Claudine Gay is named president of Harvard

Claudine Gay has been named the first Black woman president of Harvard University, and she’s the school’s 30th president.

Since 2018, Gay has served as the Edgerley Family Dean of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Science, the university’s largest and most academically diverse faculty, spanning the biological and physical sciences and engineering, social sciences, and the humanities and arts. 

She has had a tough tenure, including blocking the tenure of Lorgia Garcia Pena, a professor of romance language and literature. More than 100 faculty members wrote letters of protest about Gay’s decision.

Gay was chosen after the section committee spoke personally with more than 150 individuals to solicit their recommendations.  The search committee met more than 20 times, sometimes for hours at a stretch.

The daughter of Haitian immigrants, Gay received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University. 

She earned a Ph.D. in government affairs from Harvard. Gay served as an assistant professor and a tenured associate professor at Stanford before being recruited to Harvard to become a professor of government.

Like many Black women in high-profile positions,

Gay is married to a White man.

Vice President Kamala Harris, and Ketanji Brown Jackson, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, are each married to White men. 

Her husband is Dr. Christopher Afendulis, an expert in health care policy.

Gay will be sworn in on July 1.