Athletic Director Search Committee

On Thursday, November 14th, 2019, Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay launched the search for the next Nichols ’53 Family Director of Athletics in a message to the Harvard Athletics community. This follows the announcement that the current Athletic Director, Bob Scalise, will retire at the end of this academic year.

As part of this process, the perspectives of our community are welcomed and valued. We encourage community members to provide input on the process by contacting us at

Consultation events with members of the search advisory committee are being held in January and early February with campus stakeholder groups including varsity student athletes, participants in club and intramural sports, graduate students, coaches and staff of the Athletics Department, faculty, and alumni. These conversations offer a chance to give input on the qualities, experiences, capacities and vision that the new leader will need to be successful, and the issues that should be the top priorities for the new leader once appointed.

Dear members of the Harvard Athletics community,

Following the announcement on October 17th that Bob Scalise would retire from his role as the Nichols Family Director of Athletics at the end of this academic year, I am writing to share information about the search for his successor.

The John D. Nichols '53 Family Director of Athletics at Harvard oversees the largest athletics program in the Ivy League, a broad club and intramural sports program, and an array of health and wellness resources that serve the entire University community. In leading the Department in pursuit of its mission of education through athletics and building community and pride in Harvard, the Athletic Director continues the proud traditions and philosophy of Harvard Athletics, shapes the experience of student-athletes and all those who participate in the Department’s programs, and advocates for student-athletes at Harvard and across the Ivy League. Today, we launch the search for the next incumbent of this important leadership position at Harvard.

I am deeply grateful to Michael D. Smith, John H. Finley Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences and former Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, for agreeing to chair the search advisory committee. Other committee members include John P. Reardon, Senior Advisor for Alumni Affairs and Development; Stephanie Khurana, Faculty Dean of Cabot House; Tommie Shelby, Caldwell Titcomb Professor of African and African American Studies and of Philosophy; Gwill York, former Vice Chair of the Harvard Board of Overseers; and Katie O’Dair, Harvard College Dean of Students. The search advisory committee will conduct extensive consultation with members of the Harvard Athletics community. As those activities are scheduled, information will be available at Additionally, a dedicated email address ( has been established for members of the community to provide input on this process. This national search will be supported by Korn Ferry International.

I want to take this opportunity to again recognize Bob Scalise and his outstanding legacy of leadership. His profound commitment to the principles of Ivy League athletics, advocacy for our student-athletes and for the supports they need to be successful on and off the field, and efforts to create an athletic culture that prioritizes the development of the whole student have consistently set Harvard apart. As Bob often says, we do things differently at Harvard and that is our strength. On behalf of the Harvard community, I thank Bob for all the ways in which he has nurtured that distinctive Harvard way of living our Ivy League principles and the strong foundation he has built for the future of Harvard Athletics.


Claudine Gay 
Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences