Director of Athletics Search

November 14, 2019
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