Amber Miller named 22nd dean of Dornsife

Amber Miller has been named the 22nd dean of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Provost Michael Quick announced in a memorandum issued Wednesday.

Miller, who has served as the dean of science at Columbia University since 2011, will also hold the Anna Bing Dean’s Chair. She succeeds Steve Kay, who served as dean of Dornsife from 2012 to 2015 before leaving to become president of the Scripps Research Institute. Former Vice Dean of Dornsife Dani Byrd has served as interim dean since Dec. 1.

Miller was one of three candidates selected as finalists by a 12-member advisory search committee led by Quick and Dean Avishai Sadan of the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry.

“After an extensive national search for a new dean to carry on the school’s legacy of excellence, we found Professor Miller to be highly qualified to lead Dornsife College as it continues to advance its already-outstanding scholarship and influence,” Quick said in his memorandum.

The other two candidates for dean were Christopher Celenza, vice dean for humanities and social sciences at Johns Hopkins University, and Ray Jayawardhana, dean of science and a professor of physics and astronomy at York University in Canada. Both Celenza and Jayawardhana spoke on-campus about their qualifications and vision for the school this past April.

Miller, who has also worked as a professor of physics, received her B.A. from University of California, Berkeley and her Ph.D. from Princeton University. She has been on staff at Columbia since 2002, served as the chief science advisor to NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau for two years and is a fellow of the American Physical Society.

“Please join President Nikias and me in warmly congratulating Professor Miller on her appointment and in welcoming her, her husband Jonathan T. D. Neil and their daughter Brienne, to the Trojan Family,” Quick said. “We all look forward to their arrival this summer.”