Institute for Advanced Study appoints its 10th director

The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton appointed David Nirenberg as its 10th director, effective July 1, according to a Monday release from the center.

The current dean of the Divinity School at the University of Chicago and professor of medieval history, Nirenberg will assume leadership of one of the world’s preeminent centers for theoretical research in the sciences and humanities.

At UChicago, Nirenberg served as the founding director of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, dean of the social sciences and executive vice provost. He has also held positions at Rice University and Johns Hopkins University, where he founded the Stulman Center for Jewish Studies. As founding director of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at UChicago, Nirenberg championed collaborations across every division, school and affiliated laboratory at the university.

“David’s administrative accomplishments, like the institute itself, transcend cultural and disciplinary boundaries, providing new frameworks of knowledge to understand society and to realize the power of collective curiosity,” said Nancy Peretsman, IAS board vice chair and chair of the director search committee.

“The appointment of a humanities scholar is a bold choice, which departs from several decades of directors trained in science and mathematics, but reaffirms in the strongest sense the importance of cross-disciplinary collaboration,” said Charles Simonyi, IAS board chair. “An energetic and astute leader, David understands that the Institute is a public good in service of society.”

Nirenberg has served on the Board of the Argonne National Laboratory and the National Opinion Research Center. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, History and Philosophy/Religion sections.