David Wilcove

Wilcove to Assume Vice Dean Role on Permanent Basis

Feb 26 2024
By Tom Durso

David S. Wilcove, who has been serving as acting vice dean of the School of Public and International Affairs since the start of the academic year, will assume the role on a permanent basis beginning in the 2024-25 year.

Wilcove, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and public affairs and the High Meadows Environmental Institute, will succeed Miguel Centeno, who served as executive vice dean from July 2019 until he went on sabbatical last summer. 

As he has done since being named acting vice dean, Wilcove will oversee SPIA’s graduate and undergraduate academic programs. 

“David quickly immersed himself in the role and became an integral part of my senior leadership team,” said Amaney Jamal, the School’s dean. “I could not be happier that he has agreed to continue in the role.” 

Wilcove’s research focuses on the impacts of farming, logging, hunting, climate change, and other human activities on biodiversity. He and his graduate students and postdocs have studied these issues around the world, from New Zealand to the Amazon Basin and from Siberia to Borneo. Wilcove previously served in various academic administrative roles for the SPIA, most recently as faculty chair for the Ph.D. program and for the SPIA undergraduate program. 

Prior to joining Princeton’s faculty in 2001, he worked as a scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund, the Wilderness Society, and the Nature Conservancy. He is the author of two books — “No Way Home: The Decline of the World’s Great Animal Migrations” (2007) and “The Condor’s Shadow: The Loss and Recovery of Wildlife in America” (1999) — and many technical and popular articles in the fields of conservation biology, ornithology, and wildlife conservation. 

Wilcove serves or has served on the boards of directors of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Society for Conservation Biology, Rare, the American Bird Conservancy, the Natural Areas Association, the Galapagos Conservancy, and the New Jersey Audubon Society, among other organizations. He has received awards from the Society for Conservation Biology, Defenders of Wildlife, the Pew Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, the Wildlife Society, and the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute. He received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his doctorate from Princeton. 

“I am honored to serve as vice dean,” Wilcove said. “The School of Public and International Affairs plays a vital role here at Princeton and in the world at large. We have a proud history of educating future leaders and producing rigorous, cutting-edge research aimed at solving the most pressing issues of our time. I look forward to working with Dean Jamal to expand our positive impact on campus, in the United States, and around the world.” 

Jamal thanked Centeno for his service as executive vice dean. 

“I’m grateful to Miguel for his dedication and contributions to the School,” she said. “He was a valuable member of the leadership team taking on additional responsibilities during the last several years. I look forward to his continued counsel and advice as he continues with his high-level scholarship as a SPIA faculty member and researcher.”