President Drew Faust announced today (April 15) that Alan M. Garber ’76, the Henry J. Kaiser Jr. Professor, and professor of medicine and economics, at Stanford University, has been appointed the next provost of Harvard University.
“Alan is a distinguished academic leader who brings to Harvard an extraordinary breadth of experience in research across disciplines,” said Faust. “He has an incisive intellect, a deep appreciation for the challenges facing research universities, and a loyalty and commitment to Harvard, where he has maintained strong ties since his years as an undergraduate in the College. I am extremely pleased that a person of Alan’s talent, range, and versatility will be joining the University’s senior leadership team.”
Garber will succeed Steven E. Hyman, who in December announced his decision to step down at the end of this academic year. Garber’s appointment is effective Sept. 1.
“I am excited and humbled by this opportunity to serve an institution that made a profound difference in my own life,” said Garber. “Harvard has a storied history and a present full of remarkable accomplishments and extraordinary strengths. I look forward to helping the University achieve its enormous promise for the future.”
Garber first came to Harvard in 1973 as an undergraduate. After graduating summa cum laude in economics in 1976, Garber received a Ph.D. in economics, also from Harvard, and an M.D. from Stanford with research honors. After his graduate work, he served his internship and residency in internal medicine at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
In his academic work, Garber brings an economist’s perspective to critical questions of health policy. His research focuses on ways to improve health care quality and delivery, methods to assess the cost effectiveness and comparative value of health interventions, and how best to structure incentives for cost-effective care. He has served as founding director for both the Center for Health Policy and the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, both at Stanford. Garber currently serves on the steering committee for Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.
“Alan Garber exemplifies the very best of the academy. In his 25 years as a distinguished member of the Stanford University faculty, he has brought an interdisciplinary ethos and leadership to teaching, to the research community, and to the medical profession,” said Stanford President John Hennessy. “His service to the academy and to the nation in medical decision-making, science, and policy has been prolific. I have no doubt he will serve Harvard with the same passion. I congratulate both Alan and Harvard.”
As provost, Garber will partner with the president in defining the strategic academic vision for the University. He will work with her to sustain the excellence of the academic enterprise and to achieve greater integration of research, teaching, programs, and people across the University. Garber will have direct responsibility for academic planning and its financial foundations. He will also play a central role in supporting cross-cutting programs and in working with the deans to leverage the strengths of the Schools in service of the University as a whole.
Early priorities will include leading the University’s efforts to define academic aspirations and achievable programs in the entrepreneurial space represented by Allston, and steering the ongoing reorganization of the Harvard library system.
Pending Garber’s arrival in September, the president will oversee all academic functions, delegating specific responsibilities as needed.
In addition to being the Henry J. Kaiser Jr. Professor at Stanford, Garber serves as professor of medicine and (by courtesy) of economics, health research and policy, and of economics in the Graduate School of Business. A leading researcher in the domain of health care delivery and financing, Garber served as founding director of the health care program of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a position he held for 19 years.
He is the author or co-author of more than 125 articles, as well as 40 book chapters and monographs. He has edited or co-edited eight books on health policy research. He also sees general medical patients at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, where he serves as a staff physician and associate director of the Center for Health Care Evaluation.
The recipient of numerous academic awards, Garber has been elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Association of American Physicians, and is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.