Mary Watson

The New School (Faculty and Dean)


Mary R. Watson was appointed executive dean of Public Engagement in July 2014. In this capacity, she leads the founding division of The New School with the aim of advancing its innovative approaches to action oriented, engaged learning in the world. Watson is a key leader worldwide in university networks advancing change in higher education, including the 50+20 management education network and the Ashoka Changemaker campus initiative. She is co-founder of The New School’s University wide Social innovation Initiative, The New Challenge student ideas competition, and The New School Collaboratory, a Rockefeller funded initiative on university community partnerships.

Watson’s creative practice and scholarship on the human rights of workers reflect her commitment to a more just and equitable world. She has more than two decades of experience in higher education as a faculty member, chair, associate dean, and interim dean, as well as broad experience in change leadership consulting for organizations and universities. She is a recipient of The New School’s Distinguished University Teaching Award. Watson holds a PhD in Organization Studies from Vanderbilt University.



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