Gay will be the first person of color and the second woman to lead the Ivy League institution since its founding in 1636.
Image Credit: Stephanie Mitchell / Harvard University
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- Harvard University announced that Claudine Gay had been named as its next president.
- Gay will be the first person of color and the second woman to serve as Harvard’s president.
- She is currently the Edgerley Family Dean of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Harvard University announced Thursday that Claudine Gay will serve as its 30th president.
Gay will be the first person of color and the second woman to lead the Ivy League institution since its founding in 1636. She currently serves as the Edgerley Family Dean of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
She was elected to the position by the Harvard Corporation, the university’s principal governing board, according to the Harvard Gazette. Her tenure will begin on July 1, 2023.
She will replace outgoing president Larry Bacow, who last June announced he would step down at the end of the 2022-23 academic year.
“I am humbled by the confidence that the governing boards have placed in me and by the prospect of succeeding President Bacow in leading this remarkable institution,” Gay told the Harvard Gazette. “It has been a privilege to work with Larry over the last five years. He has shown me that leadership isn’t about one person. It’s about all of us, moving forward together, and that’s a lesson I take with me into this next journey.”
The daughter of Haitian immigrants, Gay received her bachelor’s degree in 1992 from Stanford University, where she majored in economics, according to the Harvard Gazette. In 1998, she received her Ph.D. in government from Harvard and went on to serve as an assistant professor and then tenured associate professor at Stanford. She was recruited to Harvard in 2006 as a professor of government and a year later was also appointed a professor of African and African American Studies. In 2015, Gay was named the Wilbur A. Cowett Professor of Government and dean of social sciences, and in 2018 was named the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
“Claudine has brought to her roles a rare blend of incisiveness and inclusiveness, intellectual range and strategic savvy, institutional ambition and personal humility, a respect for enduring ideals, and a talent for catalyzing change,” Penny Pritzker, senior fellow of the Harvard Corporation and chair of Harvard’s presidential search committee, said in a statement. “She has a bedrock commitment to free inquiry and expression, as well as a deep appreciation for the diverse voices and views that are the lifeblood of a university community.”