Campus & Community

Spencer, Lundy assume new roles in President’s Office

6 min read

A. Clayton Spencer has been named the University’s vice president for policy, and Kasia Lundy has been appointed chief of staff in the Office of the President, President Lawrence H. Summers announced Sept. 8.

Spencer, having served since 1998 as Harvard’s associate vice president for higher education policy, will now assume a broader role overseeing the work of the President’s Office and aiming to ensure a more integrated approach to activities that entail cooperative efforts with other departments or Schools. Lundy, a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, and the lead staff person for last spring’s University Task Force on Women Faculty, will directly supervise the day-to-day operations of the President’s Office.

“I am very pleased that Clayton and Kasia have agreed to take on these important roles, which should help us achieve both greater integration of effort within Massachusetts Hall and greater coordination with the Schools and departments on a range of high-priority matters,” said Summers. “Clayton has for years been an invaluable presence within Mass Hall, widely respected for her keen intelligence and judgment, her deep knowledge of higher education, and her effectiveness in a variety of roles. Kasia has served in a series of Harvard positions with remarkable energy and skill, and her organizational talents and capacity to keep things moving forward promise to benefit all of us in Mass Hall.”

As associate vice president for higher education policy, Spencer has for the past seven years been a key member of the senior staff of President Neil L. Rudenstine and then of President Summers. Early in her tenure, she was centrally involved in completing the merger of Radcliffe College into Harvard University and the creation of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Recently, she has played a leading role in such matters as the initiative to attract more low-income students to Harvard College, the creation of the Crimson Summer Academy, and the enhancement of financial aid for students pursuing public service careers, while also serving as the president’s principal liaison to several of the schools.

In her expanded role, she will work closely with the president, provost, deans, and others to achieve a more integrated approach to an array of University priorities and goals, while overseeing the work of the President’s Office in partnership with the chief of staff. She will retain responsibility for various policy initiatives centrally involving the President’s Office, for staffing selected senior searches, and for organizing the monthly meetings of the Academic Advisory Group, comprising the president, the provost, the deans, and the new senior vice provost for faculty development and diversity.

“I am very pleased to have this opportunity to work with President Summers and other University leaders in this broader role,” Spencer said. “Harvard has ambitious goals in a variety of areas, and as we move forward, the emphasis increasingly will be on effective execution. In some cases, this means better service and support for Schools from the central administration. In others, it means achieving a level of academic or functional collaboration across Schools and departments that has not been typical for Harvard. I look forward to working with President Summers and other colleagues to achieve greater effectiveness in meeting these challenges.”

A trustee of Phillips Exeter Academy and Williams College, Spencer served earlier in her career as chief education counsel to the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, a role in which she managed the committee’s education staff and directed legislative affairs related to education. She was responsible for staffing Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, while chairman and then ranking minority member of the committee, on education legislation and policy matters, including federal student aid, science and research policy, education budget and appropriations, and K-12 education.

Spencer received her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude, with highest honors in history and German, from Williams College. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in theology from Oxford and a master’s degree in the study of religion from Harvard, as well as a J.D. degree from Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the Yale Law Journal, winner of the moot court competition, and chair of the Public Interest Council. After clerking for Judge Rya W. Zobel of the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, she practiced law at the Boston firm of Ropes & Gray from 1986 to 1989, and served from 1989 to 1993 as an assistant U.S. attorney in Boston. 

Spencer has spoken and written frequently on higher education issues and has taught a course on higher education policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 1997, she was awarded the Williams College Bicentennial Medal for achievement in the field of education policy.

Lundy, as the newest member of the president’s senior staff, will have primary responsibility for managing the daily operations and administrative functions of the President’s Office and facilitating its day-to-day interactions with other parts of the University. In addition to serving as the principal point of contact on a range of matters crossing different institutional spheres, she will coordinate the office’s activities in such areas as scheduling, correspondence, briefing, budget, and human resources, and work to ensure responsive communications regarding matters flowing in and out of Massachusetts Hall.

“I’m grateful to President Summers for entrusting me with this new responsibility, and I’m excited by the opportunity to work closely with him and others to carry it out as responsively and effectively as possible,” Lundy said. “From my previous roles at Harvard, I know how important clear communication and timely follow-through can be to ensuring a collaborative and productive approach to issues both large and small. I hope my new role will enhance the operational links between the President’s Office and other offices of the University in ways that best serve the needs of the Harvard community.”

Lundy comes to her new role fresh from having served as the lead staff person for the University’s Task Force on Women Faculty, which reported its recommendations last spring, and having coordinated related implementation efforts this summer. Previously, from fall 2003 until early 2005, she was assistant director of Harvard’s Allston Initiative, serving as the primary staff person for the Allston task force on undergraduate life in 2003-04. She also played a principal staff role in the selection process for the University’s master planning consultants for Allston, in addition to directing the flow of work between the Allston Initiative and its client groups.

“Kasia is simply one of the most impressive staff members I have ever encountered,” said Drew Gilpin Faust, dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and Lincoln Professor of History in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, who played a guiding role in the Task Force on Women Faculty and served on the Allston task force on undergraduate life. “She is extraordinarily effective in managing complex projects. Mass Hall is privileged to have her in this important post.”

A native of Poland, Lundy graduated from Harvard College in 1995 and received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School (HBS) in 2000. Before and after her studies at HBS, she served in a series of management consulting roles at the Parthenon Group in Boston, providing strategic advice to a range of new and established companies.