Harvard Names New HR Vice President Following Central Admin Departures


Harvard announced Wednesday that Manuel Cuevas-Trisán will take over as the University’s Vice President of Human Resources following the departure of several high-profile administrators, including the school’s HR head.

Cuevas-Trisán, who currently serves as the VP for Human Resources at Northwestern University, will take over for current HR Vice President Marilyn Hausammann — one of three key figures who has announced their departure from Harvard’s central administration in recent weeks.

The University announced on May 19 that Hausammann and longtime Vice President and University Chief Information Officer Anne H. Margulies would retire at the end of May. Separately, Richard D. McCullough, Harvard’s vice provost for research, was tapped last week to serve as president of Florida State University.

Cuevas-Trisán, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Puerto Rico School of Law, led several social justice initiatives at Northwestern, including anti-racism training for top administrators and a university-wide “diverse candidate slates” policy aimed at boosting diverse hiring at the school.


“He is well-suited to guide the University’s efforts to build on our strong Harvard human resources foundation in establishing a progressive approach to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce of talented individuals, strengthening access to development opportunities, and ensuring Harvard can thrive in our support for our employees in the workplace of the future,” University Vice President Katherine N. Lapp said of Cuevas-Trisán in a press release announcing his hire.

Hausammann had served as HR VP since 2004.

Margulies had served as Harvard’s CIO since 2010 and helped champion the creation of the free online education platform edX, which Harvard and MIT launched in 2012. In a press release announcing their departures, Lapp lauded Hausammann and Margulies as leaving “big shoes to fill.”

“The University will miss their leadership, yet we can be reassured that Anne and Marilyn have built lasting foundations during their tenures here, which I have no doubt will continue into the future,” Lapp said in the release.

McCullough, Harvard’s outgoing vice provost for research, was selected unanimously by Florida State’s Board of Trustees as the school’s 16th president last Monday.

At Harvard, McCullough led the University’s academic research initiatives and oversaw more than 25 institutes, centers, and initiatives.

“I have expanded Harvard’s influence and the scope of our impact through building visionary interdisciplinary research and education initiatives across Harvard and with multiple world-leading hospitals, corporations, and some of the best academic institutions,” McCullough wrote to FSU’s presidential search committee in a May 7 public letter expressing his interest in the job.

“Although decentralization has meant greater challenges in finding common ground in planning for our university’s future, I have found that building trusted relationships has been the key to creating new partnerships and collaborations, improving Harvard’s standing in the world,” he added.

McCullough — who previously served as vice president for research at Carnegie Mellon University — was one of three finalists for FSU president presented to the school’s Board of Trustees by a 15-person Presidential Search Advisory Committee, which considered 35 applicants.

His selection is pending the approval of the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the state’s public universities. The body will consider his selection on June 23.

—Staff writer Jasper G. Goodman can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Jasper_Goodman.