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Daughter of Caribbean immigrants named Dean at Harvard

APPOINTED: Claudine Gay

HARVARD UNIVERSITY has announced Claudine Gay, a longtime professor and current dean of social science, has been appointed as dean of the faculty of arts and sciences.

Gay, a Haitian-American political scientist and professor of African and African-American studies, has been a member of the Harvard faculty since 2006, and has served as FAS dean of social science since 2015.

“It is hard to imagine a more exciting opportunity than to learn from and lead the faculty, staff, and students of the FAS,” Gay said in a statement. “I am reminded daily that ours is an extraordinary community — diverse, ambitious, and deeply committed to teaching and research excellence.

"We are all drawn here, each in our own way, by a passion for learning, a search for deeper understandings, and a will to serve the common good. I look forward to working together to advance our shared mission, one never more important than it is now.”

The announcement on marks the first major appointment by new Harvard president Larry Bacow, whose tenure began at the beginning of this month.

According to Biz Journals, the university's leadership is set to confront a host of challenges, from Harvard's relatively paltry endowment returns, to an ongoing lawsuit and federal investigation into alleged admissions bias, to the recent unionization of graduate students.

Gay succeeds Michael Smith, who announced earlier this year that he planned to step down as FAS dean.

The university also released a video in which Gay discussed her background, experience and vision for the new role:

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