Debora L. Spar


Debora L. Spar joined the board of directors of The Wallace Foundation in 2014.

Spar, a political scientist by training, has been president of Barnard College since 2008. She is a vocal proponent of women’s education and leadership, spearheading initiatives such as the Athena Center for Leadership Studies, an interdisciplinary center devoted to the theory and practice of women's leadership, and Barnard’s Global Symposium series, an annual gathering of high-profile female leaders held each year in a different region of the world.

Spar’s scholarly research focuses on issues of international political economy. She is the author of several books, including Ruling the Waves: Cycles of Invention, Chaos, and Wealth from the Compass to the Internet (2001); The Baby Business: How Money, Science, and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception (2006); and most recently Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection.

Before becoming president of Barnard, she was the Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. She is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently serves as a trustee of the Nightingale-Bamford School and a director of Goldman Sachs.

Spar is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She received her doctorate in government from Harvard.