Term of office: 2007-2018
Drew Gilpin Faust is President Emeritus and the Arthur Kingsley Porter University Professor.
Faust served as the 28th president of Harvard University from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2018. She was Harvard’s first female president, and the first Harvard president without a Harvard degree.
As president, Faust expanded financial aid to improve access to Harvard College for students of all economic backgrounds, advocated for increased federal funding for scientific research, returned ROTC to campus, and oversaw a record-breaking $9 billion capital campaign. She broadened the University's international reach, raised the profile of the arts on campus, embraced sustainability, launched edX, the online learning partnership with MIT, and promoted collaboration across academic disciplines and administrative units as she guided the University through a period of significant financial challenges.
A historian of the Civil War and the American South, Faust was the founding dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, guiding its transformation from a college into a wide-ranging institute for scholarly and creative enterprise, distinctive for its multidisciplinary focus and the exploration of new knowledge at the crossroads of traditional fields.
Previously, Faust served as the Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the faculty for 25 years.
Raised in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, Faust attended Concord Academy in Massachusetts. She received her bachelor's degree from Bryn Mawr College in 1968, magna cum laude with honors in history, and her master's degree (1971) and doctoral degree (1975) in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.
She is the author of six books, including "Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War" (University of North Carolina Press, 1996), for which she won the Francis Parkman Prize in 1997. Her most recent book, "This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War" (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008), looks at the impact of the Civil War's enormous death toll on the lives of 19th-century Americans. It won the Bancroft Prize in 2009, was a finalist for both a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize, and was named by The New York Times one of the "10 Best Books of 2008." "This Republic of Suffering" is the basis for a 2012 Emmy-nominated episode of the PBS American Experience documentaries titled "Death and the Civil War," directed by Ric Burns. She is a contributing writer at The Atlantic.
Faust has been a trustee of Bryn Mawr College, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the National Humanities Center, and she serves on the educational advisory board of the Guggenheim Foundation. She has served as president of the Southern Historical Association, vice president of the American Historical Association, and executive board member of the Organization of American Historians and the Society of American Historians. Faust has also served on numerous editorial boards and selection committees, including the Pulitzer Prize history jury in 1986, 1990, and 2004.
Her honors include awards in 1982 and 1996 for distinguished teaching at the University of Pennsylvania. She was elected to the Society of American Historians in 1993, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994, and the American Philosophical Society in 2004. In September of 2018 she was awarded the John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity by the Library of Congress.
Faust is married to Charles Rosenberg, one of the nation's leading historians of medicine and science, who is the Ernest E. Monrad Research Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard. Faust and Rosenberg have two daughters, Jessica Rosenberg, a 2004 summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, and Leah Rosenberg, Faust’s stepdaughter, a scholar of Caribbean literature.