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SAS Endowed Term Chairs: Brendan O'Leary;
Nicola Persico

Brendan O'Leary

SAS Dean Samuel H. Preston announced the appointment of two endowed term chairs in SAS. Political science professor Brendan O'Leary has been appointed to the Stanley I. Sheerr Endowed Term Professorship of Social Sciences, and associate professor of economics Nicola Persico has been appointed to the Steven F. Goldstone Endowed Term Professorship in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.

Dr. O'Leary earned his B.A. in philosophy, politics, and economics at Oxford University in 1981 and, in 1988, completed his Ph.D. at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he won the Robert McKenzie memorial prize.

He came to Penn from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he was a professor of political science. Until 2001, Dr. O'Leary was chairman of the government department, the youngest in the school's history, and had served as an elected academic governor. He is currently director of Penn's Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict.

Dr. O'Leary's current research focuses on national and ethnic conflict and conflict-regulation; power-sharing systems; theories of nationalism; and minority and human rights management in divided territories.

He has been active as a public policy advisor and consultant on the Irish peace process and in other critical conflicts. Dr. O'Leary provided critical testimony on the Patten Report on policing in Northern Ireland before the U.S. Congress, was advisor to the British Labour Party from 1988 to 1995, and has been a constitutional consultant for the European Union and the United Nations in Somalia, and for the UK's Department of International Development in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa.

Dr. O'Leary has been a featured broadcaster on radio and television programs worldwide, through the BBC World Service, Voice of America, ABC, NBC, CNN, NHKm (Japan), and other major international networks, and a regular writer of op-eds.

He is the author of numerous articles in political science journals, and the author or co-author of six books, including Policing Northern Ireland (1999), Explaining Northern Ireland (1995), The Politics of Antagonism (1993; 1996), Northern Ireland: Sharing Authority (1993), The Asiatic Mode of Production (1989), and Theories of the State (1987). He is also the co-editor of six collections, the most recent is, Right-Sizing the State: The Politics of Moving Borders, (Oxford University Press, 2001). He is currently preparing several manuscripts, including Consociational Engagements, and How States Manage Nations, both with John McGarry. He is also on the editorial boards of several journals in his fields.

Nicola Persico

The Stanley I. Sheerr Endowed Term Professorship of Social Sciences was established in 1986 by the late Stanley W '37 and Frances Sheerr, who also named the Sheerr Pool in Gimbel Gym. Stanley I. Sheerr served as chairman of Crown Textile Company, founded in 1895 by his father. Their son and daughter Richard Sheerr, C '69, and Constance Sheerr Kittner, CW '61, remain active supporters of Penn.

Dr. Nicola Persico, Stephen F. Goldstone Associate Professor, came to Penn in 1997. He previously taught at UCLA. He has also been a visiting fellow at Princeton University.

Dr. Persico completed the Laurea (B.A.) from the Università Bocconi in Milan and the Italian Doctorate of Research in Mathematical Economics in 1995. He received his Ph.D. in economics at Northwestern University in 1996.

Dr. Persico currently serves on the editorial board for the International Economic Review. He has received a number of honors and fellowships, including two National Science Foundation Research Grants. He is a current Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow. In 1999, Dr. Persico was awarded Penn's I. Kravis Award for Distinction in Undergraduate Teaching.

Dr. Persico has published a number of articles in books and major journals, including "The Provision of Public Goods Under Alternative Electoral Incentives," published in The American Economic Review, and "Racial Bias in Motor-Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," in the Journal of Political Economy, both in 2001. "Racial Profiling, Fairness, and Effectiveness of Policing" was published in The American Economic Review in 2002.

Dr. Persico's current projects include a study on "The Drawbacks of Electoral Competition," with Alessandro Lizzeri, associate professor of economics at NYU and "Interim Performance Evaluations" with Alessandro Lizzeri and Margaret Meyer, official fellow in economics at Nuffield College, Oxford University.

The Steven F. Goldstone Endowed Term Professorships in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics were established in 2001 by SAS Overseer Steven F. Goldstone, retired chairman of Nabisco Group Holdings. Mr. Goldstone, C '67, joined Nabisco in 1995. Previously, he was a senior partner with the New York City law firm of Davis Polk and Wardwell.


  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 23, February, 2003