Darrell West leaving for Brookings

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Professor of Political Science Darrell West has accepted a position at the Brookings Institution and will be leaving Brown after this semester. West, who currently serves as the director of the Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions, will join the Washington think tank as vice president and director of governance studies.

“They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse,” West said of the bid, adding that the position will give him the opportunity to engage in high-level dialogue about a variety of American policy issues.

West will be leaving Brown after 26 years at the University, though he said he will continue to work with a number of doctoral students whom he advises.

“It feels great,” West said of returning to Brookings, where he was a research fellow from 1980 to 1981. “I’ve always had very positive feelings about Brookings because that place helped get my professional career off to a really terrific start,” he said.

Brookings president Strobe Talbott said yesterday in a press release that West will help the think tank tackle issues like political polarization, electoral systems, congressional processes and civil discourse.

“We feel that under Darrell’s leadership, we are poised to have even greater impact in helping our political institutions address the major challenges facing the nation,” Talbott said in the statement.

Despite his excitement about the new position, West said he will retain fond memories of Brown students.

“I love Brown,” he said. “I’ve been here 26 years. It’s been incredibly good for me personally and professionally.”