Claudine Gay, daughter of Haitian immigrants, named president of Harvard University

Le Nouvelliste announced that Harvard University appointed Claudine Gay as its president, “in the midst of a debate at the Supreme Court on Affirmative Action.” She is the first black president of the institution. Dr. Gay will take office on July 1, 2023, at the university, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Daughter of Haitian immigrants, professor of African and African American Studies, Claudine Gay is considered a specialist in minority policies.

“Ms. Gay is a dedicated teacher and mentor whose classes have covered topics such as racial and ethnic politics in the United States, black politics in the post-civil rights era, American political behaviors, and democratic citizenship,” writes the university, announcing her appointment on its website.

A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she also founded and directed the Harvard Inequality Initiative in America, “a multidisciplinary effort to energize Harvard’s teaching and research on social and economic inequality,” underlines Penny Pritzker, head of the selection committee of the new president. She is currently Dean of the Faculty of Sciences and Social Sciences.

Her appointment, which came after a process of several months, generating more than 600 applications, was announced as Harvard—first in the Shanghai Ranking’s Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) for twenty years—is at the heart of a major debate on affirmative action at the center of the very conservative Supreme Court of the United States. [. . .]

Excerpts translated by Ivette Romero. For full article (in French), see

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