Debora Spar, PhD, president of Barnard College, is HHMI's newest Trustee.

 Debora L. Spar, PhD, president of Barnard College, has been elected a Trustee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). She becomes one of 10 Trustees of the Institute, a medical research organization dedicated to advancing biomedical research and science education for the benefit of humanity. Her appointment will begin May 1, 2016.

In her eight years as president of Barnard, Spar has been a vocal proponent of women’s education and leadership, both at the College and across the globe. Prior to joining Barnard in July 2008, Spar spent 17 years on the faculty of Harvard Business School, where she was the Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration. A political scientist by training, Spar’s scholarly research has focused on international political economy and, more recently, issues of particular importance to women.

She is the author of numerous books, most recently, Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection (2013). Spar is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and received her doctorate in government from Harvard. She is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently serves as a director of Goldman Sachs; a director of Value Retail, LLC; and a trustee of the Wallace Foundation.


The Howard Hughes Medical Institute plays an important role in advancing scientific research and education in the United States. Its scientists, located across the country and around the world, have made important discoveries that advance both human health and our fundamental understanding of biology. The Institute also aims to transform science education into a creative, interdisciplinary endeavor that reflects the excitement of real research. HHMI has an endowment of $18.2 billion. Its headquarters are located in Chevy Chase, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.

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Jim Keeley 301.215.8858