Senior Associate Dean

About Ranjan Daniels

Ranjan C. Daniels is the Senior Associate Dean of Student Recruitment and Global Outreach at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, where he is responsible for student recruitment and admissions, financial aid, executive education, new program development, and international partnerships. Ranjan has twenty years of experience building relationships and products, opening new markets, and driving innovation at the University of Chicago, Kaplan, Berkshire Hathaway, the Tribune Company, and the City of Chicago. Ranjan has an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, an MA in public policy from the Harris School, and a BA in political science from Emory University. Ranjan recommends that visiting students eat at the Medici on 57th—his favorite spot in Hyde Park—because of the diverse mix of people and the stellar milk shakes.

“We have a global student body who are united by a passion to make a difference in their communities and countries—from the South Side of Chicago to New York City to Delhi to Mexico City. They all share a common sense of curiosity, desire to make an impact, and drive to take on the big questions and challenges. Hearing their individual stories and what motivates them to make a difference is inspiring.”

Get to Know Ranjan

Who was your hero as a child?

As a kid, I really admired Harold Washington. He was a congressman in Hyde Park and ran for mayor of Chicago in 1983. He was one of the first African-American mayors to lead a large city. He brought a lot of people into politics and I think, paved the way for Obama. As a young kid growing up in Hyde Park, he really made me believe that anyone can run for office and make a difference.

What’s your favorite book?

The Best and the Brightest, by David Halberstam, on the origins of the Vietnam War had an impact on me. I particularly responded to the notion that leaders should talk to people that they don’t necessarily agree with or that may not have the “right” credentials on paper, but have life experiences that have brought expertise.

Aside from necessities and family, what is something you could not live without?

Running shoes. Even if I don’t run, just the notion that I could go out, be outside, and see a new city or community is important to me.

Ask Ranjan About:

  • The podcast Serial

  • LinkedIn and networking

  • Baseball

  • The best coffee spots in Chicago