Harris Search Associates has recruited Dr. Ravi K. Perry as Chair of the Department of Biology at Howard University 

Harris Search Associates has recruited Dr. Ravi K. Perry as the next Chair of the Department of Political Science at Howard University.  


Dr. Perry joins the department from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) with an expertise in Black politics, minority representation, urban politics, American public policy, and LGBT candidates of color. He is currently finishing his fourth book, which will introduce readers to the lives and campaigns of Black, and openly lesbian and gay elected officials in the United States. He refers to his new appointment as the job of a lifetime, being the child and brother of an HBCU graduate, and the child of one of the first scholars in Black and Ethnic Studies. Perry holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Michigan, and a master of arts and Ph.D. from Brown University, each in political science.  He has served as Department Chair at VCU since 2017.

His published works include “21st Century Urban Race Politics: Representing Minorities as Universal Interests,” a book detailing the efforts of minority mayors to represent the interests of minorities in America’s historically white cities, “Black Mayors, White Majorities: The Balancing Act of Racial Politics,” focusing on the challenges Black mayors face in representing Black interests in majority White, medium‐sized cities in the state of  Ohio, and “The Little Rock Crisis: What Desegregation Politics Says About Us,” published with his mother, framing how the Little Rock 1957 desegregation crisis motivated social and political action among residents.

Perry is immediate past president of the Association for Ethnic Studies, and a member of the Executive Council for the Urban Politics Organized Section of the American Political Science Association. Perry is a former member of the Executive Council for the Sexuality and Politics Organized Section of the American Political Science Association and the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. Previously, Perry was also a member of the Board of Directors and Affiliate Equity Officer for the ACLU of Mississippi, and was also one of the first openly gay branch presidents of color in the history of the NAACP in Worcester, Massachusetts. 

Perry is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including being recognized as one of the Andrew Goodman Foundation’s 50 Hero Citizens, Out Magazine’s Hidden 105 and The Advocate’s 193 Reasons to Have Pride, and Top 40 Under 40.

Established in 1867, chartered and incorporated by an Act of the United States Congress, Howard University is a federally chartered, private, coeducational, nonsectarian, historically black university located in Washington, D.C. Founded as a University for the education of youth in the liberal arts and sciences, Howard is Carnegie classified as a high research activity.  The University consists of 13 schools and colleges: Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences, Business, Communications, Education, Law, Divinity, Social Work, Arts and Sciences, Dentistry, Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Health Sciences, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.  Within these divisions, students choose from 58 degree programs and 181 majors. 

Harris Search Associates - an IIC Partners member firm, is a leading global executive search and board advisory consulting firm with  46 offices in 32 countries worldwide.  Our practice is focused on identifying and attracting leaders to support the growth of clients in the areas of research, science, engineering, academic medicine and healthcare enterprises. Clients include the foremost universities, research parks, institutes, academic medical centers and organizations driving global innovation and discovery.

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Harris Search Associates is a leading global executive search firm. Our higher education and academic medicine practices are focused on identifying and attracting leaders Presidents, Provosts, Deans, Department Chairs, Researchers, and Senior Administrators to support the growth of clients in the areas of research, science, engineering, academic medicine and commercial enterprises. We are the higher education headhunters of choice for universities around the globe.