Provost Visiting Professors

Due to consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, applications to the Provost's Visiting Professor Program have been suspended for the 2020-21 academic year.

About the Program

Through the University’s strategic plan, Building on Distinction, and the Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, Brown is renewing and reinforcing its commitment to achieving its mission at greater levels of excellence by engaging diverse populations of exceptional students and faculty. The Provost’s Visiting Professor Program (PVPP) is part of a coordinated pipeline of programs spanning pre-college, undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral and faculty levels designed to facilitate this engagement. Visiting professors will contribute to the community through scholarship teaching and programming aligned with their research.
The aim of the Provost’s Visiting Professor Program is to attract highly accomplished and visible senior scholars who are making distinctive contributions to their fields. As such, the program has a number of objectives: to help Brown build a critical mass of diverse faculty and scholars; to reinforce the University’s commitment to an open and rigorous academic community; and, in some cases, to serve as a powerful recruitment tool. 
The program solicits nominations for the visiting professorships broadly, including from the campus community and directly from scholars interested in applying for the positions.  The program will host up to four new visitors per year with appointments lasting between 6 and 24 months, consistent with the sabbatical and leave policies at visitors’ home universities.Visiting Professors will be supported in their continued scholarship while at Brown, and they will be broadly introduced to the Brown community through well-publicized general-audience lectures.

To read more about the program, see this news release.

Nomination & Selection Criteria

Selection Committee Members

Provost's Current Visiting Professor

Dr. Renée Ater

Appointment through June 2021 with Department of Africana Studies and University Library

Dr. Renée Ater is Associate Professor Emerita at the University of Maryland. She holds a B.A. from Oberlin College, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Maryland. A public scholar who works at the intersection of art and history, Dr. Ater’s research focuses on monuments, race, national identity, and public space. She is the author of Keith Morrison, volume 5 of The David C. Driskell Series of African American Art (Pomegranate Books, 2005) and Remaking Race and History: The Sculpture of Meta Warrick Fuller (University of California Press, 2011). Ater has written on a wide range of public monuments including the Unsung Founders Memorial at the University of North Carolina; the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, DC; the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Rocky Mount, North Carolina; the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama; and the Crispus Attucks Memorial in Boston. Currently, she is engaged in an open-source digital project entitled Contemporary Monuments to the Slave Past: Race, Memorialization, Public Space, and Civic Engagement, which has been funded through the National Endowment for the Humanities-Mellon Foundation, The Getty Research Institute, and the Smithsonian Office of Fellowships.

Provost’s Former Visiting Professors

Dr. Carlos Castillo-Chavez

Appointment through December 2019 with the Department of Applied Mathematics

Dr. Carlos Castillo-Chavez is the Emeritus and Founding Director of the Simon A. Levin Mathematical and Computational Modeling Sciences Center (SAL-MCMSC), a Regents Professor, a Joaquin Bustoz Jr. Professor of Mathematical Biology and a Distinguished Sustainability Scientist at Arizona State University (ASU). Dr. Carlos Castillo-Chavez has been an active member on national committees for the National Science Foundation, National Academy of Sciences and National Institutes of Health. For example, NSF’s Advisory Committee’s included the Committee for Education, Human Resources (2016-2019) and the NSF’s Cyber Infrastructure Advisory Boards (2016-2019). Other past committees include, the National Research Council’s Board of Higher Education and Workforce (2009-2015), and President Barack Obama Committee on the National Medal of Science (2010-15). While at Cornell University, he became member and co-chair of the Faculty Council of Representatives standing committee in affirmative action (1990-1996), established as a result of Walter Cohen and Henry Louis Gates’ report, “The Crisis of Minority Faculty at Cornell.”

Dr. Carlos Castillo-Chavez’ recognitions to his work include: three White House Awards (1992,1997, and 2011), the 12th American Mathematical Society Distinguished Public Service Award in 2010, the 2007 AAAS Mentor award, the 17th recipient of the SIAM Prize for Distinguished Service to the Profession and Distinguished Alumni by UW Stevens Point. He is a fellow of the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science); SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics; Founding Fellow of the AMS (American Mathematical Society); and fellow of ACE (American College of Epidemiology).

Carlos Castillo-Chavez has given 518 invited presentations, in 35 countries and visited over 300 cities. He has 259 academic research articles, numerous non-research articles and technical reports, and 19 books or edited volumes. He has published in over 80 distinct journals. Over his 30 years in academia, 18 at Cornell University and 16 at Arizona State University, he has mentored 49 PhD students including 20 women, 28 from US underrepresented groups, 25 USA underrepresented minorities and 7 from Latin America placing him, according to the Math Genealogy Project among the top 200 mentors in the history of mathematics. He has also mentored 29 postdoctoral students and several young researchers.

Dr. Ronald Aubert

Dr. Ronald Aubert

Appointment through December 2017 with the School of Public Health and CSREA

At the time of his appointment, Dr. Ronald Aubert served as the Chief Science Officer and lead scientist for Research and Evaluation Analytics, LLC (R&EA), where he was responsible for strategic direction, scientific oversight and project portfolio selection for all of R&EA activities.  Research and Evaluation Analytics, LLC, is an independent healthcare consulting group that specializes in epidemiology, health outcomes research, statistical modeling, randomized trials and observational study design, economic evaluation and medical writing.

Prior to R&EA, Dr. Aubert was Vice President of Advanced Analytics in Medco Health Solutions’ Department of Advanced Clinical Services and Research.  In this role, he was responsible for the strategic direction and leadership of teams that provided integrated claims analysis, retrospective database studies related to personalized medicine, technology solutions for managing and analyzing large databases, and evaluating e-Prescribing, health messaging and education programs delivered through the Internet. 

Before joining Medco, Dr. Aubert was a Senior Health Care Analyst at the Aetna Center for Health Care Research, a Commander for the U.S. Public Health Service, Chief of the Epidemiology Section, Division of Diabetes Translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dr. Aubert is currently adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina.  He has held appointments at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) School of Public Health.

Dr. Aubert received a B.A. in biology from Oberlin College, an MSPH and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and completed the Epidemic Intelligence Service fellowship at the CDC.  He has won numerous awards and has been published extensively in scientific journals. 

UPDATE: Ronald Aubert joined the Brown community in 2018 Ronald Aubert, and is Visiting Professor of the Practice of Race and Ethnicity, with appointments in the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and  The School of Public Health. He is also a Faculty Director of the Presidential Scholars Program at Brown University. 

Professor Sylvester James Gates, Jr.

Appointment through June 2017 with Physics

At the time of his appointment, Professor Gates was Distinguished University Professor, University Regents Professor, John H. Toll Professor of Physics and Director of the Center for Particle and String Theory at the University of Maryland. Gates was awarded the 2011 National Medal of Science, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society. He currently serves on the Maryland State Board of Education and also on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). As a member of the PCAST he was co-chair of its working group on STEM preeminence for the nation and co-authored a report to the President: ”Prepare and Inspire K-12 Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) for America’s Future.”

UPDATE: In 2017, Professor Gates joined the Brown community as the Ford Foundation Professor of Physics.

Dr. John Asher Johnson

Dr. John Asher Johnson

Appointment through May, 2017 with Physics and the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA)

Dr. John Asher Johnson received his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Missouri-Rolla (now the Missouri University of Science and Technology), and his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley. He then held a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Astronomy and Astrophysics, based at the Institute for Astronomy (University of Hawai'i). After spending four years as an assistant professor of Planetary Astronomy at Caltech, he is now a Professor of Astronomy at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He has been awarded the Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, the David & Lucile Packard Fellowship, and the AAS Newton Lacy Pierce Prize for "for major contributions to understanding fundamental relationships between extrasolar planets and their parent stars." In 2013, he was named one of Astronomy Magazine’s “Ten Rising Stars” in astrophysics. His primary research focus is on the detection and characterization of planets outside our Solar System, commonly known as exoplanets. His most recent work is focused on studying the properties of Earth-like planets around the Galaxy’s least massive stars, commonly known as red dwarfs. His notable discoveries include three of the smallest planets discovered to date, each smaller than the Earth and one the size of Mars. His statistical analysis of planets discovered around red dwarfs has revealed that there exist 1-3 Earth-like planets per star throughout the Galaxy. In addition to papers in professional journals and conferences, his work has been featured in the magazines Sky & Telescope, Astronomy, Physics Today, Discover and New Scientist.