Mark Gearan Appointed to Head IOP at Harvard’s Kennedy School

Mark Gearan, who’s spent much of his career in politics and academia, is the new director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School.

Mark, who was Director of the Peace Corps from 1995-99, growing up in Gardner, Mass, and  worked on former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis’s 1988 presidential campaign, and in President Clinton’s White House. Most recently, and for over 18 years, he was President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in upstate New York.

“The IOP exposes students to the practical world of politics and public service in order to inspire and help the students enter that world later in their lives,” said Douglas Elmendorf, Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School. “Our students will benefit greatly from Mark’s deep knowledge of both public service and higher education.”

“I am honored to serve as the next director of the Institute of Politics.  The mission to inspire and prepare Harvard students to become leaders in politics and public service could not be more important.  As an undergraduate I benefited greatly from the IOP, and I look forward to continuing its rich legacy for today’s students with vibrant programs, speakers, and ideas from academia and practice,” Gearan said.

Mark will begin at the IOP next month.

Harvard and the Kennedy School have made a wise decision in appointing Mark. We wish him the best.



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  • I think this is a wonderful appointment, for a very thoughtful and sensitive former PC Director, whom I had the pleasure to meet a long time ago. I think Mark, like another, Loret Miller Ruppe, is evidence that that there are some notables who have embraced what the PC was all about, without having been volunteers themselves. John Turnbull Ghana-3 Geology and Nyasaland/Malawi-2 Geology Assignment 1963, -64, -65,

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