Tufts has named Rachel Kyte dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, according to a press release provided to the Daily. Kyte, who graduated from Fletcher’s Global Master of Arts Program in 2002 and has served as a professor of practice at the school since 2014, will assume the deanship on October 1.
She follows Ian Johnstone, who has served as dean ad interim since Admiral James Stavridis stepped down in August.
“I know firsthand the powerful impact a Fletcher School education can have,” Kyte said in a comment in the press release. “We are now at a transformational time in history in terms of higher education, as well as world politics and civic engagement. I look forward to harnessing the brainpower and enthusiasm of this community to heighten Fletcher’s impact on the world as we prepare the next generation of global leaders.”
Currently, Kyte serves as the chief executive officer of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), an international organization launched by former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon to address energy efficiency, access and sustainability. She is also the special representative of the UN secretary-general for SEforAll and previously led the World Bank Group’s campaign for the 21st Convention of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as its vice president and special envoy for climate change, according to the press release.
According to University President Anthony Monaco, this experience makes Kyte ideal for the role.
“[Kyte’s] leadership and commitment to addressing global challenges such as climate change — combined with her deep understanding of the complexities of multilateral international negotiations, and her advocacy for the marginalized in society—make her the perfect choice to lead The Fletcher School,” Monaco said in the press release.
In an interview with the Daily, Kyte noted that her career, focused on climate change and sustainable energy, has prepared her to be a leader at the Fletcher School.
“I think that we’re at a particular moment in time where we face an existential global threat that is climate change. It is an intensifier [of] the threats of hunger, malnutrition, security supply chains, social cohesion and global public health. It is the context in which we must govern.” Kyte said. “Having had that perspective and that experience means that I can help both Fletcher and the greater Tufts community … position those who come through Tufts and through Fletcher to lead in this particular time.”
Kyte said that as dean, she is hoping to take a hands-on approach that is reflective and considers the needs of the community.
“My job is to help everyone do their jobs brilliantly and make sure that we’re a jewel in the crown of Tufts,” she said.
She emphasized that the deanship will provide her with the opportunity to continue to lead the effort for more equitable, sustainable development, but through the development of leaders through the Fletcher School.
“If there was ever a moment where we need our A-Team, it’s now,” she said. “And I think Fletcher can produce and has produced A-Teams and I want to be a part of continuing to produce global leaders for this world.”