Samuel Moyn named next Head of Hopper College

Samuel Moyn, an intellectual historian of modern Europe and global affairs, has been appointed the next Head of Grace Hopper College.
Alisa Berger, Samuel Moyn, and Julia Adams

Alisa Berger, Samuel Moyn, and Julia Adams (Photos by Dan Renzetti)

Samuel Moyn, the Chancellor James Kent Professor of Law and History, has been appointed the next head of Grace Hopper College, Yale College Dean Pericles Lewis announced in a message to the community today.

Moyn will succeed Julia Adams, the Margaret H. Marshall Professor of Sociology, who has been Hopper’s head for 10 years.

College heads serve as the chief administrative officer and presiding faculty member within the residential colleges, and help nurture the social, cultural, and educational life there, a role that has become a cherished Yale tradition.

Moyn, who joined the Yale faculty in 2017 after teaching at Columbia and Harvard, is an intellectual historian of modern Europe and global affairs who has written many books on ethical and political ideas in the 20th century, and about moral revolutions such as the coming of the international human rights movement. His most recent books are about the attempt to make warfare more humane and about Cold War theories of freedom and its enemies.

He will begin a five-year term at Hopper College on July 1.

Julia Adams and Samuel Moyn
Julia Adams, the outgoing head of Hopper College, and Samuel Moyn

What a thrill!” Moyn said. “My family and I look forward to the adventure and the challenge of our new home.”

Moyn, who earned a doctorate in modern European history from the University of California-Berkeley in 2000 and a law degree from Harvard University in 2001, is working on new projects on court reform in the United States and on gerontocracy, the political empowerment of the elderly, Lewis wrote.

A recipient of the Mark van Doren Prize for undergraduate teaching at Columbia, Professor Moyn has continued to offer undergraduate classes even while making the transition about a decade ago to teaching law students,” Lewis wrote. “He regularly teaches ‘The World circa 2000’ with Professor Dan Magaziner in the history department, and ‘The Crisis of Liberalism’ with New York Times columnist Ross Douthat and Professor Bryan Garsten of the political science department.

At home, Professor Moyn is a self-taught baker who looks forward to sharing his cooking experiments with Hopper students,” Lewis added. “And to help him work off the sugar intake from trying his own desserts, he is an amateur but avid tennis player.”

Joining Moyn as associate head is Alisa Berger, his partner, and their younger daughter, Madeleine, a junior at a local public high school. (Their older daughter, Lily, is a first-year student at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.) Berger is executive director of Deeper Learning Dozen, a public-school innovation project based out of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Julia Adams and Yale College Dean Pericles Lewis
Julia Adams and Yale College Dean Pericles Lewis

In announcing Moyn’s appointment, Lewis expressed gratitude to Julia Adams, the outgoing head of Hopper College, and Hans van Dijk, the associate head, “for their leadership and service to the Grace Hopper community, particularly during the college’s renaming and in the opening years of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Lewis also thanked the members of the search advisory committee: Philip Gorski, the Frederick and Laura Goff Professor of Sociology and chair of the committee; Sohrab Ismail-Beigi, the Strathcona Professor of Applied Physics; Eddie Mandhry, director of the Virtual Center for Advanced Potential; Melissa Scheve, associate director of Teaching Development & Initiatives at the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning; Justin Zaremby ’03, ’07 Ph.D., ’10 J.D.; and Grace Hopper students Adwoa Danso-Dodoo ’24; Noam Scully '25; Anjali Dhanekula '26; Alex Moore ’26; Wendy Cruz '27; and Niki Sulkowski '27.

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