Meet the President
Ronald D. Liebowitz became Brandeis University’s ninth president on July 1, 2016. The former president of Middlebury College, Liebowitz is a recognized administrative leader in higher education whose academic scholarship centers on political geography, Russia and higher education. He succeeds Interim President Lisa M. Lynch, provost and the Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy.
The New York City native served as president of Middlebury from 2004-15. In all, he spent 32 years on the faculty as a professor of geography and Russian studies at the liberal arts college in Vermont, including seven as provost, from 1997-2004.
Liebowitz had a transformative impact on Middlebury. Under his leadership, Middlebury made enormous academic, programmatic, reputational and financial strides, including the successful completion of a $500 million capital campaign, which surpassed its goal.
During his tenure, the college added 120 endowed student scholarships and 16 endowed faculty positions; expanded its impressive roster of immersive language schools; acquired the Monterey Institute of International Studies, a graduate school with a distinguished history; added 23 Schools Abroad sites; and opened the Center for Social Entrepreneurship as well as the School of the Environment, an intensive summer environmental studies program.
In 2009, Time magazine named him one of the 10 best U.S. college presidents for championing Middlebury’s ambitious goal to become carbon neutral by 2016, less than a decade after it announced the initiative. The college expects to meet that goal this year, on schedule.
Liebowitz, 59, earned a BA in economics and geography from Bucknell University, and a doctorate in geography from Columbia University. His scholarship has focused on fiscal federalism, intraregional economic relations and the nationality question in the former Soviet Union. He has received a number of research grants, including from the National Council for Soviet and East European Research, the Kennan Institute/Woodrow Wilson Center, the Social Science Research Council and IREX (the International Research and Exchanges Board).
His current research focuses on higher education. During the past academic year (2015-16), Liebowitz and his wife, Jessica, began a multiyear research project on the future of U.S. doctoral education.
The Liebowitzes and their three children live in Newton, Mass.