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Peter T. Glenshaw, the assistant director of Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research, announced Friday that he will take a 12 month leave of absence beginning April 9.
Glenshaw said he is "not certain" whether he will return once his leave is over.
"I certainly want to keep my options open," he said.
During his time at Harvard, Glenshaw served as chief of staff to Du Bois Professor of the Humanities Henry Louis "Skip" Gates Jr, and helped draw in all-star academics including Fletcher University Professor Cornel West and Geyser University Professor William Julius Wilson.
Glenshaw also served as executive director of the development team for Encarta Africana, a Microsoft CD-ROM on the African diaspora.
Glenshaw said he is particularly proud of his work on these projects, and his efforts in "getting the department and the institute to function as a cohesive entity [and] helping raise more than $15 million over the last few years."
During his leave of absence, Glenshaw will work for Kimble House, a business that markets the work of Glenshaw's father, Warren Kimble, a Vermont folk artist. Glenshaw will advise the firm on business strategy.
Gates said Glenshaw will be missed.
"He has been more than a chief of staff to me during the past seven years, and I will miss his involvement and contributions deeply," he said in a statement.
Glenshaw previously worked at Harvard's Expository Writing program and with Georgetown University's School of Nursing.
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