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Erica Chenoweth and Zoe Marks Named Pfoho Faculty Deans

Harvard College's Pforzheimer House is located at 56 Linnaean St. in the Radcliffe Quadrangle.
Harvard College's Pforzheimer House is located at 56 Linnaean St. in the Radcliffe Quadrangle. By Joey Huang
By J. Sellers Hill, Crimson Staff Writer

Harvard Kennedy School professor Erica Chenoweth and their wife Zoe Marks, an HKS lecturer in public policy, will serve as the faculty deans of Pforzheimer House beginning July 1, Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana announced in an email to house affiliates Monday.

Chenoweth and Marks — along with their daughter, Vera — will replace outgoing Faculty Deans Anne Harrington ’82 and John R. Durant, who announced last December that they would step down at the end of the academic year after leading the house for a decade.

“Over several conversations during the last several months, I have been struck by Erica’s and Zoe’s warmth and commitment to building a sense of inclusion and belonging in everything they do,” wrote Khurana, a former Cabot House faculty dean. “They are thrilled to be joining the Pfoho community, and I am thrilled to welcome them.”

The pair have been at Harvard since 2018, according to the announcement.

In addition to their appointment at HKS, Chenoweth currently serves as a professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. Chenoweth studies political violence and directs the Nonviolent Action Lab, which is housed at HKS’ Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and studies movements of nonviolent political action.

Marks researches and teaches topics including conflict and peacebuilding, gender and intersectional inequality, and African politics.

The announcement caps off a monthslong search, led by Khurana, which saw numerous candidates interviewed by current students, house staff, and College administrators.

In March, Pforzheimer Resident Dean Monique A. Roy announced that the search had narrowed to three sets of candidates. Aside from Chenoweth and Marks, the finalists were Physics professor Jennifer E. Hoffman ’00 and Physics researcher Daniel T. Larson ’98 as well as Engineering and Applied Sciences professor Petro Koumoutsakos and Christiane Baumann, a postdoctoral fellow at HKS.

Though the final decision was made by Khurana in consultation with Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean and President-elect Claudine Gay and president Lawrence S. Bacow, students said in interviews that they sought candidates who would foster house spirit and a tight-knit culture.

In a letter of intent for the position, Chenoweth wrote that they saw the position as “one of good stewardship” and would aim to prioritize house community in the role.

“I love talking about ideas and learning from others’ perspectives, and I am drawn to causes greater than myself,” Chenoweth wrote. “I grew up in a multicultural environment where difference and diversity were celebrated, and I’ve always had a heart for justice.”

—Staff writer J. Sellers Hill can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @SellersHill.

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