Distinguished Chemist Andrew Hamilton Named Yale Provost

Yale President Richard C. Levin has appointed Andrew Hamilton, who is currently the deputy provost for science and technology, as provost of the University effective October 18, 2004.

“Andy was my first choice all along for this new assignment, but it was gratifying that so many colleagues wrote to me to identify him as their first choice as well,” Levin said. ” It is fair to say that his colleagues in the sciences have virtually uniform enthusiasm for his appointment. I am confident that the entire faculty and administrative staff will soon come to recognize the virtues that those who know Andy admire in him: his keen intelligence, his clarity of mind, his warm and gracious manner, and his sense of humor.”

Hamilton, the Benjamin Silliman Professor of Chemistry, is a distinguished organic chemist whose research has explored the synthesis of small molecules that interact with biological molecules and influence biological processes. His studies have offered new insights into drug design and the development of possible therapies for cancer. He has also worked on a team that succeeded for the first time in turning super-critical carbon dioxide into gel form, resulting in an environmentally friendly solvent for oil recovery and other uses. A native of the United Kingdom, he was recently elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Hamilton joined the Yale faculty in 1997, was named chair of the Chemistry Department in 1999 and deputy provost in 2003. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Exeter University, a master’s degree at the University of British Columbia, and the Ph.D. at Cambridge University. He taught for seven years at Princeton and nine years at the University of Pittsburgh before coming to Yale.

Levin noted that Hamilton was a highly successful chair of the Chemistry Department who won accolades from his departmental colleagues and from the chairs of other science departments with whom he collaborated in developing the $500 million plan for the renovation and expansion of Yale’s science facilities.

“As deputy provost for just over a year, he has acquired an astonishingly comprehensive knowledge of the needs and aspirations of our science and engineering departments, as well as knowledge of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Peabody Museum, the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, and the several social science departments in his portfolio of responsibilities,” Levin said. “I have been deeply impressed by his ability to think strategically about faculty development, and by his ambition for strengthening science and engineering at Yale.”

Hamilton is well acquainted with the Yale School of Medicine through his research collaborations, Levin said, and his membership on committees of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences has given him substantial familiarity with the humanities and social science departments.

Hamilton will succeed Provost Susan Hockfield, who was recently named president of MIT. Levin noted that Hamilton had worked closely with Hockfield and with her predecessor, Alison Richard, who went on to become vice-chancellor of Cambridge University.

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Tom Conroy: tom.conroy@yale.edu, 203-432-1345