Date: September 3, 2020
TO: The FAS Community
FROM: President Andrew Hamilton, Provost Katherine Fleming and FAS Dean Antonio Merlo

We are very pleased to announce that Susan Antón — a professor in the Department of Anthropology and Director of Faculty Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Development in the Faculty of Arts and Science — has agreed to take on the role of Interim Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Science, effective October 1. We want to share this news with you not only because of how glad we are to have someone of Susan’s talent and experience take on this assignment, but also so that the transition could proceed as quickly and smoothly as possible.

In selecting an interim dean, we sought someone who had a track record of leadership within GSAS, a reputation for scholarly achievement, a focus on the graduate student experience, and a strong sense of the school’s priorities. In all these regards, Susan stands out.

A biological anthropologist, her scholarship uses clues from human fossils and the human skeleton to understand the causes and consequences of human evolution. She has described some of the earliest fossil Homo in Africa and her work on fossils and excavation sites in Asia and the Pacific, which has identified the last surviving H. erectus, points to the flexibility of early human behaviors and bodies in variable climatic conditions as a key to the earliest spread of Homo from Africa to Eurasia as well as to our modern ability to survive and thrive in uncertain circumstances. She has been published in Nature, Science, Philosophical Transactions B as well as the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, the Journal of Human Evolution, American Antiquity, and International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, among others. Her body of work was recognized by her election this year to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Susan Antón first joined NYU in 2003 as an associate professor of anthropology and a member of NYU’s Center for the Study of Human Origins. She has been the leading force in the development of a new master’s program in biological anthropology, and she served as chair of the Anthropology Department from 2016 to 2018. She was named the inaugural director for Faculty Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Development for FAS in 2018; in that role she has developed the Arts & Science Emerging Leaders Academy, Faculty First Look programs for underrepresented scholars, search workshops and strategies, and other infrastructure. In addition to her leadership roles within NYU, she has also taken on national leadership roles: she is president of the Society of Senior Ford Fellows, the outgoing chair of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Anthropology Section H, and was previously president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists and is currently chair of its Committee on Diversity & Liaison. She is the recipient of both NYU’s Distinguished Teaching Medal and the Golden Dozen Teaching Award from the College of Arts and Science.

She received her B.A. (summa cum laude), M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

We ask the FAS community to join us in congratulating Susan on her appointment, and in thanking her for taking on this assignment. We have faith in her leadership and abilities, and are confident that GSAS will be in good hands with Susan as interim dean.