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A UN advisor and a botanist have joined Skidmore’s top administration.

Paula Newberg is the new dean of special programs. A special advisor to the United Nations and a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, Newberg was Peace Corps director for the Kyrgyz Republic and has consulted on governance and development for countries from the Balkans to central Africa. She has been a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; a foundation executive working with business, government, and academe; and a professor at Columbia, Rutgers, and Johns Hopkins. An author on politics and justice in Pakistan, Kashmir, and Afghanistan, she’s a frequent commentator and columnist in the US and abroad. She holds a BA in philosophy and literature from Oberlin College and a PhD in politics from the University of Chicago.

Muriel Poston is Skidmore’s new dean of the faculty. A longtime botany professor at Howard University, she served as curator of Howard’s herbarium. She is a specialist in neotropical plant evolution but recently expanded into environmental law and policy as well. She was twice a Smithsonian research fellow at the National Museum of Natural History. In 2004 she also became deputy director of the National Science Foundation’s biological infrastructure division, which develops information resources, equipment, and mentoring opportunities to support biological research. She has worked to bring more women and minorities into science and engineering. Poston holds a bachelor’s from Stanford and a PhD from UCLA; in 2001 she added a law degree from the University of Maryland.

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