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About the 11th President

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Kathleen McCartney, the Gerald S. Lesser Professor in Early Childhood Development, was named dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2006; she became only the fifth woman dean in Harvard’s history. In collaboration with a dedicated faculty and administrative team, she has implemented a strategic plan that has resulted in the creation of two new degree programs, the doctorate in education leadership (Ed.L.D.), and a new interfaculty Ph.D. in education; a 25 percent growth in core faculty; a doubling of financial aid for Ed.M. students; a dramatic increase in fellowship support for doctoral students; and the establishment of a partner network with more than 30 districts and non-profit organizations.

McCartney’s research program concerns early experience and development, and she has published more than 150 articles and chapters on child care, early childhood education, and poverty. She is a member of the NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, which summarized the results of their longitudinal study in Child Care and Child Development. She also co-edited Experience and Development, The Blackwell Handbook of Early Childhood Development and Best Practices in Developmental Research Methods.

McCartney received her B.S. in psychology summa cum laude from Tufts University, where she now serves as a trustee, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Yale University. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the National Academy of Education, and in 2009 she received the Distinguished Contribution Award from the Society for Research in Child Development. McCartney is also a Fellow of the American Education Research Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society.

The New York Times: A Dean at Harvard Is Chosen to Lead Smith College

The Boston Globe: Smith College Names Kathleen McCartney as 11th President

The Boston Herald: Smith College Selects Harvard Leader as New President

Inside Higher Ed: Harvard Dean Will Be Next Smith President

The Harvard Gazette: McCartney Named President of Smith

The Harvard Crimson: Ed School Dean To Leave for Smith College

The Republican: Smith College Selects Harvard Graduate School Dean of Education Kathleen McCartney as its Next President

Harvard Magazine: Kathleen McCartney Appointed Smith College President

NEWMAC News: Kathleen McCartney, Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Named 11th President of Smith College


For the Media: Laurie Fenlason, Smith College vice president for public affairs, is a resource for journalists. Please contact her at lfenlaso@smith.edu with inquiries.