Harvard Commences Search for New University Health Services Director

Harvard University Health Services Director Paul J. Barreira in his office in the Smith Campus Center.

The University has begun its search for Harvard University Health Services Director Paul J. Barreira’s replacement, University Provost Alan M. Garber ’76 and Executive Vice President Katie Lapp announced in an email to Harvard affiliates Wednesday.

Barreira announced in January that he would step down on June 30 after seven years in the position and 15 years at the University. A 12-person search committee comprising professors, administrators, and other Cambridge-based medical professionals will spearhead the search, according to the email.

Barreira said in an interview Monday that the committee has retained a national hiring firm and will likely hire externally.

“They've hired a national search firm, and they're doing a national search for the next director,” Barreira said. “I don't think there's anybody internally who's applying for the position. So it would definitely be an outside person.”


Members of the search committee include Harvard Medical School Faculty Assistant Dean for Students Affairs Sherri-Ann Burnett-Bowie, Medical School Professor Michael E. Chernew, Harvard Business School Executive Dean for Administration Angela Q. Crispi, Medical School Professor Shelly F. Greenfield, Vice President for Human Resources Marilyn Hausammann, Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana, Medical School Professor Barbara J. McNeil, Deputy Provost Peggy Newell, Law School Associate Dean and Dean of Students Marcia Sells, Senior Vice President of Ambulatory and Clinical Services at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Sam Skura, MIT Medical Director Cecilia Warpinski Stuopis, and Medical School Instructor Ryan W. Thompson.

Garber and Lapp wrote the next director will work to continue Barreira’s work in providing “high-quality care” across the University.

“Under Paul’s guidance, the HUHS has strengthened its mission to provide compassionate, high-quality care and to support the health and well-being of Harvard’s diverse patient populations,” Garber and Lapp wrote. “The next Executive Director will continue to advance Harvard’s commitment to health and equitable access to care.”

To aid in the search, the University-wide committee will solicit feedback at two meetings open to Harvard affiliates held at the end of the month. Students will also have until May 1 to submit nominations and feedback via email to the committee.

The University has not yet specified when the search will conclude.

Throughout his 15-year tenure at Harvard, Barreira has served as director of Behavioral Health and Academic Counseling at HUHS, overseeing Student Mental Health Services, Alcohol and Other Drug Services, the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, the Center for Wellness, and the Bureau for Study Counsel. Before being appointed HUHS director in 2012, he served as an associate professor of psychiatry at the Medical School for eight years.

Barreira said he might work part-time on the graduate student mental health survey that HUHS has been conducting over the past year after he steps down.

He also said he plans to spend more time with his family. Barreira said he wants to to visit his daughter, who is expecting a child in June, in Birmingham, Ala., “as frequently and for as long as they'll tolerate us.”

Barreira added that he plans on spending more time reading and being more physically active than he already is.

“What I do is anything athletic that you can imagine. So, right now I run. I'm in the gym every day. In the summer, I like to get on my paddle board and paddle board all over the Cape. Or canoe. Or kayak. And play golf — although I haven't had time to play golf,” Barreira said. “So all those kinds of things I'll end up doing.”

—Staff writer Michelle Kurilla can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @MichelleKurilla.

—Staff writer Tamar Sarig can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @tamar_sarig.