Mary Gallagher appointed dean of the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs

Mary Gallagher, the Amy and Alan Lowenstein Chair in Democracy, Democratization and Human Rights and director of the International Institute at the University of Michigan, has been appointed the Marilyn Keough Dean of the Keough School of Global Affairs by University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. Gallagher, who will also hold a tenured faculty position in the Keough School, begins her five-year term as dean on July 1.

“Mary Gallagher is a leading political scientist with deep expertise in China and a strong commitment to integral human development, interdisciplinary research and policy impact,” Father Jenkins said. “She will be an outstanding addition to our senior leadership team and University community.”

An expert in Chinese domestic politics, political economy and industrial relations, Gallagher has published extensively in leading academic journals as well as in prominent media outlets such as the Washington Post and The New York Times. She is the author or editor of five books: “Authoritarian Legality in China: Law, Workers and the State” (Cambridge University Press, 2017), “Contagious Capitalism: Globalization and the Politics of Labor in China” (Princeton, 2005), “Chinese Justice: Civil Dispute Resolution in Contemporary China” (Cambridge, 2011), “From Iron Rice Bowl to Informalization: Markets, Workers, and the State in a Changing China” (Cornell, 2011) and “Contemporary Chinese Politics: New Sources, Methods, and Field Strategies” (Cambridge, 2010).

Gallagher received her Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University and her B.A. in government and East Asian studies from Smith College. Her international experience includes teaching at the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing and visiting professorships at East China University of Politics and Law in Shanghai and at the KoGuan School of Law at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Over the course of her career, Gallagher has received multiple honors for her research, including two Fulbright awards and grants from the National Science Foundation and the Luce Foundation. As a faculty member at Michigan, she also earned recognition for her work in the classroom, including awards for excellence in education, creativity and collaboration in curriculum, and outstanding research mentorship.

Gallagher brings extensive policy experience to her new role. She is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, and a consultant for the World Bank, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Department of Labor and many other nongovernmental and international organizations.

As director of the International Institute at Michigan for the past four years, she managed 17 centers and programs focused on specific world regions and global themes as well as academic programs including an undergraduate major in international studies, a master’s in international and regional studies and joint programs with the university’s professional schools. From 2008 to 2020, she directed the Kenneth G. Lieberthal and Richard H. Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, one of the largest units housed within the International Institute.

“Mary Gallagher has demonstrated excellence as a scholar, teacher, policy expert and administrator,” said John T. McGreevy, the Charles and Jill Fischer Provost at the University of Notre Dame. “With a strong scholarly and teaching record and extraordinary experience in fostering collaboration across diverse units, she is the ideal candidate for the deanship of the Keough School. We are thrilled that she accepted our offer.”

McGreevy thanked the search committee for its efforts over the past several months. “The committee members worked tirelessly to identify, evaluate and recruit a strong and diverse slate of candidates for this important position,” he said. “I am grateful for their diligence, dedication and thoughtful guidance throughout the process.”

Gallagher succeeds Scott Appleby, who is stepping down June 30 after a decade of service as the founding dean of Notre Dame’s first new school in nearly a century.

As dean of the Keough School, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, Gallagher will lead nine centers and institutes, 70 faculty representing more than 25 different disciplines, 200 undergraduate majors and around 80 graduate students from more than 60 countries.

“I was drawn to Notre Dame’s distinctive mission as a leading global Catholic research university, and to the Keough School’s focus on research and teaching that address global challenges through the lens of integral human development and shape future generations of global leaders,” Gallagher said. “I’m excited and honored to lead the Keough School into its second decade.”

Originally published at on May 6, 2024.