UC Berkeley News


Robert Reich joining Goldman faculty
Scholar, public servant formalizes his ongoing relationship with the school

03 August 2005

Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich will join the faculty of the Goldman School of Public Policy on a permanent basis this coming New Year's Day.

Robert Reich
Reich, who spent the spring semester at the policy school this year and in 2004, said he is taking the job 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, Robert Reich embodies the best in a Berkeley faculty member," said Chancellor Robert 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. "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, co-taught a course on public management with Reich for five years at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Nacht 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 Berkeley, Reich has energized students with a new course that brought elected officials into the classroom to talk about politics and public service, and has drawn big crowds to public lectures that focused on politics, the economy, and 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, which is known for its primary (though not exclusive) focus on domestic policy, 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.