Former U.S. Housing Sec. Appointed Senior Allston Advisor

Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan ’87 has been appointed as an adviser to University President Drew G. Faust for the Allston campus, the University announced Tuesday.

Donovan, who will officially serve as the Senior Strategist and Advisor to the President on Allston and Campus Development, takes on the new role as construction on Harvard’s $1 billion Science and Engineering Complex in Allston continues.

“Shaun Donovan brings deep experience and knowledge to this role,” Faust told the University-owned Harvard Gazette. “We are excited and privileged to have him join us in thinking about important new ways to advance our campus planning efforts and our progress in Allston.”

Donovan will work closely with Harvard’s Executive Vice President Katie Lapp and advise on Allston developments on a part-time basis, with a focus on “education, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship while fostering collaboration across Harvard and within the community.”

After years of delays and complications, Harvard began above-ground construction on the science facility this summer, one of many major construction projects underway across the River from Cambridge. Fundraising progress for Harvard’s Allston campus has lagged compared to other capital campaign priorities, and the University has not announced a primary donor for the Science Complex.


After his undergraduate years at the College, Donovan returned to campus to complete his Master in Public Administration at the Kennedy School as well as a Master of Architecture at the Graduate School of Design.

Following his tenure as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama administration, Donovan served as Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget until 2017. Donovan also led the President’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force.

“I‘m grateful to have this chance to help shape the future of a University and a place that have profoundly shaped me as a person and a professional,” Donovan wrote in a statement. “Allston represents a unique opportunity to build a more collaborative and innovative Harvard, and to further deepen the important partnership between the community and the university.”

—Staff writer Sarah Wu can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @sarah_wu_.


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