Returning faculty member Deborah Stone brings big ideas to the classroom

September 09, 2015

Portrait of Deborah Stone

Political scientist Deborah Stone, who previously served as the Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy at the Heller School, returns to Heller this fall as a Distinguished Visiting Professor.

Stone is the author of four books, including Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making, which won the Aaron Wildavsky Award from the American Political Science Association for enduring contribution to policy studies.

Outside of academia, she has provided public policy consulting in the U.S. and abroad, and helped to found The American Prospect, where she served as senior editor for the magazine’s first decade.

Stone will be teaching two courses at Heller, one in the PhD program and one in the master's program in Sustainable International Development (SID), both during the spring semester.

“I love big ideas and trying to find models and theories that tie together different policy areas and political systems,” Stone says of the PhD course. “We’ll cut across whatever specific policies students are interested in, and we’ll look at how one needs to analyze policies differently depending upon the setting.”

For the SID course, Stone plans to draw upon her consulting work in Nepal, where she helped to create a public policy reform institute, and the varied cultural and geographic diversity of her students. “My experience in Nepal made me realize that policy making is really different in the developing world,” she says. “This course will help me develop those ideas. I want students to consider how we develop policy analysis that is useful to them and is based on the context they come from.”

Stone began her academic career at Duke University and has held positions at MIT, Tulane, Yale, Dartmouth, and the University of Aarhus in Denmark.

“We are so excited to welcome Deborah Stone back to Heller,” says Interim Dean Marty Krauss, PhD’81. “She will contribute in a variety of ways to the intellectual life of the school, and she’ll be a dynamic addition to the larger university.”

To that end, Stone will give a Tuesday Talk at Heller in November and will also deliver the annual Joshua A. Guberman Lecture in law and social policy for the Brandeis community this fall.

Her appointment as a Distinguished Visiting Professor runs through the 2018 academic year.