Ian Solomon Named Dean of Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

Ian H. Solomon headshot

Ian H. Solomon, CEO of SolomonGlobal LLC, is an educator, policymaker, diplomat and businessman with more than 20 years of experience in more than 40 countries.

The University of Virginia today announced the appointment of Ian H. Solomon as the next dean of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, effective Sept. 1. Solomon, currently CEO of SolomonGlobal LLC, is an educator, policymaker, diplomat and businessman with more than 20 years of experience in more than 40 countries.

“I am thrilled that Ian Solomon will be the next dean of the Batten School,” UVA President Jim Ryan said. “His experience in government, academia and the private sector makes him the perfect person to lead Batten, which sits at the intersection of policy and practice. 

“As we welcome Ian, I also want to thank Allan Stam for his leadership of Batten and for his wise counsel to me during my time as president. I deeply appreciate his service to UVA.”

Formally educated at Harvard College and Yale Law School, Solomon’s cross-sectoral experience includes consulting with McKinsey & Company, creating common ground as then-Sen. Barack Obama’s legislative counsel on Capitol Hill, negotiating global agreements as the Obama administration’s representative to the World Bank, and fostering educational innovation from senior positions at Yale University and the University of Chicago.

“It is an honor to join the University of Virginia community,” Solomon said. “I am inspired by the outstanding students, faculty and staff of the Batten School and the work being done to define a unique and compelling model for leadership and public policy education. At this critical moment in history, I am eager to learn, share and roll up my sleeves and get to work with the Batten community on the critical mission of cultivating ethical and enlightened leaders to serve our world.”

SolomonGlobal is a leadership development and advisory firm devoted to building capacity for negotiation, collaboration and conflict resolution. As CEO, Solomon has designed and led transformative learning experiences for diverse professionals from leading businesses, multilateral organizations, nonprofits, academic institutions and government agencies worldwide. His work reflects his commitment to interdisciplinary problem-solving, drawing on insights from economics, neuroscience, psychology, sociology, law, politics and art.

Solomon has also taught an intensive seminar on negotiation as a visiting lecturer in law at the University of Chicago Law School and Yale Law School.

“Ian is a terrific colleague,” said John Mark Hansen, professor in political science and former dean of the Division of the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. “From the beginning, I was impressed with his political acumen, negotiation skills and experience. But it is his personal qualities – openness, friendliness, genuine interest and active listening – that made him such a great fit for a university. He genuinely cares about what students and faculty want to accomplish and makes it his job to try and make that happen.”   

Prior to founding SolomonGlobal, Solomon served as vice president for Global Engagement at the University of Chicago, where he led teams in Chicago, Beijing, New Delhi and Hong Kong to establish and support international programs, overseas centers, research collaborations and global education opportunities. While in this role, Solomon created the university’s first Global Engagement Office to expand global opportunities, initiatives and priorities in close collaboration with faculty, deans and university administrators.

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In 2010, Solomon was confirmed unanimously by Congress to represent the United States at the World Bank Group as executive director. In this capacity, he helped to secure a general capital increase, developed a program to improve global food security and championed open data and institutional innovation.

Prior to his appointment at the World Bank, Solomon worked as senior adviser to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, as legislative counsel to then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, as an associate dean at Yale Law School, and as a consultant with McKinsey. He has also worked at the  municipal policy level on local economic development in New York City and New Haven, Connecticut.

“Ian Solomon will be a visionary leader for the Batten School, and we are thrilled to welcome him to UVA,” Provost-elect M. Elizabeth Magill said. “Ian brings a powerful combination of experience and talents: a deeply curious mind, boundless creativity, and a proven ability to listen and engage. My thanks to Batten Professor Craig Volden and his search committee for their exceptional work in finding us a tremendous candidate.”

Currently, Solomon is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a non-resident fellow on Africa at the Chicago Council for Global Affairs, and a member of the Board of Visitors at National Defense University.

Solomon earned his A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard University and his J.D. from Yale Law School. He has traveled extensively in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, and for a period of time resided in South Africa. He was selected by the World Economic Forum as a 2012 Young Global Leader, profiled as one of “40 Under 40 International Development Leaders” by Devex (2010) and featured as one of the “Top 35 Capitol Hill Staffers under 35” by The Hill (2006).

The Batten School’s current dean, Allan Stam, concludes his term on June 30. Volden, associate dean for academic affairs, will serve as interim dean ahead of Solomon’s arrival.

Media Contact

Erin Tor

Karsh Institute of Democracy