People, Departments and Programs


Dean Raka Ray began her term as dean of social sciences at UC Berkeley on January 1, 2020. Dean Ray is an award-winning mentor and teacher, and has previously held several leadership positions at UC Berkeley, including Chair of the Institute of South Asia Studies (2003-2012), Chair of the Department of Sociology (2012-2015), and Chair of the Academic Senate Committee on Budget and Interdepartmental Relations.  

Ray is much in demand as a speaker on issues ranging from gender and feminist theory, postcolonial sociology, contemporary politics in the US and India, and her current project on the transformations in gender wrought by the decline of traditional fields of work for men. Ray’s publications include Fields of Protest: Women’s Movements in India (University of Minnesota, 1999; and in India, Kali for Women, 2000), Social Movements in India: Poverty, Power, and Politics, co-edited with Mary Katzenstein (Rowman and Littlefeld, 2005), Cultures of Servitude: Modernity, Domesticity and Class in India with Seemin Qayum (Stanford 2009), The Handbook of Gender (OUP, India 2011), Both Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian Middle Classes, co-edited with Amita Baviskar (Routledge, 2011), The Social Life of Gender (Sage 2017) co-edited with Jennifer Carlson and Abigail Andrews, and many articles and op-eds.

Dean Ray earned a Bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College (1985), and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1993). She has been a Professor of Sociology and South and Southeast Asia Studies at the University of California, Berkeley since 1993.

Dean & Office Staff

Dean  Raka Ray
Associate Dean Maximilian Auffhammer
Associate Dean Leonardo Arriola
Assistant Dean for Academic Personnel  Jessica Knowlton
Assistant Director of Academic Personnel Annie Viveier
Assistant Dean for Finance and Administration Holli Griffin Strauss
Assistant Dean of Development Christian Gordon
Director of Development  Anya Essiounina
Associate  Director of Development Erik Lehto
Associate  Director of Development Tara McCulloch
Assistant Director of Marketing and Alumni Relations Hagit Caspi
Assistant to the Dean Randi Shussett

Dean's Advisory Board 

Wendy Brown

Wendy Brown is Class of 1936 First Chair at the University of California, Berkeley, where she teaches political theory. Drawing from Nietzschean, Weberian, Marxist, Foucauldian, feminist and postcolonial angles of vision, she writes about the subterranean powers and effects of contemporary liberalism and capitalism. The author/co-author of a dozen books in English, she is best known for her interrogation of identity politics and state power in States of Injury: Power and Freedom in Late Modernity (1995); her analyses of tolerance in Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Identity and Empire (2006); her account of the inter-regnum between nation states and globalization in Walled States, Waning Sovereignty (2010); and her study of neoliberalism’s assault on democratic principles, institutions and citizenship in Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution (2015) and In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West (2019).  Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages, and she has held a number of visiting professorships as well as Guggenheim, ACLS and Institute for Advanced Study fellowships. She credits her thinking life to the excellent, accessible public universities of her youth and has worked in recent years to prevent their extinction. 

Margaret Conkey

Margaret (Meg) Conkey, Class of 1960 Professor Emerita of Anthropology. On the Berkeley faculty since 1987, Meg has twice chaired the Department of Anthropology as well as served as the Director of the Berkeley Archaeological Research Facility. Her recent campus awards include multiple teaching awards, the Berkeley Academic Senate Faculty Service Award, the Chancellor's Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence, and she has chaired numerous Academic Senate committees, including Budget and Interdepartmental Relations, Status of Women and Ethnic Minorities, Student Diversity and Academic Development. She chaired the 2014 Chancellor's Task Force on Academics and Athletics. Her most recent awards include the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society for American Archaeology, the 2017 Huxley Medal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of the United Kingdom, and the McGimsey-Davis Award from the Register of Professional Archaeologists for her career commitments to equity, diversity, ethics and professionalism in and for archaeology. She continues to teach Sophomore Seminars and to mentor Undergraduate Research Apprentices.

Nikki Jones

Nikki Jones is Professor of African American Studies at UC-Berkeley. Her work examines the experiences of Black women, men, and youth with the criminal justice system, policing, and with various forms of violence. Professor Jones is the author of two books: Between Good and Ghetto: African American Girls and Inner-City Violence (2010) and The Chosen Ones: Black Men and the Politics of Redemption (June 2018), which was recently named a 2018 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title. Her current research efforts are focused on the systematic analysis of video records that document routine encounters between police and civilians, with a focus on encounters that involve the police and Black youth in high-surveillance neighborhoods. These records are housed in the Justice Interaction Lab in the Department of African American Studies at UC-Berkeley. Professor Jones is also a faculty affiliate with the Center for Race and Gender; the Department of Women and Gender Studies; and the Center for the Study of Law and Society at UC-Berkeley.

Maurice Obstfeld

Maurice Obstfeld is the Class of 1958 Professor of Economics at UC Berkeley. He joined Berkeley in 1989 as a professor, following appointments at Columbia (1979-1986) and the University of Pennsylvania (1986-1989). He was also a visiting professor at Harvard between 1989 and 1991. In 2014-2015 he was a Member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, and from 2015-2018 he served as chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. Before that, he served as an honorary adviser to the Bank of Japan’s Institute of Monetary and Economic Studies. Among Professor Obstfeld's honors are the Frank Graham Lecture at Princeton, the inaugural Mundell-Fleming Lecture of the International Monetary Fund, the Bernhard Harms Prize and Lecture of the Kiel Institute for World Economy, the L. K. Jha Memorial Lecture at the Reserve Bank of India, and the Richard T. Ely Lecture of the American Economic Association. Professor Obstfeld is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is active as a distinguished fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research, a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C.  

Kim Voss

Kim Voss is professor of sociology, former Associate Dean of Graduate Division, and former Associate Dean of Social Sciences. Her scholarship centers on labor, social movements, social inequality, and higher education. In addition to publishing in academic journals in sociology, political science, and demography, she has written or edited six books: Rallying for Immigrant Rights (2011, with I. Bloemraad), Hard Work: Remaking the American Labour Movement (2006, with R. Fantasia), Rebuilding Labour: Organizing and Organizers in the New Union Movement (2004, with R. Milkman), Des Synidcats Domestiques: Repression Patronale et Resistance Syndicale Aux Etas-Unis (2003, with R. Fantasia), Inequality by Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth (1996, with five Berkeley colleagues), and The Making of American Exceptionalism: The Knights of Labour and Class Formation in the Nineteenth Century (1993).

Academic Departments & Chairs

African American Studies Chair Ula Taylor
Anthropology Chair Charles Hirschkind
Cognitive Science Director David Whitney 
Demography Chair Mara Loveman
Economics Chair David Card
Ethnic Studies Chair Juana Maria Rodriguez
Gender and Women's Studies Chair Laura Nelson
Geography Chair Robert Rhew
Global Studies  Director You-Tien Hsing
History Chair Peter Zinoman
Linguistics Chair Keith Johnson
Charles & Louise Travers Department of Political Science Chair Chris Ansell
Political Economy Director Steven Vogel
Psychology Chair Serena Chen
Sociology Chair Cybelle Fox


In addition, L&S offers interdisciplinary majors in Legal Studies (in cooperation with the School of Law) and in Social Welfare (in cooperation with the School of Social Welfare). L&S also offers interdisciplinary major and minor programs through Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies.

Related Research Units and Museums

*Reports to the Vice Chancellor for Research

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