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Interim Director of Perry World House, Michael Weisberg (Photo from Penn).

Philosophy professor Michael Weisberg has been named the interim director of Perry World House.

President Liz Magill and Provost John L. Jackson Jr. announced the appointment yesterday. Weisberg, the Bess W. Heyman President’s Distinguished Professor and Chair of Philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences, began his term on Sept. 1. The director position has remained unfilled since former Director Michael Horowitz took a leave of absence in April 2022.

Weisberg has worked in various capacities at PWH since 2020, including serving as a senior faculty fellow, global climate policy lead, and director of post-graduate programs. 

Additionally, Weisberg serves as editor-in-chief of Biology and Philosophy, co-director of the Galápagos Education and Research Alliance, advisor to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Nairobi Work Programme, and climate advisor to the Republic of Maldives. 

Weisberg has previously taught the global seminar PHIL 226: "Philosophy of Biology," which takes students to the Galapagos Islands.

Weisberg’s research focuses on the interface between humans and wildlife, humans and climate systems, and how models and simulations can be used to understand systems. His work also explores how people in the Americas and East Asia understand scientific issues.

In the announcement, Jackson described Weisberg as a “pathbreaking leader.” 

“His work is illuminating critical issues of biodiversity and global climate policy that are of vital interest across our campus,” Jackson said. “He is already well-known to the Perry World House community, and I look forward to the exciting new ideas and initiatives that he will bring to the role of Interim Director.”

PWH Director Michael Horowitz is currently on leave from the position and serving as the United States Department of Defense’s deputy assistant secretary of defense for force development and emerging capabilities. In March 2022, Horowitz announced that he would be taking a leave of absence from his position at PWH, which he has held since 2020, and expected to return to Penn in a year. 

In a July 11 tweet, Horowitz announced that he would be taking on a new role at the Department of Defense and plans to return to Penn when his term of service ends.

“Esteemed across campus and at Perry World House, [Weisberg] is an outstanding choice for Interim Director. We are grateful for his service,” Magill said in the announcement.