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News & Announcements

New chief of staff

Kris Snibbe/Harvard file photo

Patti Bellinger will advise, support President Bacow

Patti Bellinger has been named chief of staff and strategic adviser to Harvard President Larry Bacow, effective Sept. 1. A 1983 graduate of Harvard College, Bellinger most recently was an adjunct lecturer and senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, where she was previously executive director of the Center for Public Leadership. Bellinger also has served as executive director of executive education at Harvard Business School.

“Patti brings tremendous experience and a distinguished background to the chief of staff role,” said Bacow. “She has been a highly effective leader in both the corporate and nonprofit world. I enjoyed working with her at the Center for Public Leadership and am delighted to welcome Patti to our team, and I am confident we will benefit greatly from her wisdom, insight, and thoughtful, strategic approach.”

As chief of staff, Bellinger will help advance the president’s University-wide agenda, assisting on major initiatives. She also will oversee the administrative and operational activities of the Office of the President.

“It is an honor to join President Bacow’s team and to support his vision for Harvard,” said Bellinger. “This University has been in my life for almost 40 years, since I first arrived as a freshman in 1979. I’m grateful for this new opportunity to give back to an institution that has been a formative influence in my life.”

Bellinger led the Center for Public Leadership from 2013–2017, a period of tremendous growth and expansion, more than doubling the number of student fellowships, quadrupling the reach of the leadership development portfolio, and playing a pivotal role in building the center’s endowment. As adjunct lecturer, she has taught “The Art of Leading in a Diverse World: Skills, Insights, and Best Practices,” while contributing to the Kennedy School’s executive education program.

Bellinger also has held senior leadership roles in the private sector and has served on the boards of public companies and nonprofit organizations spanning various countries and disciplines, including the pharmaceutical industry, theater, the energy sector, global business, and startups.