In Memoriam

John Ruggie, 1944–2021

John RuggieJohn Ruggie, Berthold Beitz Research Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School, passed away on September 16, 2021, at age 76. Ruggie was a Faculty Associate emeritus since 2002. One of his greatest contributions as a thought leader in human rights and social innovation was the development of the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights—crafted during his time as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative—which has subsequently influenced many governments, businesses, and international organizations. To learn more about John Ruggie and his contributions to both the academic and policy worlds, read the moving tribute by his friend and colleague Stephen Walt, “A Realist Tribute to an Extraordinary Idealist” in Foreign Policy

Theodore C. “Ted” Bestor, 1951–2021

Ted BestorTheodore C. Bestor, Reischauer Institute Professor of Social Anthropology at Harvard University, passed away on July 1, 2021, at age 69. Bestor—widely known for his scholarship on Japanese urban life, markets, and food culture—was a Faculty Associate since 2007, and joined the Harvard Anthropology faculty in 2001. He served as chair of the Department of Anthropology from 2007 to 2012, president of the Association for Asian Studies in 2012–2013, and director of the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies from 2012 to 2018. From 2011, Bestor led Harvard’s efforts to support and study the northeastern Japanese coastal communities impacted by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster. He took students to the Tohoku region over several years to help with relief and recovery in small fishing villages. To learn more about Ted Bestor’s life and time at Harvard, read the In Memoriam article at Harvard’s Department of Anthropology. 

James H. Sidanius, 1945–2021

James SidaniusJames Sidanius, John Lindsley Professor of Psychology in Memory of William James and professor of African and African American studies at Harvard University, passed away on June 29, 2021, at age 75. Sidanius became a Faculty Associate in 2017, after joining the Harvard faculty in 2006. Much of his work focused on how inequality and oppression are built on hierarchies such as age, gender, race, ethnic group, class, and more. Sidanius pioneered the idea of social dominance orientation—the extent to which a person will support or fight against hierarchy in a social system. Read “The Evolution of Bigotry” in the Harvard Gazette to learn more about his life and contributions. 

Dov Ronen, 1933–2021

Dov RonenDov Ronen, political scientist and Holocaust survivor, passed away on July 30, 2021. After completing his PhD in 1969, Ronen was affiliated with several universities, including Purdue and Tufts, along with Harvard. In addition to his memoir, What on Earth Am I Doing Here? about surviving the Holocaust, he published several academic books, including the well-received The Quest for Self Determination. He has extensive history with the Weatherhead Center over the years (back when it was the Center for International Affairs) as a Research Fellow, Associate, and Director of the Africa Research Program. He also held appointments in the Department of Psychiatry as a lecturer (2001–2015) and teaching associate (2015–2021). To learn more about Dov Ronen’s life and his love of international travel, read his obituary published in the Boston Globe