Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy (Lumbee) of Arizona State University (ASU) has been named dean of Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy (SESP), effective June 1.
He currently is President’s Professor in the School of Social Transformation at ASU and Vice President of Social Advancement. He also serves as Senior Advisor to the University’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,” said Brayboy, who also will become the Carlos Montezuma Professor of Education and Social Policy. “The staff is incredible, and the students are vibrant, creative thinkers who are clearly on track to become leaders in their areas of study. SESP is poised to increase its national and international influence across the fields of education, human development, higher education and social policy. It is an incredible school.”
Brayboy is a scholar who has contributed to advancing knowledge on race, diversity, Indigenous experiences in education and the ways that knowledge systems inform higher education. He is also a skilled administrator with 15 years of experience leading teams of faculty and building relationships with collaborators from multiple communities — locally, domestically and internationally.
A member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association, Brayboy is the author or co-author of more than 100 scholarly documents, including nine edited or authored volumes, dozens of articles, book chapters and policy briefs for the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences.
Brayboy and his team have created programs that seek to build and strengthen local capacity so that underserved communities can create futures of their own making.
He also is a seasoned administrator, having served as a director of multiple research institutes, school director (in an interim capacity) and a senior leader of the administrative team at ASU, reporting to ASU President Michael Crow.
“We are so excited to welcome Bryan to Northwestern, where he will profoundly shape the education of many future teachers and public leaders,” Northwestern Provost Kathleen Hagerty said. “We welcome his unique expertise and scholarly perspective.”
Brayboy and his team have created programs that seek to build and strengthen local capacity so that underserved communities can create futures of their own making. The programs include efforts in conservation studies, Indigenous education and leadership, and work with both non-profits and corporations. He also has helped prepare more than 165 Native teachers to work in American Indian communities and supported the education of more than 24 American Indian Ph.D. students.
“Extending efforts to build toward a more just future is part of what drew me to SESP,” Brayboy said. “The SESP community has a history of impactful work in communities, policy-oriented efforts and intellectual traditions. SESP honors the intersections between human development, teaching and learning, and policymaking in ways that excite me and are future-facing.”
Brayboy succeeds David Figlio, who stepped down in May 2022 to become provost at the University of Rochester. Dan P. McAdams has served as SESP’s interim dean and will oversee the school’s convocation and Commencement 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,” President Michael Schill said. “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 earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and his master’s and Ph.D. (with distinction) at the University of Pennsylvania. His spouse, Doris Warriner, will be a professor in the anthropology department at Northwestern. She is a linguistic anthropologist of education, whose research focuses on processes of mobility and displacement in relation to language, literacy and learning. Their sons, Quanah and Ely, are students at Yale and Brown, respectively.