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Harvard President Garber Names Nonie Lesaux Interim HGSE Dean

Nonie K. Lesaux will serve as the interim dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, replacing outgoing Dean Bridget Terry Long.
Nonie K. Lesaux will serve as the interim dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, replacing outgoing Dean Bridget Terry Long. By Addison Y. Liu
By Katie B. Tian, Crimson Staff Writer

Nonie K. Lesaux will serve as interim dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education after Bridget Terry Long departs the post at the end of this academic year, interim Harvard President Alan M. Garber ’76 announced in a Thursday email to HGSE affiliates.

This decision comes three months after Long’s announcement of her resignation back in January, during which time HGSE released no public information about a search for her successor. The first public update came when Garber said he intended to select an interim dean during a Monday interview with The Crimson.

“Nonie is a widely respected scholar and educator whose work appears in numerous scholarly publications and has influenced state and national educational policy,” Garber wrote in his email, which was also signed by interim Provost John F. Manning ’82. “We are grateful to Nonie for her willingness to lead the School in this interim period, and we hope you will join us in congratulating her on this new role.”

This will not be the first administrative position for Lesaux, a professor of education and human development who served as HGSE’s academic dean from 2017 to 2021.

At HGSE, Lesaux co-directs the Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative alongside HGSE professor Stephanie M. Jones. The initiative launched an Early Learning Study at Harvard, a population-based study examining children’s development within their early education and care environments.

In his email, Garber also announced the formation of a 13-member search faculty advisory committee with members from HGSE, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Harvard Business School to offer input on the search for a permanent successor to Long.

The launch of an official search is the latest sign that Garber is taking steps that would be more typical of a permanent University president. Despite serving less than four months in an interim capacity, he has already appointed an interim provost and the dean of another graduate school, the Kennedy School. Garber has also overseen the launch of several notable University initiatives, including a working group to discuss institutional neutrality.

“The members of this faculty advisory committee—whose names are listed at the end of this message—bring a depth of wisdom and experience that will be critical as we work to develop a nuanced understanding of the School and search for an outstanding leader to help guide HGSE into the future,” Garber wrote.

Garber also solicited input from HGSE affiliates as the search process launches.

“We will be interested to hear your thoughts about the challenges and opportunities facing the School, and the qualities and experience you think will be important for us to seek in its next leader,” Garber wrote.

—Staff writer Katie B. Tian can be reached at katie.tian@thecrimson.com.

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HGSEAlan Garber