Richard M. Locke
Professor of Political Science & International Affairs
Provost, Brown University
Richard M. Locke, professor of political science and public and international affairs, became Brown University's 13th provost in July 2015. At the time of his appointment, Locke served as the Howard R. Swearer Director of the Watson Institute for International Studies, a position he assumed in 2013 and will maintain until a successor is named.
As provost, Locke is the University’s chief academic officer, second in rank to the president and the senior officer in charge when the president is away from campus.
The University’s senior academic leaders report directly to the provost, including the dean of the Faculty, the dean of the College, the dean of the Graduate School, the dean of the School of Professional Studies, and the dean of medicine and biological sciences and the dean of the School of Public Health. The University librarian, the chief information officer, dean of admission, director of financial aid, and vice president for research also report directly to the provost. The provost chairs the Academic Priorities Committee, the University Resources Committee, which develops recommendations for the University’s next budget, and the Space Committee, among others.
Locke is an internationally respected scholar and authority on international labor rights, comparative political economy, employment relations, and corporate responsibility. Working with leading firms like Nike, Coca Cola, Apple, and HP, Locke and his students have demonstrated how corporate profitability and sustainable business practices can be reconciled.
He is the author of five books: Production in the Innovation Economy (The MIT Press, 2014, with Rachel Wellhausen); The Promise and Limits of Private Power: Promoting Labor Standards in a Global Economy (Cambridge University Press, 2013); Working in America (The MIT Press, 2001, with Paul Osterman, Thomas Kochan, and Michael Piore);Employment Relations in a Changing World Economy (The MIT Press, 1995, with Thomas Kochan, Michael Piore); and Remaking the Italian Economy (Cornell University Press, 1995). For his ongoing research on fair and safe working conditions in global supply chains, Locke was named the 2005 Faculty Pioneer in Academic Leadership by The Aspen Institute.
Prior to his arrival at Brown in 2013, Locke served for 25 years on the faculty at MIT, holding the Alvin J. Siteman Chair in Entrepreneurship and later the Class of 1922 Chair in Political Science and Management. Locke pioneered the Global Entrepreneurship Laboratory at MIT’s Sloan School of Management in 2000, for which he received the MIT Class of 1960 Teaching Innovation Award in 2007 and the Jamieson Prize for Excellence in Teaching in June 2008. He also served as chair of the MIT Political Science Department and deputy dean in the Sloan School of Management.
Locke earned his Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University, a Master of Arts in education at the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in political science, with a specialty in political economy, at MIT. He has held visiting faculty positions in Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Brazil and has received fellowships from the German Marshall Fund, the Social Science Research Council, the Hewlett Foundation, and the Sloan Foundation. He currently chairs the Apple Academic Advisory Board and is a member of the ILO-IFC Better Work Program Advisory Committee.