Claudine Gay has led Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences as the Edgerley Family Dean since August 2018, having served previously as Dean of Social Science from 2015 to 2018.
A professor of Government and of African and African-American Studies at Harvard University since 2006, Gay is a leading scholar of political behavior, considering issues of race and politics in America. She has explored such topics as how the election of minority officeholders affects citizens’ perceptions of their government and their interest in politics and public affairs; how neighborhood environments shape racial and political attitudes among black Americans; the roots of competition and cooperation between minority groups, with a particular focus on relations between black Americans and Latinos; and the consequences of housing mobility programs for political participation among the poor. She has brought many of these interests to her undergraduate and graduate advising and teaching, including her courses on Post-Civil Rights Black Politics; Democratic Citizenship; and Politics of Race, Ethnicity and Immigration (co-taught with Jennifer Hochschild). She is founding chair of the Inequality in America Initiative, a multidisciplinary effort launched in 2017.
Prior to joining the Harvard faculty, Gay was an assistant professor of political science at Stanford University from 2000 to 2005, and an associate professor (tenured) from 2005 to 2006. From 1999 to 2000, she was a Visiting Fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California where she conducted research and published a monograph that examined voter participation in minority-dominated congressional districts. She earned a B.A. in economics with Honors and Distinction from Stanford University, where she received the Anna Laura Myers Prize for best senior thesis in the department. She earned her PhD at Harvard in 1998, receiving the Toppan Prize for best dissertation in political science.