Co-Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer

Gillian A. Najarian, Ed.M.


Gillian Najarian is Co-Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. She was among the Center’s three founders in July 2006. Gillian has strategic oversight for the infrastructure and resources required to successfully deliver on the Center’s vision and mission, both in the short-term as well as to ensure long-term sustainability. She partners with senior leaders at the University to support the Center’s work and positioning at Harvard.

Previously, as Associate Dean at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, Gillian worked with faculty and research staff on media and communications related to public dissemination of their work in the context of overall branding and marketing for the school. Early in her tenure at The Heller School, she directed a complete reorganization of all student affairs, including admissions, financial aid, counseling, and career and academic services. Before Brandeis, she worked at the Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Prior to her career in higher education administration, she worked as an ESL teacher and foreign program officer in Boston, France, and Japan. She earned a B.A. in French language and literature and international relations from Connecticut College and an Ed.M. in higher education administration, planning, and social policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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