Photo of Safa ZakiProfessor of Psychology Safa Zaki will become Williams’ next dean of faculty, starting July 1. She succeeds Cluett Professor of Religion Denise Buell, who announced she is returning to teaching and research in July.

Zaki is chair of the cognitive science program and teaches courses including Experimentation and Statistics; Concepts: Mind, Brain and Culture; and Great Debates in Cognition. Her research with students on how the mind organizes the visual world into categories has been published in journals including Psychological Science, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review and the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition. The National Institute of Mental Health has funded her studies.

She is deeply involved in college governance, serving as chair of both the Committee on Priorities and Resources and the Faculty Steering Committee, among others. She also served on the most recent Presidential Search Committee and leads two strategic planning groups.

“In her 18 years at Williams, Safa has earned broad respect as a collaborative educator and leader and as an advocate for both faculty and staff,” Williams President Maud S. Mandel wrote in announcing Zaki’s appointment. “We’re fortunate that someone of her abilities and experience will continue Williams’ tradition of filling senior administrative positions from within the faculty ranks.”