Dean Smith, director of Project MUSE at Johns Hopkins University Press, has been appointed director of Cornell University Press. Smith has extensive experience in directing not-for-profit and commercial publishing programs through the transition from print to digital publishing.
The appointment was announced by Vice Provost for International Affairs Fredrik Logevall.
“As America’s first university press, Cornell has a rich history of innovation in scholarly publishing,” Logevall said. “In our search for a new director we were seeking a proven leader who could build on this history while charting new paths forward. Dean Smith has demonstrated just the sort of leadership the press needs at this exciting moment in the evolution of scholarly publishing.”
Smith will join Cornell University Press in April, succeeding John G. Ackerman, who retired in January 2014 after 33 years at the press, including 26 years as director. Marketing Director Mahinder S. Kingra and Editor-in-Chief Peter Potter served as acting co-directors of the press following Ackerman’s retirement.
Throughout his career, Smith has helped lead all aspects of the transition from print-based publications to more easily accessible Web-based digital editions.
He began his career as a junior copywriter at Columbia University Press in 1987 while he was obtaining a master’s degree in poetry. Before taking the helm of Project MUSE in 2010, he held executive positions at the Association for Talent Development, the American Chemical Society and Chapman & Hall.
He also is an avid sports fan; in 2013, Temple University Press published his book about the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, “Never Easy, Never Pretty: A Fan, A City, A Championship Season.”
“I am honored to be selected to lead Cornell University Press, and excited to become part of a prestigious and dynamic university community,” Smith said. “The country’s first university press has a strong reputation for quality, a talented staff and key university stakeholders who are passionately committed to its ongoing success. Together, we will leverage these strengths in forging a new path.”
Established in 1869, Cornell University Press is a respected scholarly publisher of award-winning books in key disciplines across the humanities, social sciences, life sciences and natural history.