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Team Bios

Sara Bleich speaks about what drives her work
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Meet the Vice Provost

Sara Bleich

Dr. Sara Bleich is the inaugural Vice Provost for Special Projects at Harvard University, Professor of Public Health Policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and a faculty member at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. With more than 180 peer-reviewed publications, she is a policy expert and researcher who specializes in diet-related diseases, food insecurity, and racial inequality. Prior to this, Dr. Bleich served in the Biden Administration as the Director of Nutrition Security and Health Equity at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service and as the Senior Advisor for COVID-19 in the Office of the Secretary at USDA. As a White House Fellow during the Obama Administration, she worked at USDA as a Senior Policy Adviser for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services and on First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. Dr. Bleich was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2023 and holds a B.A. in psychology from Columbia University and a PhD in health policy from Harvard University.

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Project Manager, Communications & Community Engagement

Tania G. Hernandez

Tania G. Hernandez is a Project Manager at the Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery (H&LS) initiative. She supports communications and community engagement efforts for the initiative. Before joining Harvard, she served as a Senior Community Engagement Specialist at Count Me In, a non-profit patient-partnered research initiative at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard bridging the gap between cancer research and historically marginalized communities in medicine. In addition to her work, she is deeply passionate about mentoring students and supporting their academic and professional careers.

Hernandez holds a B.S. in biology and a minor in psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Alex Glomset

Project Manager

Alex Glomset

Alex Glomset is a Project Manager for the Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery (H&LS) initiative. He previously worked at Brandeis University as the Research Program Manager for the National Initiative of Gender, Culture and Leadership in Academic Medicine and as the Assistant Director of Programming, Communications and Marketing for the Brandeis National Committee. Prior to Brandeis, Alex worked and interned with various human rights organizations including Cambridge-based Cultural Survival and Physicians for Human Rights. Alex has also completed academic programs and internships in international criminal law and human rights in both the Netherlands and Geneva.

Glomset holds a B.A. in international & global studies from Brandeis University and an LL.M. in public international law from Leiden University in the Netherlands.

RuQuan Brown_image

H&LS Student Ambassador. Class of 2024

RuQuan Brown

RuQuan, a senior at Harvard studying African American history, is a versatile force for change. From football to activism, he has blended sports, academics, and entrepreneurship. As a board member of March For Our Lives, he advocates for the end of gun violence in American communities. Inspired by icons like Jesus, James Baldwin, and Bell Hooks RuQuan emphasizes love as a catalyst for global betterment, aiming to be a resource for underprivileged communities worldwide. Balancing these pursuits, he adds a creative touch as an artist, leaving an enduring impact at the intersection of education, activism, entrepreneurship, and art. 

Brown is currently pursuing an A.B. in African American History from Harvard College.  

Tenzin Gund-Morrow

H&LS Student Ambassador. Class of 2026

Tenzin Gund-Morrow

Tenzin Gund-Morrow is a Student Ambassador at the Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery initiative. He supports the team in communications, student outreach, and event coordination. Outside of this role, he is Co-Chair of the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at the Institute of Politics, serves on the Editorial Board of the Crimson, and is a member of the Art Board of the Harvard Advocate. Off-campus, Tenzin has interned at the White House Office of Communications, the Office of New York City Councilman Chi Ossé, the New York Civil Liberties Union, and the Innocence Project. He is a New York City native interested in domestic policy implementation and strategic communication, specifically in criminal justice, green infrastructure, and public arts.  

Gund-Morrow is currently pursuing an A.B. in Government from Harvard College. 

Julita Bailey-Vasco2

Senior Associate Director, Communications

Julita Bailey-Vasco

Julita Bailey-Vasco is the Senior Associate Director, Communications of the Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery (H&LS) initiative. She leads the development and implementation of H&LS’s communications strategy, elevating its story and activities.

Previously, Bailey-Vasco led communications at the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, working to advance racial equity in public education for all New England youth. Bailey-Vasco brings a wealth of expertise in strategic communications, racial equity and justice, and postsecondary education through her work at the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, JFF (Jobs for the Future), Bunker Hill Community College, and Eastern Nazarene College.

Inclusive of her commitment to racial equity and justice, Bailey-Vasco is dedicated to the arts and co-chairs the Development Committee at SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston, MA.

Bailey-Vasco holds a B.A. in organizational communications from Cedarville University, an M.S. in Management from Eastern Nazarene College, and a graduate certificate in Higher Education, Leadership, and Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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Program Director for HBCU Strategic Initiatives

Shahara C. Jackson

Dr. Shahara C. Jackson is the Program Director for HBCU Strategic Initiatives within the Harvard & Legacy of Slavery (H&LS) initiative. She will foster collaborations with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), overseeing partnerships and ensuring the successful implementation of HBCU initiatives.  Her inaugural project involves leading the development and implementation of the DuBois Scholars Program, a transformative summer research initiative designed to strengthen Harvard’s ties with HBCUs. Leveraging her extensive experience, Shahara will serve as a liaison between Harvard and HBCU stakeholders.

Shahara’s diverse background spans leadership on all grade levels, K-16, showcasing improvements in student performance during her tenure as an Assistant Principal in NYC Public Schools and the founding principal of a groundbreaking 6-12 school in Red Hook, Brooklyn. As the former Director of Educational Services for NYC’s largest children-serving non-profit agency, she spearheaded initiatives that left an indelible mark on countless lives.

Jackson holds a B.A. in English Arts Education from Hampton University, an M.A. in Educational Leadership and Administration from CUNY-Baruch, and an Ed. L.D. from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Aleena Hill-DaCosta headshot

Executive Assistant/Project Coordinator

Aleena Hill-DaCosta

Aleena Hill-DaCosta is the Executive Assistant | Project Coordinator of the Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery initiative. As an executive assistant, she directly supports the Vice Provost for Special Projects Sara Naomi Bleich and H&LS Executive Director Roeshana Moore-Evans. As a project coordinator, she aids in organizing the reparative efforts and operational activities of the initiative. Hill-DaCosta joins the H&LS team with a background in corporate marketing, driving growth and engagement on dynamic marketing teams across the legal, private equity, and international student services’ industries. She now brings this passion for growth and engagement, coupled with her work in higher education administration at UMass Dartmouth’s Office of Student Affairs, to Harvard University.

Hill-DaCosta holds a B.S. in Marketing with a minor in Management from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Charlton College of Business.