People, Departments and Programs

Dean Raka Ray PhotoLeadership

Dean Raka Ray began her term as Dean of Berkeley Social Sciences in 2020. She is an award-winning mentor and educator, 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. Dean Ray is the recipient of many honors, including the Jessie Bernard Award, a lifetime achievement accolade from the American Sociological Association, for her work on gender and her mentoring of women students.

An accomplished sociologist with interests in gender and feminist theory, postcolonial sociology and the emerging middle class in India, Dean Ray’s work embodies a feminist approach to service, mentoring and teaching, in addition to a record of impactful gender research. She is in demand as a speaker on these topics and contemporary politics in the U.S. and India.

Dean Ray's current research focuses on the transformations in gender wrought by the decline of traditional fields of work for men. Her 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 Littlefield, 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. 

Under Dean Ray’s leadership, Berkeley Social Sciences has molded world-renowned economists, psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists, historians and many others, who have not only thrived in their respective fields but also significantly contributed to the growth of the Berkeley community. 

Throughout her distinguished career, Dean Ray has mentored numerous students. She stands out for her remarkable achievements in every facet of academic life, teaching, service, research and mentorship. The success of her students, the vibrancy of her teaching, and her steadfast, ethical approach to managing academic institutions all bear witness to her influence.

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 UC Berkeley since 1993.

Social Sciences Leadership Team

Dean's Advisory Board 

Wendy Brown Image 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. 

Meg Conkey ImageMargaret Conkey (Meg), 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.

Maury Obstfeld ImageMaurice 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, Awardee 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).