John Aslanian

Director of Recruitment and Student Affairs

As Director of Recruitment and Student Affairs, John is involved in 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. He is dedicated to recruiting talented prospective students, fostering an enriching and inclusive atmosphere for current students, and providing networked resources and co-curricular experiences necessary to have successful career paths as alumni. Among these activities, he oversees new student orientation and an annual student guide, provides student advising and support, and engages in a number of outreach efforts for the school. 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 Master in Design Studies Council and the school-wide Practice Forum 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 impact 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. John is an accredited LEED Green Associate and an active advocate for bicycle safety and integration.