Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor Talks Justice, Civic Engagement at Radcliffe Day


Church Says It Did Not Authorize ‘People’s Commencement’ Protest After Harvard Graduation Walkout


‘Welcome to the Battlefield’: Maria Ressa Talks Tech, Fascism in Harvard Commencement Address


In Photos: Harvard’s 373rd Commencement Exercises


Rabbi Zarchi Confronted Maria Ressa, Walked Off Stage Over Her Harvard Commencement Speech

Harvard President Garber, Provost Manning Keep Top Advisers in Staff Reshuffle

Massachusetts Hall is a freshman dorm and houses the University president's office.
Massachusetts Hall is a freshman dorm and houses the University president's office. By Joey Huang
By Emma H. Haidar and Cam E. Kettles, Crimson Staff Writers

Harvard’s leadership crisis sparked a major senior staff reshuffle in Massachusetts Hall, as interim University President Alan M. Garber ’76 and interim Provost John F. Manning ’82 both kept their two most trusted advisers with them while taking on new roles.

Garber, who served as the University’s provost for 12 years, tapped Peggy Newell and Tez “Bank” Chantaruchirakorn to move with him to the president’s office.

Newell, who served as deputy provost for almost the entirety of Garber’s tenure as provost, received a promotion to become vice president and deputy to the president. Chantaruchirakorn will remain Garber’s chief of staff and serve as managing director in the Office of the President.

The appointments led Katherine G. O’Dair, former President Claudine Gay’s chief of staff, to depart the Office of the President, where she no longer holds an administrative appointment. O’Dair still serves as the University’s marshal, an appointment she kept after Gay named her chief of staff in May 2023.

Like Garber, Manning similarly promoted Melodie Jackson, his chief of staff at Harvard Law School, to serve as interim deputy provost and chief of staff. Jessica Soban, who was dean for student services at the Law School, became Manning’s interim deputy provost for strategic initiatives.

The staffing changes in Harvard’s Central Administration demonstrate that Garber and Manning — the two leading candidates to permanently succeed Claudine Gay as Harvard’s 31st president — are leaning on their closest allies as they may vie for the presidency.

But Garber’s promotions for Newell and Chantaruchirakorn are notably permanent whereas Manning’s advisers are temporary appointees.

Garber said in a January interview with The Crimson that he did not intend to return as provost after serving as interim president. By appointing his top advisers to permanent roles in the Office of the President, Garber sent another not-so-subtle hint that he is also looking to permanently stay in the job.

Jackson and Soban, however, are both on leave from the Law School and their new titles in the provost’s office come with interim asterisks. Their titles are consistent with Manning’s past comments saying that he intends to return to his role at HLS once his time as interim provost is done.

Still, Manning’s decision to bring Jackson and Soban with him — instead of relying on administrators that already serve in the Office of the Provost — suggests that Manning could also be preparing for the possibility of a longer stay in Massachusetts Hall.

In an April 22 interview with The Crimson, Garber said he is not prepared to say how long he and Manning will remain the University’s interim leaders.

“I've already committed to remaining beyond June 2024,” Garber said. “Beyond that, I’m not ready to say,” he added.

—Staff writer Emma H. Haidar can be reached at Follow her on X @HaidarEmma.

—Staff writer Cam E. Kettles can be reached at Follow her on X @cam_kettles or on Threads @camkettles.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Central AdministrationUniversityAlan GarberPresidential SearchFeatured ArticlesJohn ManningFront Bottom Feature