From the Interim Provost: Ann-Margaret Esnard Named Interim Dean of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
The following message was sent to the university community on Dec. 8, 2022. An earlier message follows.
Ann-Margaret Esnard Named Interim Dean of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
Dear university community,
I am writing to inform you that Distinguished University Professor Ann-Margaret Esnard, associate dean for research and faculty affairs at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, will lead AYS as interim dean effective Jan. 18, 2023, following the departure of current Dean Sally Wallace.
As a scholar and academic leader, Ann-Margaret is at the forefront of leading the research and scholarship that has positioned AYS and Georgia State University as a major contributor to solving the challenges facing our cities and communities.
Dr. Esnard joined Georgia State in 2013 as part of the “Shaping the Future of Cities” cluster during the university’s Second Century Initiative. In 2017, she joined the Dean’s Office in AYSPS as associate dean for research and strategic initiatives which in March 2022 was changed to associate dean for research and faculty affairs.
Her research expertise encompasses urban planning, disaster planning, vulnerability assessment and GIS/spatial analysis. She has been involved in several multidisciplinary multi-institutional National Science Foundation-funded projects on topics that include population displacement from catastrophic disasters, school recovery after disasters, long-term recovery and community resilience. In addition to journal articles and book chapters, she has co-authored or co-edited three books. She is also an excellent teacher and mentor for students at Georgia State and other institutions.
Taking other leadership mantles in AYS, Professor David Ribar, faculty director of the Child & Family Policy Lab in the Georgia Policy Labs, will serve as the interim associate dean for faculty affairs. Maggie Reeves, senior director of the Georgia Policy Labs, will serve as senior advisor for research strategy.
Clinical Associate Professor Cynthia Searcy, associate dean for academic innovation and strategy, and Associate Professor Jan Ivery, assistant dean for academic programs and interim director of the School of Social Work, will continue in their respective roles. In addition to their new responsibilities, Ribar and Reeves will continue in their existing positions.
During this time of transition, I have every confidence that these academic leaders will continue AYS’ trajectory as a leader in innovative teaching, research and scholarship addressing the challenges of our century. I thank them all for their leadership and dedication.
A national search for dean of the Andrew Young School will begin in the spring semester, and the university will keep you informed via campus broadcast email in the year ahead.
The following message from Interim Provost Nicolle Parsons-Pollard was distributed to the university community via campus broadcast on Nov. 22, 2022.
Dear university community,
I am writing to inform you that Sally Wallace, dean of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, is stepping down from her position at Georgia State University effective Jan. 17, 2023. She is moving to Ernst & Young LLP, where she will be a Managing Director in the Quantitative Economics and Statistics practice.
An interim dean will be named in the coming weeks and a national search started in the spring semester.
Since 2018, Dr. Wallace has served as dean of one of the nation’s top 20 policy and public affairs colleges. She led a collaborative effort with faculty and staff to develop the college’s Digital Landscape strategic initiative, successfully advancing new academic experiences and career directions for students.
Activities include the development of policy analytics programs and courses, the launch of DS4PS (Data Science for Public Service Consortium), the university’s membership in the Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN), and AYS Open in economics and criminal justice and criminology. AYS Open’s work to develop course materials at zero cost to students in the latter department has saved more than 10,300 students more than an estimated $800,000 since 2019. Additionally, the Georgia Policy Labs were launched in 2017, focused on harnessing big data to support evidence-based policy making.
Leading through the pandemic, Dr. Wallace inspired AYSPS faculty and staff to generate new ways to teach and serve, providing the resources necessary to switch to online teaching and supporting students quickly and successfully through a new peer coaching program that kept many on track. And during fiscal year 2022, AYSPS research centers and faculty reached a record $38 million in research funding.
Dr. Wallace has been a faculty member in the economics department since 1991, including five years as department chair, where she helped establish the Center for State and Local Finance. She also served AYSPS as associate dean for research and strategic initiatives and as the director of the Fiscal Research Center.
Her leadership has been critical to maintaining the college’s high national and international rankings, to preparing our students for the digital future that awaits them in their public and nonprofit careers, and in fostering an excellence in research that is recognized around the world.
She and the Andrew Young School have maintained their steadfast dedication in research and scholarship that improves the lives of our fellow Georgians and citizens across the globe.
The Andrew Young School is key to our research and innovation, our identity, and our sense of place in the heart of Atlanta, not to mention innovation in preparing our students for careers in a digital world. Dr. Wallace has ensured that this will continue for years to come as part of our greater strategic vision.
Georgia State’s loss is her new employer’s gain, and I cannot thank her enough for her service not just as dean, but as an example of an engaged scholar in service to higher education and the greater good. Please join me in wishing Dr. Wallace all the best in the future.