John Aslanian

Director of Recruitment and Student Affairs

As Director of Recruitment, Student Affairs, and Career Development, John oversees a range of activities at the Graduate School of Design related to the student lifecycle both within the Harvard GSD community and beyond the walls of the school. A highly-visible member of administration, he is responsible for the research, development and implementation of integrated strategic efforts to recruit talented prospective students, nurture them in an enriching and inclusive atmosphere as current students, and provide the resources and co-curricular experiences necessary to have successful career paths upon graduation. Among these activities, he is responsible for new student orientation, an annual student guide, commencement, student government, groups and activities, and the career services office. In addition to representing the Harvard GSD with domestic and international universities, government agencies, foundations, nonprofits, private companies and other external partners, John also represents the Harvard GSD in a variety of university-wide activities regarding diversity, sustainability, and global engagement. He is a member of the Dean’s Diversity Committee and the school-wide Practice Platform as well as the University Council of Deans of Students and University Admissions Group. He was awarded a 2014-15 Resident Fellowship from the Harvard University Office of Diversity and Inclusion and serves on a number of panels related to the importance of diversity in education and workforce development.

Originally from the Detroit area, John lived and worked abroad for several years including extended periods in Spain and the Canary Islands, the South Pacific, and Japan. These experiences led to his study of education for sustainable development at Boston University where his thesis focused on Pan-American environmental technology training programs for Latino students in US vocational high schools. Prior to joining Harvard, he led outreach and recruitment efforts for Boston University’s International Programs and facilitated a variety of multicultural student activities. John is an accredited LEED Green Associate, a member of the Harvard GSD Green Team, and an active advocate for bicycle safety and integration.