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Mohsen Mostafavi, the dean of the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning at Cornell University, will lead Harvard's Graduate School of Design starting in January, University President Drew G. Faust announced Friday.
Mostafavi will replace Alan A. Altshuler, who announced in June that he would stay on until a new dean was in place rather than step down, as he had planned.
A former associate professor of architecture at the Design School from 1990 to 1995, Mostafavi was also the chairman of the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London for nine years before he assumed the Cornell position in 2004.
"His intellectual vitality and international outlook promise to serve our Design School well," Faust said in a statement.
"His leadership style is marked by an openness to new ideas and an instinct for crossing boundaries in creative ways," Faust added.
Cornell's College of Architecture, Art, and Planning is home to 100 faculty members and almost 800 students, many of whom come from abroad.
"To return to Harvard at such a pivotal moment and to have the opportunity to work with President Faust is an incredible privilege," Mostafavi said in a statement.
A 1976 graduate of the Architectural Association School of Architecture, Mostafavi also studied at the University of Essex and the University of Cambridge during the 1970s and 1980s. He was a design critic at Cambridge as well as a visiting professor at the Frankfurt Academy of Arts.
Mostafavi also taught at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design before serving as an associate professor at the Design School.
"It will be a pleasure to welcome him back to Harvard and to work with him as he and his colleagues create the brightest possible future," Faust said in the statement.
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