Washington Center

Helen Shapiro named UCDC Executive Director

The University of California has appointed Helen Shapiro, provost of colleges Nine and Ten at UC Santa Cruz as exectuive director of the UC Washington Center. Below is a letter from University Vice Provost Susan Carlson announcing the decision.

Dear Colleagues,

I write to inform you that after a systemwide search process, Dr. Helen Shapiro, Provost of Colleges Nine and Ten and a faculty member in the department of sociology at UC Santa Cruz, has accepted the position of Executive Director, UC Washington Center (UCDC). UCDC is a multi-campus residential, instructional and research center that provides UC students and faculty with opportunities to study, research, work, and live within Washington, DC’s rich cultural, political and international heritage. The Executive Director position is unique within the UC system. The Executive Director is responsible not only for the management and operation of the Center itself (an 11-story facility), but also oversees the academic program for the Center, collaborates with campuses on academic programming and faculty hiring, engages in fundraising for the Center, interacts with agencies and the local community to sustain and further UCDC programs, and--in collaboration with UC Federal Governmental Relations--promotes public activities in the Center and UC goals more generally. I am very pleased that Dr. Shapiro will lead the center in the coming years. 

Dr. Shapiro brings with her seven years of UC campus administrative experience as Provost of two colleges at UCSC. In this capacity she leads all aspects of the colleges’ academic enterprise, including course offerings, hiring of instructors, and management of administrative staff. She has significant experience with student affairs issues, including residential life, a key component of the residential college structure at the Santa Cruz campus, a structure similar to that of UCDC. She also has direct experience at UCDC, having served as visiting professor for two-terms in 2004-05. In addition, Dr. Shapiro has had significant experience in budget administration and oversight, having handled the budget within Colleges Nine and Ten during the fiscal crisis over the last several years.

Prior to her current role as Provost of Colleges Nine and Ten, Dr. Shapiro served as Associate Professor at UC Santa Cruz from 1997-2006 teaching primarily undergraduate courses in Latin American and Latino studies, economics, and her home department of sociology. She also taught in the Harvard Business School from 1988-1996. Dr. Shapiro has her PhD in Economics from Yale University. Dr. Shapiro’s research interest involves economic policy and international relations and she has published extensively in the area of economic development in Latin America.

Dr. Shapiro succeeds current Interim Executive Director Melanie DuPuis and Executive Director Bruce Cain, who retired from the University in June of 2012. As Interim Executive Director, Dr. DuPuis has provided valuable leadership to the Center at a critical time. She successfully maintained smooth operations of the facility, serving as a strong advocate throughout her tenure, and led the establishment of a process that will help facilitate the hiring of non-UC faculty.

Dr. Shapiro will embark on this new role in the summer of 2013 for an initial term of five years. In the meantime, we look forward to working with both Dr. Shapiro and Dr. DuPuis to ensure a smooth transition at the Center.


Susan Carlson

Vice Provost

Academic Personnel