On July 1, 2020, Harry J. Elam Jr., award-winning teacher, internationally renowned theater scholar and leader in undergraduate education, took the helm as the 16th president of Occidental College.
Elam comes to Occidental from Stanford University, where during his distinguished 30-year career he combined extensive executive leadership, engaged pedagogy that won six different teaching awards, and innovative scholarship that produced the highest level of recognition from his academic peers in the theater and performance studies.
I am honored to lead Occidental, one of the country’s top liberal arts colleges. The College’s mission—founded on a commitment to excellence, equity, community and service—resonates deeply with me.
A native of Boston, Harvard undergraduate, UC Berkeley Ph.D. graduate and member of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences, Elam spent his last decade at Stanford as vice provost for undergraduate education, responsible for nearly all policies and programs relating to the university’s 7,200 undergraduate students.
His wife, Michele Elam, is the William Robertson Coe Professor in the Humanities at Stanford and an associate director of the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence and the former director of African and African American Studies.