L&S Leadership

Background image: Lion statue outside Durant Hall

Due to the size and breadth of the College of Letters & Science, it is led by a team of deans, rather than just one. These leaders work together to support research and teaching across the entire college.

Richard Allen, interim dean of MPS

Richard Allen

Interim Dean, Mathematical & Physical Sciences

Richard Allen is a professor of earth and planetary science and the Director of the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory. He is an expert in earthquake alerting systems and deep earth imaging. He has developed and implemented earthquake early warning methodologies that use traditional seismic and GPS sensing networks, and has pioneered the use of smartphones to detect earthquakes globally and issue warnings. His research has been featured in Science, Nature, Scientific American, The New York Times and dozens of other media outlets around the world, and his technology has been incorporated into Google's Android Earthquake Alerts system. He has a B.A. from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Michael Botchan Headshot

Michael R. Botchan

Dean, Biological Sciences

Michael Botchan is a professor of biochemistry, biophysics and structural biology and a deputy director and member of the governance board of the Innovative Genomics Institute. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Botchan Lab at UC Berkeley studies the mechanisms and regulation of DNA replication and gene expression in eukaryotes, especially focused on how these processes couple to the cell cycle and progression from G1 to S phase in a developmental context.

Sara Guyer headshot for leadership page

Sara Guyer

Dean, Arts and Humanities

Sara Guyer is a professor of English, affiliate of the Center for Jewish Studies, and also serves as President of the international Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes and director of The World Humanities Report.  She has designed international programs to foster collaborative research on pressing issues including democracy, climate change, migration, and health inequality. Until August 2021, she was Dorothy Puestow Draheim Professor of English and Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she directed the Center for the Humanities. She is the author of Romanticism after Auschwitz (2007) and Reading with John Clare: Biopoetics, Sovereignty, Romanticism (2015) and co-editor of the book series Lit Z. She received her Ph.D. in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley.

Jennifer Johnson-Hanks, executive dean of the College of Letters & Science

Jennifer Johnson-Hanks

Executive Dean, College of Letters & Science

Jennifer Johnson-Hanks is a professor of demography and sociology. She is a cultural demographer with interests in fertility and family, epistemology, and the history of population thought. Her publications include the books Uncertain Honor: Modern Motherhood in an African Crisis; Understanding Family Change and Variation: Structure, Conjuncture, and  Action; and a forthcoming book, How We Count: Why Quantitative Social Science Matters. Johnson-Hanks served as Chair of the Committee on Academic Planning and Resource Allocation and as Chair of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate. She received her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University, all in anthropology.

Dean Raka Ray Photo

Raka Ray

Dean, Social Sciences

Raka Ray has a bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a professor of sociology and south and southeast Asia studies at UC Berkeley. She is a former chair of the Institute of South Asia Studies, the Department of Sociology, and the Academic Senate Committee on Budget and Interdepartmental Relations. Her publications include Fields of Protest: Women’s Movements in India; Social Movements in India: Poverty, Power, and Politics; Cultures of Servitude: Modernity, Domesticity and Class in India (with Seemin Qayum); and Both Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian Middle Classes.