Interim FAS Dean for Administration and Finance

February 3, 2021

Dear colleagues,

In September, I shared the news of Dean Leslie Kirwan’s retirement and the launch of the search for the next FAS Dean for Administration and Finance. With her departure swiftly approaching on March 31, I write to update the community on the search process and plans for the remainder of the term.

We are fortunate to have an extraordinarily accomplished and wise advisory committee engaged in the search process. Supported by an executive search firm, the committee includes Armin Afsahi, Dean for FAS Development; Lawrence Bobo, W. E. B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences and Dean of Social Science; Jeremy Bloxham, Mallinckrodt Professor of Geophysics and former Dean of Science; Edward Glaeser, Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics; Evelynn Hammonds, Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science and Professor of African and African American Studies and former Dean of Harvard College; Thomas Hollister, University Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Finance; Anne Margulies, University Vice President and Chief Information Officer; Jane Pickering, William and Muriel Seabury Howells Director of Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology; Martha Whitehead, Vice President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian and Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences; and Nina Zipser, Dean for Faculty Affairs and Planning and Faculty Dean of Lowell House. I am deeply grateful to these colleagues for contributing their insights and perspectives as we seek to identify the next administrative leader of the FAS, who will step into the role at a time of unprecedented challenge and opportunity for higher education. We have made excellent progress in developing a pool of promising candidates and I am excited to be at this stage in the process.

To bridge the time between Leslie’s departure and the appointment of a new Administrative Dean, I am grateful that Mary Ann Bradley, Associate Dean for Administrative Operations, has agreed to serve as interim Dean for Administration and Finance until a successor has been named. For the past 11 years, Mary Ann has supported Dean Kirwan by serving as her Associate Dean for Administrative Operations, and for the past five years Mary Ann has managed the Administrative Operations team. Administrative Operations coordinates with other Harvard schools and the Central Administration to support risk management, procurement and payables, systems project and change management, and other FAS and University administrative initiatives. Mary Ann and the team also oversee administrative forums such as the Administrators’ Town Hall, FAS Project Review Board, and the Administrative Advisory Board. Most recently, Mary Ann has played a critical role staffing the FAS Pandemic Planning and Response Group. I am deeply grateful to Mary Ann for agreeing to serve in this capacity and am already engaging her as we look to the work ahead of us.

Though we will not be able to be together in person, we are eager to celebrate Dean Kirwan’s many contributions to the FAS and will convene online on Tuesday, March 9th from 3:00 to 4:00 PM. More details about the event will follow.

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