University People

Humanities Leaders

Cogan University Professor Stephen Greenblatt, acclaimed for his Shakespeare scholarship (see “The Mysterious Mr. Shakespeare,” September-October 2004, page 54) and his Pulitzer Prize-winning book on Lucretius’s De rerum natura (see “Swerves,” July-August 2011, page 8), has won the Holberg Prize, conferred by Norway for academic work in the arts, humanities, social sciences, law, and theology. The prize, perhaps the leading honor for humanities scholarship, comes with an award of 4.5 million kroner (about $525,000). Greenblatt is now working on a book about the story of Adam and Eve.…Burden professor of photography Robin Kelsey, chair of the department of history of art and architecture, has been appointed dean of arts and humanities within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, effective July 1. Kelsey, profiled in “From Daguerreotype to Photoshop” (January-February 2009, page 42), succeeds Rothenberg professor of Romance languages and literatures and of comparative literature Diana Sorensen.

Photograph by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Public Affairs and Communications

Decanal Debut: Kay Family professor of public health and professor of global health and population Michelle A. Williams, holder of master’s and doctoral degrees from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, has been appointed dean, effective in July. She succeeds Julio Frenk, who departed last summer to become president of the University of Miami. Williams, chair of the department of epidemiology, has conducted research on maternal and infant mortality and health around the world, and is faculty director of two Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center programs, drawing together public-health and medical expertise. She will become the first African-American leader of one of Harvard’s faculties. An in-depth profile appears at

Signal Scientists

Cook professor of radiation oncology Rakesh K. Jain has been awarded the National Medal of Science.…Wallace professor of applied physics Federico Capasso (see “Thinking Small,” January-February 2005, page 50) and Alfred Cho have been awarded the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Rumford Prize, one of the nation’s oldest scientific awards, in honor of their invention, at Bell Laboratories, of the quantum cascade laser.…Iacocca professor of medicine C. Ronald Kahn and Loeb professor of chemistry Stuart L. Schreiber were each named co-winners of a 2016 Wolf Prize, for work pertaining to diabetes and to gene regulation, respectively.…Mangelsdorf professor of molecular and cellular biology and of chemistry and chemical biology Erin O’Shea has been named president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the leading private funder of medical research. O’Shea, an HHMI investigator since 2000 and chief scientific officer since 2013, is the institute’s first female president.…Mallinckrodt professor of physics and of applied physics David A. Weitz has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Photograph courtesy of Art Institute of Chicago/Harvard Public Affairs and Communications

Curator-in-Chief. Martha Tedeschi, who has spent her professional career at the Art Institute of Chicago, will become Cabot director of the Harvard Art Museums in July, succeeding Thomas W. Lentz, who stepped down last summer. (The Art Institute’s Modern Wing, like the renovated Harvard complex, was conceived by Renzo Piano.) Now Tedeschi, who has most recently been the Chicago museum’s deputy director for art and research (managing conservation, publications, libraries, academic programs, and archives), can focus on the educational use of the integrated Harvard collections and facilities, developing the curatorial staff, and outreach. A graduate of Brown, the University of Michigan, and Northwestern, she specializes in British and American art, with a focus on printmaking. Read a full report at

M.D.s on the Move

Professor of medicine and of epidemiology Paula A. Johnson ’80, M.D. ’84, M.P.H. ’85, has been appointed president of Wellesley College, effective this summer; she will be the first African-American leader of that institution. Laurie H. Glimcher ’72, M.D. ’76, who held professorial positions at the medical and public-health schools before becoming dean of the Medical College at Weill Cornell Medicine, will return to Boston next January to become president and CEO of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. And Deborah Prothrow-Stith, M.D. ’79, former professor of public health practice, has been appointed dean of the College of Medicine at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, in Los Angeles.

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