Members of the Brown Community,

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Richard M. Locke as the Howard R. Swearer Director of the Thomas J. Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown. Currently deputy dean of the Sloan School of Management and head of the political science department at MIT, Locke will begin his duties at the Watson Institute in July 2013.

The Watson Institute is arguably more significant to Brown today than ever before, as we expand the University’s global reach and influence in fulfillment of our mission. Therefore, finding a creative and ambitious academic leader with the requisite talent and skills to provide leadership and vision for the Watson Institute for the 21st century has been a particularly important endeavor. Richard Locke embodies these essential qualities.

Rick is a collaborative academic leader whose distinguished scholarly career, focused on issues of global importance that are well-aligned with the Institute’s mission, make him particularly well-suited to the Watson directorship. After earning a B.A. from the College of Letters of Wesleyan University, Rick went on to receive an M.A. in education from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in political science from MIT. He joined the MIT Sloan School of Management faculty as an assistant professor of international management in 1988. His current research is focused on improving labor and environmental conditions in global supply chains. He is the author of Remaking the Italian Economy (Cornell University Press, 1995), co-author of Working in America (The MIT Press, 2001) and Employment Relations in a Changing World Economy (The MIT Press, 1995), and he has written numerous articles on economic development, labor relations, and corporate responsibility. He has recently completed a new book, Improving Labor Rights in a Global Economy, forthcoming Cambridge University Press, based upon his labor standards in global supply chains research.

Locke, along with MIT Sloan colleagues, spearheaded the development of the Laboratory for Sustainable Business, a course seeking to provide students with in-depth knowledge of the various sustainability issues society faces today. He also pioneered the popular Global Entrepreneurship Laboratory, a course that teaches students about entrepreneurship in developing countries by placing them in internships with startups in an array of companies in various emerging markets. As a result of this work, Locke was named a 2005 Faculty Pioneer in Academic Leadership by The Aspen Institute, awarded the MIT Class of 1960 Teaching Innovation Award in 2007 and the Jamieson Prize for Excellence in Teaching in June 2008.

I am grateful to the members of the faculty, Watson Board of Overseers, and staff who assisted in our search for a new director of the Watson Institute over the past year. Finally, sincere thanks to the leadership that has been provided at the Watson Institute by interim directors Carolyn Dean, professor of history, and Peter Andreas, professor of political science and international studies. Through their steady stewardship, Interim Directors Dean and Andreas have helped ensure the continuity of the Institute as a productive place of teaching and research for engaged faculty from many academic departments, and together have provided the foundation for our new director to build upon in the months and years ahead.

Please join me in welcoming Richard Locke to Brown University.


Christina H. Paxson