Tracy Kijewski-Correa, professor of civil engineering and global affairs at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed the William J. Pulte Director of the Keough School’s Pulte Institute for Global Development effective July 1, 2023. She will succeed the institute’s founding director, Raymond C. Offenheiser.
Kijewski-Correa brings cutting-edge interdisciplinary scholarship and strategic leadership to the role. Her work links science and technology to communities in need to enhance the resilience and sustainability of civil infrastructure and inform the decisions of stakeholders such as homeowners, designers, planners, emergency managers, and policymakers.
In addition to her joint appointment in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences and the Keough School, Kijewski-Correa is also the academic director of the Integration Lab (i-Lab), an innovative and celebrated part of the Keough School’s Master of Global Affairs curriculum. She is also the co-founder of Engineering2Empower and the inaugural director of the Structural Engineering Extreme Event Reconnaissance network, which mobilizes hundreds of engineers globally to evaluate the impact of disasters.
“Tracy is internationally renowned for her expertise in disaster risk reduction and the challenges posed by climate-driven stressors on vulnerable populations, and I am grateful that she will serve in this important leadership role,” said Scott Appleby, Marilyn Keough Dean of the Keough School.
Kijewski-Correa transitions to her new role at an important moment. the Keough School and the University of Notre Dame are preparing strategic plans that will leverage scholarship to address poverty and inequality. The Pulte Institute is poised to serve an important role in this mission through its focus on global development and its worldwide network of partners. Moving forward, the institute will formally integrate more research faculty into its work, enabling it to produce cutting-edge academic research while also continuing to influence policy and practice.
“This is the best time for such a transition, and Tracy is the best person for this role,” Offenheiser said. “She brings creativity, energy, and a familiarity with Keough School and University leadership that’s going to be crucial for this new hybrid model.”
Michael Sweikar, executive director of the Pulte Institute and Keough School term assistant teaching professor, agreed, noting that Kijewski-Correa would build upon Offenheiser’s work at the Pulte Institute.
“Over the past five years, I have had the distinct privilege of working with Ray, who has helped take the work of the Pulte Institute to new heights,” Sweikar said. “Ray’s significant experience, dedication, and connection to policymakers worldwide has helped propel the Pulte Institute to achieve impact at a larger scale on some of the most pressing global challenges of our time.
“I am excited to work with Tracy to continue to expand the impact of the Pulte Institute in the world to address issues of global poverty and inequality. Tracy brings deep expertise on key issues that we work on at the Pulte Institute to address global poverty, including in humanitarianism and sustainability. I look forward to building on our work at the Pulte Institute to be a force for good in the world with Tracy, our excellent staff and faculty, and our more than 400 partners worldwide.”
As she prepares for the work ahead, Kijewski-Correa brings an engineer’s focus on creating strategic, sustainable systems and an eagerness to collaborate with colleagues across disciplines, leveraging different kinds of expertise to tackle pressing problems.
“I love that the Keough School is a true nexus,” she said. “There are no disciplines that sit in a departmental silo. And that makes sense. If you take a problem-centered approach to the world, you see that an economist should be by the side of an engineer and an ethicist and an anthropologist as we tackle a thorny issue together.
“I’m also incredibly optimistic about Notre Dame’s position. We have both the academic firepower and the moral compass needed to take on critical issues such as poverty. I want to emphasize my gratitude for the colleagues in this school and across campus who are energized by their work and understand that we have an opportunity to create something great at Notre Dame.”