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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, June 16, 2024

Rachel Kyte steps down as dean of the Fletcher School

Professor Kelly Sims Gallagher will take over as dean ad interim on July 1, as Kyte will devote herself to climate change and nature finance work.


Rachel Kyte speaks at a climate rally at the Mayer Campus Center on March 3.

Rachel Kyte, dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, will step down from her role effective June 30. President Anthony Monaco and Provost and Senior Vice President Ad Interim Caroline Genco announced the leadership change in an email to Tufts faculty and staff on June 22. Professor Kelly Sims Gallagher will take over as dean ad interim of the Fletcher School. 

Kyte will become a dean emeritus of the Fletcher School and will continue her work addressing the impact of climate change and energy scarcity. 

“Throughout her tenure, she worked tirelessly to expand the school’s resources, including leading the school during its Brighter World Campaign resulting in more than $120 million in funding,” Monaco and Genco wrote in their email. 

In an email to Fletcher staff, Kyte announced she would rededicate herself full time to climate change and nature finance work, citing the current times as an “existential inflection point.”

“For some time, I have felt a growing pull between the work I love of leading Fletcher and working with all of you and the opportunities to contribute to the vital and increasingly urgent work I feel compelled to be part of about our collective future,” she wrote. 

Monaco and Genco highlighted Kyte’s achievements throughout her four-year tenure.

“Rachel strengthened Fletcher’s faculty by recruiting globally renowned practitioners, scholars, and researchers and expanding the school’s curricular fields of study. She also leveraged her personal platform to expand Fletcher’s global impact, reach, and influence, reinforcing its position as a world-class school of global affairs,” they wrote.

Kyte called on future Fletcher leadership to continue accessibility and academic reforms.

“Fletcher's academic offerings will need to be more flexible, more financially accessible, and more responsive to remain attractive and compelling for students who want programs that can more immediately impact their professional growth,” she wrote. “The reforms we have made in our academic offerings are having an impact, but we know that there is more to do.”

Incoming Dean Gallagher will start on July 1 while the University launches a nationwide search for a permanent dean. Gallagher has served as academic dean of Fletcher since 2020 and is a professor of energy and environmental policy. She is also the director of the Climate Policy Lab at Fletcher and a former senior policy advisor in the Obama administration.