School for Social Research fosters an intellectual environment that challenges orthodoxy, promotes public discourse, and encourages collaboration across disciplines. With more than 75 full-time faculty members, our 10 departments and programs offer master's and doctoral degrees to 800 graduate students from 70 countries. Our interdisciplinary centers and institutes provide further opportunities for deep inquiry and innovative collaborations, particularly at the intersection of social theory, policy, and design. We welcome everyone interested in challenging the status quo and creating a more just world.

Founded in 1919, The New School was established to advance academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. A century later, The New School remains at the forefront of innovation in higher education, inspiring approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students to challenge the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The university welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and public programs that encourage open discourse and social engagement. Through our online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence.




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Media Contacts:

The New School
Merrie Snead
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