Meet the leadership team of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) – the group of academic and administrative heads who report to Dean Claudine Gay and oversee the core units and functions of FAS. This dynamic division of the University brings together faculty, students, and scholars whose groundbreaking work focuses on knowing and doing, on individual achievement and on collaboration, on tradition and on taking intellectual risks.
Associate Vice President and Dean of Development, FAS
Armin Afsahi was appointed Associate Vice President of Alumni Affairs and Development (AA&D) and Dean of Development for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) in 2019. In this role, Afsahi is responsible for designing and executing a fundraising vision that advances the FAS’s mission and diverse academic priorities.
An accomplished and respected advancement leader with nearly 30 years of experience, Afsahi brings a wide range of expertise in institutional advancement, strategic management, business development, leadership, and operations. Prior to joining AA&D, he held senior roles in advancement at multiple universities including the University of Denver, UC San Diego, and Georgetown University, respectively. He holds a BA in communications from UC San Diego and an MBA from the University of San Diego.
Dean of Social Science
W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences
Division of Social Science
Lawrence D. Bobo is the W. E. B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University where he holds appointments in the Department of Sociology and the Department of African and African American Studies.
He has held tenured appointments at the University of Wisconsin, UCLA, and Stanford where he was Director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. His most recent book, Prejudice in Politics: Group Position, Public Opinion, and the Wisconsin Treaty Rights Dispute (with M. Tuan), was a finalist for the 2007 C. Wright Mills Award. In 2012, he was awarded the Cooley-Mead lifetime achievement award for distinguished scholarship from the Social Psychology Section of the American Sociological Association.
Dean of the Division of Continuing Education
Harvard Division of Continuing Education
Nancy Coleman is Dean of the Division of Continuing Education and University Extension. Dr. Coleman is a senior PCO (professional, continuing and online education) leader, deeply committed to technology and innovation in online and place-based education that creates access and opportunities for learners of all ages, types and socio-economic backgrounds. She brings diverse expertise to her leadership of the division, having previously served in roles in both small and large institutions, corporate and start-up ventures; and taught both online and in the classroom.
Before joining Harvard, Coleman created Wellesley Extended, a unit of Wellesley College encompassing summer term, professional and executive education. In 2017, she founded the Contemporary Women’s Leadership Institute, a global program for undergraduate women.
Coleman also served as Director of Distance Education at Boston University, and as VP of Academic Services at Keypath, an online program management firm, overseeing all instructional design and student services operations for the organization’s global offices.
Dr. Coleman is currently President-Elect of UPCEA (University Professional Continuing Education Association), the nation’s largest PCO association. She is a co-author of the “Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership” published by UPCEA, March 2015.
Coleman holds a doctorate in Human and Organizational Learning from George Washington University, and an MBA from Boston University Questrom School of Management.
Dean of the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Emma Dench was born in York, grew up near Stratford-Upon-Avon, and studied at Wadham College, Oxford (BA Hons Literae Humaniores) and at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford (DPhil in Ancient History). Before taking up a joint appointment in the Departments of the Classics and of History at Harvard in January 2007, she taught classics and ancient history at Birkbeck College, University of London. She has been a Craven Fellow at the University of Oxford, a Rome Scholar and a Hugh Last Fellow at the British School of Rome, a Cotton Fellow, a Member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and a Visiting Professor of the Classics and of History at Harvard, and a Loeb Classical Library Foundation Fellow.
Dench is the author of From Barbarians to New Men: Greek, Roman, and Modern Perceptions of Peoples from the Central Apennines and Romulus’ Asylum: Roman Identities from the Age of Alexander to the Age of Hadrian. She is currently completing “Imperialism and Culture in the Roman World” for the Cambridge University Press series Key Themes in Ancient History. Other current projects include a study of the retrospective writing of the Roman Republican past in classical antiquity.
While at Harvard, Dench received a Harvard College Professorship in recognition of “outstanding contributions to undergraduate teaching, mentoring, and advising,” a Marquand Award for Excellent Advising and Counseling, and an Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award for her mentorship of graduate students.
Francis J. Doyle III
John. A Paulson Dean
Harvard John. A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Francis Doyle joined SEAS on August 1, 2015. Previously, he was a distinguished scholar in chemical engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and most recently served as associate dean for research at UCSB’s College of Engineering, where he instigated a major push into bioengineering. He led faculty at two colleges in developing a strategic vision for research and education and in programming and designing a state-of-the-art facility. As founding associate director in 2003 and now director of the multicampus Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies, Doyle brings together the research and educational efforts of 55 faculty spanning 15 departments and the campuses of UCSB, Caltech, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Doyle has been named a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the International Federation of Automatic Control, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
William R. Fitzsimmons
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
William Fitzsimmons joined Harvard College in 1986. Previously, he was Executive Director of the Harvard College Fund from 1984-86 and Director of Admissions at Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges from 1975-1984. In 1972, he was Assistant and Associate Director of Admissions until 1975. He is a former Trustee of the College Board, and is a member of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling and the former Chair of the Commission on the Use of Standardized Tests in Undergraduate Admissions. Fitzsimmons is also involved in various research projects, publications and professional activities on issues related to admissions and financial aid. He holds Bachelors from Harvard College, and Masters and Doctoral degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Dean for Administration and Finance
FAS Administration and Finance
In overseeing the FAS administrative functions, Dean Jordan is a key partner with Dean Claudine Gay in efforts to address financial matters, as well as opportunities and priorities confronting the FAS. Among other duties, Dean Jordan supports leadership in FAS Finance, Human Resources, Research Administration, Facilities, Physical Resources and Planning, Diversity, and Educational Support Services.
Dean Jordan was most recently the Executive Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer for the University of Connecticut, the flagship state university of Connecticut, comprising the main Storrs campus, four regional campuses, UConn Law School, and the UConn Health medical campus. A long-time resident of Massachusetts, Scott received his undergraduate degree in economics, cum laude, from UMass-Amherst, and a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as a Bradford Fellow. Prior to entering higher education, Scott spent two decades in public finance leadership roles for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, serving under five of the last six governors. In his most recent role as Undersecretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance, Scott oversaw the preparation and management of a $17 billion, five-year statewide capital plan, including higher education campuses, highways, bridges, state buildings, public housing, water infrastructure, and information technology. He also managed a $2 billion, ten-year capital finance program for Massachusetts public higher education, providing new and renovated buildings on each of the 29 campuses of the state college, community college, and University of Massachusetts systems.
Dean of Arts and Humanities
Shirley Carter Burden Professor of Photography
Division of Arts and Humanities
Robin Kelsey became the Dean of Arts and Humanities at Harvard University on July 1, 2016. Since 2009, he has been the Shirley Carter Burden Professor of Photography in the Department of History of Art and Architecture, serving as department chair for three years. He holds a PhD in art history from Harvard and a JD from Yale Law School and has practiced law in California. A specialist in the history of photography, Professor Kelsey is the author of Photography and the Art of Chance, published by Harvard University Press in 2015, and Archive Style: Photographs and Illustrations for U.S. Surveys, 1850-1890, published by the University of California Press in 2007. With Blake Stimson, he co-edited a book entitled The Meaning of Photography, published by the Clark Art Institute and Yale University Press in 2008. Professor Kelsey has held visiting professorships at Williams College and the École normale supériere, Paris, and has received various awards for his scholarship and teaching, including the Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize, a Walter Channing Cabot Fellowship, and the Rosalyn Abramson Award.
Danoff Dean of Harvard College
Professor of Sociology and Organizational Behavior
Rakesh Khurana became Danoff Dean of Harvard College on July 1, 2014. In 2000, Khurana was appointed to the Harvard Business School faculty, and was named the Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership and Development in 2008. Khurana has been recognized for his commitment to pedagogy, twice earning the Charles M. Williams Award for Excellence in Teaching (2008, 2012) and being nominated in 2013 for the Star Family Prize for Excellence in Advising. He has also co-edited “The Handbook for Leadership Theory and Practice” (2010) and “The Handbook for Teaching Leadership” (2012), seminal texts on leadership theory and pedagogical practice. Khurana received his B.S. from Cornell University, and began graduate studies at Harvard in 1993, earning his Ph.D. in 1998 through a joint program between Harvard Business School (HBS) and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). He and his wife, Stephanie (M.B.A., M.P.P.’96), were Faculty Deans of Cabot House from 2010-2020.
Secretary of the Faculty
Office of the Secretary
As Secretary of the Faculty, Susan Lively aids faculty, staff, and students in formulating and understanding the policies and practices of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. She oversees the organization of the meetings of the Faculty and of the Faculty Council; coordinates the work of the Memorial Minute committees; staffs the Docket Committee; manages the administration of the Prize Office and of the standing committees of the Faculty; and maintains the legislative record of the Faculty. A holder of an A.B. from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. in History from Harvard, she has previously served, among other roles at Harvard, as Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs in the FAS, Assistant Dean for the Arts and Humanities, and Associate Dean of Development in the FAS. In addition, she has taught history and expository writing at Harvard focusing on early America.
John D. Nichols ’53 Family Director of Athletics
Erin McDermott became Harvard’s eighth John D. Nichols ’53 Family Director of Athletics on July 1, 2020, overseeing the nation's largest Division I athletic program and extensive recreational, club and intramural sports programs.
McDermott arrived on Harvard’s campus after a seven-year tenure as Director of Athletics & Recreation at the University of Chicago. Prior to her time at Chicago, McDermott spent a significant part of her career in the Ivy League at Columbia and then at Princeton, eventually becoming the Deputy Director of Athletics at Princeton. McDermott has served on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA) as well as on the Board of Directors for Women Leaders in College Sports (WLCS).
A Division I women’s basketball student-athlete at Hofstra, McDermott was named the school’s top female senior scholar-athlete. She graduated from Hofstra with a bachelor of business administration degree in international business in 1994 before obtaining her master’s degree in sport management from the University of Massachusetts in 1996.
Associate Dean of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, FAS
Sheree Ohen joined the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Associate Dean of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) in September 2020. In this inaugural position, Ohen will develop a strategic vision for strengthening diversity, inclusion, and belonging at the FAS. Working with other senior leaders, as well as with multiple stakeholders among the faculty, staff, and students, Ohen will conceive and develop strategies to ensure everyone in the FAS community feels welcome, included, and supported and that diversity, inclusion, and belonging are established as core, lived values of the FAS.
Prior to joining Harvard, Ohen was the Chief Officer of Diversity and Inclusion at Clark University where she provided strategic direction in creating a campus climate that is welcoming, inclusive, respectful, and free from bias and harassment. Born and raised in California, Ohen received her undergraduate degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley and went on to earn a law degree from Golden Gate University School of Law. After practicing civil rights litigation, employment law, and criminal defense as an attorney, Ohen decided to pursue a field that aligned more fundamentally with her passion for equity and social justice. In taking the leap to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education, she has found her life’s work. A DIB thought-leader and vocal advocate, Ohen is a frequent guest lecturer and keynote speaker, and has advised companies and institutions across the country on best practice approaches to advancing inclusive excellence.
Dean of Science
Samuel C. Moncher Professor of Physics and of Astronomy
Division of Science
Christopher Stubbs joined Harvard in 2003 as a Professor of Physics and of Astronomy. His research interests lie at the intersection of cosmology, particle physics, and gravitation. Stubbs received an International Baccalaureate diploma from the Tehran International School in 1975, a BSc in physics from the University of Virginia in 1981, and a PhD in physics from the University of Washington in 1988.
His research career started with experimental tests of gravitation, performing precision measurements to explore possible modifications to gravity. He was on the faculty at UCSB, and was then member of the University of Washington faculty for a decade before moving to Harvard in 2003. He served as chair of Harvard’s Physics Department from 2007 to 2010. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a recipient of the National Academy of Sciences Award for Initiative in Research, the NASA Achievement Medal, and is a co-recipient (with other members of the High-z Supernova Team who discovered the accelerating expansion of the Universe) of the Gruber Foundation Cosmology Prize and the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. Stubbs was awarded a McDonnell Centennial Fellowship, and a Packard Fellowship, and currently serves on the advisory panel for the Packard Foundation. He is an Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, in connection with his interest in arms control and technical aspects of international security issues.
Dean for Faculty Affairs and Planning
Office for Faculty Affairs
Nina Zipser has led the Office for Faculty Affairs (OFA) since May 2008. In this role, she works closely with the FAS deans to develop and execute long-range plans and policies affecting the faculty. OFA coordinates academic planning; oversees all policy and procedural aspects of faculty hiring, promotions, leaves, and retirements; collects and analyzes data pertaining to the faculty; and advises individual faculty and administrators. After receiving a Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard, Zipser joined the faculty at M.I.T., where she taught and conducted research on differential geometry. She then joined the Boston Consulting Group, and in 2003 she became Harvard’s first Director of the Office of Institutional Research (OIR). As founding Director for five years, Zipser defined the mission of OIR, working with all of Harvard’s Schools to help them undergird policy decisions with quantitative and qualitative analyses. Zipser brings this approach to her current role.