fb-pixel Skip to main content

Director of Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics steps down

Former Newton Mayor Setti Warren will temporarily fill the role

The director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government is leaving to return to his previous job as president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges following the resignation of their most recent president, he said Tuesday.

Mark D. Gearan spent 18 years as president of the private liberal arts colleges n Geneva, N.Y., which are jointly chartered, before coming to the Kennedy School four years ago, and he considers his return “a bit of a homecoming for our family,” he said in an e-mail Tuesday afternoon to the Institute of Politics community.

“My decision to conclude my time at the IOP was a difficult one as I have long prized the mission of the Institute, personally benefitted from the programs and opportunities as an undergraduate, and as Director valued the opportunity to work with talented Harvard students who are committed to public purpose,” Gearan said in the e-mail.

Former Newton mayor Setti Warren has begun serving as interim director of the Institute of Politics while the Kennedy School launches a search for a permanent replacement, according to the institute’s website. Warren previously served as executive director of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy.


“Setti is an extraordinary public servant and leader at the IOP, and I am comforted knowing that the Institute is in good hands,” Gearan said.

Gearan, a 1978 Harvard graduate, said it had been “an extraordinary honor to return to my alma mater and to the IOP which was so foundational to my career in politics and public service.”

“I am proud of what we have accomplished together in these past four years — broadening programs, expanding access and opportunity, new collaborations and innovations, important discussions in the Forum that are relevant to the changes in American politics and bringing Resident Fellows to campus who represent the current landscape of our civic life,” he said.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.