John Robichaux


John Robichaux is a globally-recognized leader in higher education. Robichaux is known for his commitment to the highest standards of academic excellence and academic access in a wide range of university-based academic programming. He is regularly cited at one of the most successful and innovative deans at the world's top universities, having held dean- and executive-level positions at Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia, among others. His personal mission statement-- Connecting the Best Minds in the World to the Best Classrooms in the World-- has become a rallying cry for the programs he has led, many of which have witnessed unprecedented successes under his leadership. Robichaux has been at the helm of several of the most significant expansions of educational access for the world's top students and jumps in academic quality at the world's top universities in the past ten years. He is credited with having revolutionized the fields of Summer and Pre-College programs at top academic universities in several key areas, is at the forefront of international education in top academic institutions, and is recognized as one of the world's most prominent leaders in university-based professional-, continuing-, and online education active today. A global leader in transformative academic programming, Robichaux has been at the leading edge of innovative learning initiatives for traditional and non-traditional university students for nearly two decades.

Currently he serves as Executive Director of Summer, Inter-Term, and Pre-College Programs at Columbia University, and Executive Director of Educational Partnerships, Visiting Student, Post-Baccalaureate, Executive Education, Lifelong Learning, and Certificate Programs at Columbia University's School of Professional Studies, where he oversees academic programs serving matriculated and visiting graduate and undergraduate students, as well as adult, and pre-college learners, for both the School of Professional Studies and the University as a whole.


Sometimes called "the dean to world's greatest minds," he holds the distinction of being the only active dean and director in these fields to have held leadership positions at four Ivy Plus universities (Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Brown), and regularly consults with universities around the world in several areas within higher education. His extraordinary record of success and mission-driven leadership in these areas is marked by a deep commitment to providing the world's best minds greater access to the world's best classrooms, and to provide the programmatic support necessary to ensure that students have the opportunity to acquire the skills they need to achieve their highest potential, inside and outside the classroom. 

A dynamic speaker and experienced executive, Dean Robichaux has also created and executed hundreds of trainings related to executive leadership in university, non-profit, and NGO organizations. He regularly consults internationally in the areas of innovative academic programming and educational and non-profit executive leadership.

A Harvard-educated, award-winning Human Rights scholar, Robichaux's academic research focuses on contemporary issues Politics, Ethics and Religion, with particular focus on International Relations and Human Rights. A highly engaging teacher, he regularly offers courses in Political Science, Religious Studies, International Relations, and Human Rights.



Research and Teaching

Dean Robichaux's research and teaching interests are in ethics in international relations, human rights, religion and politics, and conflict studies.

Courses Recently Taught

  • Religion, Democracy, and Human Rights (graduate and undergraduate)
  • Religion and Politics: Religion in International Conflict (undergraduate)
  • International Conflict and Cooperation (graduate and undergraduate)
  • Ethics and International Relations (graduate and undergraduate)
  • Introduction to Justice and Rights (graduate and undergraduate)
  • Religion and Society in Latin America (undergraduate)
  • Introduction to International Relations (graduate and undergraduate)

Within Ethics, Politics, Religion, Robichaux focuses on the following areas of specialization (AOS): religion and political theory; ethics and international relations, including religion and human rights, war & conflict. He also taught and advised in a number of areas of competency (AOC) within Religion and Society in addition to his specialization in Ethics, Politics, Religion. While at Harvard, he taught in the undergraduate and graduate programs for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (Religion, Government and Anthropology departments), the Divinity School, and the Division of Continuing Education. At Stanford, he taught in the School of Humanities and Sciences (Political Science and Religious Studies departments), and was among the most popular instructors in the School and in Stanford's Summer Intensive Series in Human Rights.

Robichaux's field research includes time in Beijing, China; Cochabama, Bolivia; Quetzaltenango, Guatemala; and San Salvador, El Salvador.



Robichaux is an award-winning scholar in the area of human rights. Additionally, his work has been recognized by organizations as diverse as Harvard University, Rotary International, the National Conference for Community and Justice, among others. 


Experience in Higher Education Administration

Having held his first position in Higher Education Administration in 1996, since that time, Dean Robichaux has progressed in university leadership positions, including posts at Harvard, Stanford, M.I.T., and Brown prior to his current post at Columbia. A well-rounded university administrator, Robichaux has had dean and director-level responsibilities of programs with responsibilities in graduate and undergraduate studies, academic affairs, academic advising, student affairs, judicial affairs/student conduct, service/community learning, continuing/professional education, summer academic programming, academic resource centers, visiting and international student programming, executive education, lifelong learning, study abroad, and partnerships between educational-, community- and industry-based institutions.



Born in Louisiana, and of Cajun heritage, he currently splits his time between the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area / Silicon Valley and New York City.