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Tommaso Vitale Appointed Dean of the Urban School

Tommaso Vitale, Dean of the Urban School

Mathias Vicherat, President of Sciences Po, has appointed Tommaso Vitale as Dean of the Urban School. Mr. Vitale succeeds Patrick Le Galès, and will take up his new position as Dean of the Urban School in September, after a transition period commencing on June 1. His appointment follows deliberations by a search committee composed of members from within and outside Sciences Po, set up in early March to select the best-suited candidate for the role of Dean of the Urban School.

Tommaso Vitale holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Milan and has pursued research stays and post-doctoral fellowships at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales with Luc Boltanski and at Indiana University Bloomington with Nobel Prize-winning economist Elinor Ostrom. Following his first posting at the University of Milan Bicocca, Mr. Vitale joined Sciences Po in 2010 as Associate Professor of Sociology at the Center for European Studies and Comparative Politics and as Scientific Director of the newly created "Governing the Large Metropolis" Master's program.

An eminent figure within the Center for European Studies and Comparative Politics, the Sociology Department and the "Cities are Back in Town" research program, Mr. Vitale has also put his expertise, enthusiasm and generosity at the service of the "Governing the Large Metropolis" program, which under his direction has become a worldwide reference. Active in the founding of the Sciences Po Urban School, he has devoted himself to lecture work and pedagogical innovation. Tommaso Vitale is a prominent sociologist of European cities and societies, involved in a range of projects, from the creation of the leading Italian sociology journal "Partecipazione e Conflitto" to the coordination of networks gathering practitioners, researchers and civil society organisations in France and Europe.

Mathias Vicherat, President of Sciences Po, praised the dedication of Patrick Le Galès, who has served as Dean of the Urban School since its creation in 2015: "Since his return to Sciences Po in 1998, and in parallel to his research activities, Patrick Le Galès has been committed to transforming our institution through research by creating innovative degree programs and curricula together with his colleagues (Institut des Hautes Études sur l'Aménagement des territoires en Europe, Master of Regional and Urban Strategy, Sciences Po's Master of Public Affairs, dual master's programs in urban policy with LSE and the Colegio de México, the "Governing the Large Metropolis" Master's program, the "Cities are Back in Town" research seminar). These ventures have paved the way for the Urban School project. Patrick le Galès' talent, enthusiasm and commitment have made the Urban School a reference throughout France and internationally. He enlisted a team of researchers and other professionals who had got behind the school's vision, launching the "Governing Ecological Transitions in European Cities" Master's program, two teaching and research chairs (“Cities and Digital Technology” and “Cities, Housing and Real Estate”), the dual Master's program with UCLA, as well as two Executive Education Master's programs. He and his team have built an ecosystem around the Urban School that encompasses a hundred or so organisations (UN-Habitat, Solideo, the City of Paris, the OECD, etc.) and over 200 professionals. This work will be carried forward and expanded by Mr. Vitale, a household name in European sociology whose work takes on fundamental theoretical questions including integration, social and economic development, exclusion, mobility, and cities."

An exceptional intellectual trajectory"

"Tommaso Vitale has an exceptional intellectual trajectory," underscored Patrick Le Galès. Following his hiring as Associate Professor of Sociology at Sciences Po in 2010, he has built out his research on inequalities, discrimination, migrants and especially the Roma, urban sociology, social movements, political sociology, comparison, mobility and public policy. After taking an active part in the creation of the Urban School, he has forged close ties with international organisations, the Agence française de Développement, major urban infrastructure companies, housing and migrant aid associations, urban start-ups, and the mayors of many large cities. With his generosity, humor, competence and enthusiasm he has been actively dedicated to students, driving pedagogical innovations and thinking on skills building since the outset of the Covid crisis."

"I am very touched and honored to be appointed as Dean of the Urban School of Sciences Po," said Mr. Vitale. I thank Mathias Vicherat for his trust and confidence. I embark on my tenure with joy and enthusiasm, mindful of the great challenges and difficulties that cities are facing at the moment. As Dean, I will particularly be concerned with providing education that is ever more attuned to the major challenges in bridging and structuring social inclusion, digital technology, and ecological transition in the development of cities and territories, further strengthening the Urban School's status as the world's premier center for comparative studies and urban sciences professions. I intend to continue to foster collaboration between practitioners and researchers, and to bolster relations between students and alumni in order to provide the best possible foundation not only for students’ admission, but also for their career advancement. I am pleased to be able to tap into the collaboration and collective intelligence of the student body, teams, faculty, professionals, researchers, and alumni who enable the Urban School to thrive."

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