Faculty Deans

Picture of Faculty Deans, Mark Gearan and Mary Gearan

Interim Faculty Deans Mark D. Gearan and Mary Herlihy-Gearan


Mark is the Director of the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School and a leading national voice at the intersection of higher education and public service. From 1999-2017, Mark served as the President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges where he was known for personally mentoring and engaging with students during his presidency. Prior to this role, Mark served as the 14th Director of the Peace Corps, after serving in senior positions in the Clinton White House as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Communications. Mark earned an A.B. in government cum laude at Harvard University in 1978 (where he lived in Winthrop House and was President of the Winthrop House Committee!) and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1991. He is the recipient of 13 Honorary Degrees. For Mark’s complete biography, please see here.

At Hobart and William Smith, Mary was known for her ability to welcome and connect people – students, faculty and staff – and extended her home to students for various events including Open House on Fridays. Mary was also committed to connecting HWS college students with K-12 students in serve and community engagement. She had leadership roles on the board of Geneva Music Festival and Happiness House-Finger Lakes Cerebral Palsy Association.

Prior to HWS, Mary worked for Congressmen Robert F. Drinan (D-MA) and John Joseph Moakley (D-MA) and on Governor Michael Dukakis’ presidential campaign. She was Vice President of the Wexler Group, a Washington government and public affairs firm. Mary holds a B.A. in political science and economics magna cum laude from Emmanuel College and a J.D. from George Washington University Law School. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of her alma mater, Emmanuel College.

Mark and Mary have two daughters, Madeleine, Harvard, Winthrop House ‘15 and Kathleen, HWS ’21.