Strom C. Thacker is the seventh president of Pitzer College. A highly regarded college administrator and political scientist, Thacker took office on July 1, 2023. He came to Pitzer from Union College in Schenectady, New York, where he served as a professor and dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs.
Thacker graduated from Pomona College in 1988 with a degree in international relations. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, he received his master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Prior to his tenure at Union College, Thacker was a professor of international relations and political science at Boston University and also served as associate dean of the faculty for social sciences within BU’s College of Arts and Sciences. He previously served as the director of the university’s Latin American Studies Program and is a recipient of BU’s College of Arts and Sciences Award for Teaching Excellence.
During his academic career he has held many prestigious appointments at universities around the world, including the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), MIT, Harvard, Stanford’s Hoover Institution, and the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México.
Fluent in Spanish, Thacker has focused his academic research on the political economy of development, both globally and in Latin America. In addition to numerous journal articles, reviews, and other publications, his scholarship includes two critically acclaimed books published by Cambridge University Press: A Centripetal Theory of Democratic Governance (with John Gerring) (2008) and Big Business, the State, and Free Trade: Constructing Coalitions in Mexico (2000).
Thacker’s selection as Pitzer president marks the first time in the College’s history that Pitzer has been led by a graduate of another member institution of The Claremont Colleges.