Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich permanently will join the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy on Jan. 1.
Reich, who spent the spring semester at the policy school this year and in 2004, said he is taking the job in order to join the faculty of the best school of public policy in the country, to teach gifted students who are dedicated to public service, and to participate in an intellectual community "that supports a full discussion of all views."
"In many ways, Reich embodies the best in a UC Berkeley faculty member," said UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau. "He is a brilliant researcher, a dedicated public servant, and a superb teacher. Bringing him to campus is a real coup."
Reich served as labor secretary in the Clinton administration, as an assistant to the solicitor general in the Ford administration and as head of the Federal Trade Commission's policy planning staff during the Carter administration.
The author of 10 books relating to politics and the economy, Reich is leaving his post as University Professor and Maurice Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. He received the 2003 Vaclav Havel Prize for his contributions to social thought.
"I've loved my eight years at Brandeis," said Reich, "but I've always wanted to teach at a public university, and (UC) Berkeley is the best public university in the world."
Michael Nacht, dean of the Goldman School, and Reich taught a course on public management for five years at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Nacht, who worked in the arms control office of the Clinton administration while Reich worked there on domestic policy, called Reich "a unique figure in American public policy, and a scholar with wisdom and wit who will be a special role model for our students in the years to come."
At UC Berkeley, Reich has energized students with a new course that brought elected officials into the classroom to talk about politics and public service, and drew big crowds to public lectures that focused on politics, the economy, wealth and poverty.
"UC Berkeley and the Goldman School in particular have wonderfully thoughtful and intellectually challenging students," Reich said. "I hope my experience in government and academia helps them become the next generation of America's thought leaders."
The Goldman School was named the No. 1 graduate school in the country for public policy analysis last year by U.S. News & World Report. The school is also known for its accomplished faculty and a focus primarily, but not exclusively, on domestic policy.
The school also is host each year to a number of public events that address critical public policy issues ranging from national security and weapons of mass destruction to California's volatile politics.