President Emerita, Barnard College
Debora Spar is the MBA Class of 1952 Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Her current research focuses on issues of gender and technology, and the interplay between technological change and broader social structures. Spar tackles some of these issues in her forthcoming book The Virgin and the Plow: How Technology Shapes How We Work, Mate, Marry, and Love.
Spar served as the President of Barnard College from 2008 to 2017, and as President and CEO of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts from 2017 to 2018. During her tenure at Barnard, Spar led initiatives to highlight women’s leadership and advancement, including the creation of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies and the development of Barnard’s Global Symposium series.
Before joining Barnard, Spar spent 17 years on the HBS faculty as the Spangler Family Professor as well as Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development. A prolific writer, Spar’s books include Ruling the Waves: Cycles of Discovery, Chaos, and Wealth from the Compass to the Internet (2001), The Baby Business (2006), and Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection (2013).
Spar is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and serves as a director of Value Retail LLC and Thermo Fisher Scientific, as well as a trustee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Spar earned her Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University and her B.S. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
She and her husband, Miltos Catomeris, are the parents of three grown children.