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Academic Leadership

Meet the Academic Leadership Team

Quality and rigor are at the heart of every Extension School course and program. A large and diverse team of individuals are responsible for ensuring that our programs meet or exceed our standards and fulfill the educational needs of our students.

Dr. Nancy Coleman
Nancy Coleman — Dean, Harvard Extension School and Continuing Studies

Nancy Coleman, EdD
Dean, Harvard Extension School and Continuing Studies

Dean Nancy Coleman provides overall leadership to the Division of Continuing Education and the Extension School. She is deeply committed to technological innovation in education that creates access and opportunities for a diverse community of learners. Dean Coleman brings extensive academic, teaching and corporate expertise to Harvard. As a pioneer in continuing education, she is credited with creating Wellesley College Extended, leading distance learning for Boston University and consulting with institutions in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia on the creation and growth of online programs.

Dean Coleman holds a doctorate from George Washington University and an MBA from Boston University. Her research has focused on organizational structures and leadership in continuing education. She is a past Board President of UPCEA.

Suzanne Spreadbury
Suzanne Spreadbury — Dean, Academic Programs, Harvard Extension School

Suzanne Spreadbury, PhD
Dean, Academic Programs

Dean Spreadbury is responsible for leading Harvard Extension School’s admissions and program directors who oversee the School’s degree programs, certificate programs, and individual courses. In addition, she oversees the dedicated student-service team on enrollment services, career and academic services, and academic advising for both undergraduate and graduate degree students.

Dean Spreadbury earned her Bachelor of Liberal Studies at Mt. Ida College, and then, an EdM in counseling from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, and a PhD in adult education from Lesley University.

Lisa Klein Pearo.
Lisa Klein Pearo — Senior Associate Dean, Faculty and Academic Affairs

Lisa Klein Pearo, DBA
Senior Associate Dean, Faculty and Academic Affairs

Dr. Lisa Klein Pearo is the Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, responsible for the hiring of all instructors and teaching support staff, faculty development, course development, and classroom production support. She joined DCE in 2021 after holding leadership positions at both for-profit and private universities, focused on professional programs for adult learners.

Dr. Pearo has developed and taught marketing and research courses to undergraduate, masters, doctoral and executive students at a number of leading business and hospitality schools both on the ground and online, including Cornell University, Rice University, the University of Maryland, The College of William & Mary, and The Culinary Institute of America. She earned her MBA and DBA in Marketing from Harvard Business School.

Henry Leitner — Chief Innovation Officer and Associate Dean, Information Technology

Henry Leitner, PhD
Chief Innovation Officer and Associate Dean, Information Technology

Dr. Leitner oversees the Division of Continuing Education innovation team that supports hundreds of DCE faculty and teaching assistants in delivering high-quality student-centered courses. His team has developed a variety of cloud-based tools to support asynchronous and synchronous learning and created specially equipped hybrid classrooms to support in-person and remote learners. Dr. Leitner also oversees the Harvard Extension School’s Information Technology unit.

Dr. Leitner earned his PhD in applied mathematics at Harvard. He has served as senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences for many years in addition to his duties at DCE. He also co-founded Articulate Systems, Inc., a company that pioneered the use of voice recognition technology on the Apple Macintosh computer.

Andrew J. Engelward, PhD
Assistant Dean, Academic Programs

Dr. Engelward works alongside Dean Spreadbury, helping oversee a wide range of ALM degree programs covering both STEM and Liberal Arts fields. After earning an undergraduate degree from Yale, Dr. Engelward completed his doctorate in mathematics at Harvard in 1999. Dr. Engelward remained at Harvard, teaching in the Math Department; during this time, he taught courses in the evening for the Extension School. Teaching adult learners was (and still is) so rewarding that he joined DCE in 2005, directing a newly created Mathematics for Teaching ALM program. In 2017, Dr. Engelward began his current role as Assistant Dean of Academic Programs.

Academic Program Directors

Patricia Bellanca, PhD, Director of Writing Programs

Steven Denkin, PhD, Director of the Life Sciences Program

Anne Dwojeski-Santos, MALD, Director of Certificates and Non-Degree Offerings

Carolyn Gardner-Thomas, PhD, Director, Mathematics for Teaching Program

Bruce Huang, PhD, EdD, Director, Masters Degree Program in Information Technology

Katherine Burton Jones, MA, Director of the Graduate Program in Museum Studies

Ryan S. Lee, PhD, Director of Science Instruction and the Premedical Program

Michael J. Mortimer, PhD, JD, Director, Graduate Sustainability and Global Development Practice Programs

Stephen P. Shoemaker, PhD, Director of Liberal Arts

Laura Wilcox, MA, ALM, Director of Business and Management Programs