Dr. Coleman is a senior PCO (professional, continuing and online education) leader. She is deeply committed to technology and innovation in online and place-based education that creates access and opportunities for learners of all ages, types, and socio-economic backgrounds. She is passionate about leadership and international education, and an enthusiastic supporter of women and girls in their personal and professional development journeys.
Coleman brings diverse expertise to her leadership of the division, having previously served in roles in both small and large institutions, corporate, and start-up ventures; and taught both online and in the classroom.
Before joining Harvard, Nancy created Wellesley Extended, a unit of Wellesley College encompassing summer term, professional and executive education, and the Nehoiden Golf Club. In 2017, she founded the Contemporary Women’s Leadership Institute, a global program designed to help undergraduates develop leadership skills and find their unique voices.
Coleman also served as Director of Distance Education at Boston University, directing a business unit responsible for supporting the schools and colleges at BU with online learning initiatives. She was also VP of Academic Services at Keypath, an online program management firm, overseeing all instructional design and student services operations for the organization’s global offices.
Dr. Coleman is currently board president of UPCEA (University Professional Continuing Education Association), the nation’s largest PCO association. She is a co-author of “Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership,” published by UPCEA in March 2015.
She is a frequent domestic and international conference speaker, covering such topics as the organization and leadership of nontraditional programs, establishment of best practices, and formulating successful partnerships.
Coleman holds a doctorate in Human and Organizational Learning from George Washington University and an MBA from Boston University Questrom School of Management. Her research has focused on ambidexterity and innovation in online learning units.
Interviews & Publications
- The State of Continuing Education
Dean Nancy Coleman’s insights on the current state — and future of — continuing education, May 9, 2022
- Thoughts on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery
Read Dean Nancy Coleman’s letter to the DCE community, April 27, 2022
- Nancy Coleman Speaks With Consejo de Colegios Mayores Universitarios de España
Read Dean Nancy’s interview with Consejo de Colegios Mayores Universitarios, April 26, 2022
- A Shifting World, A Shifting Leadership Paradigm
Unbound: Reinventing Higher Education, March 2, 2022
- Conversations on Higher Ed with Nancy Coleman
Mindmax Podcast Episode 17, June 24, 2021
- Dean Coleman Looks to the Future of the Division of Continuing Education
Harvard Extension School Blog Post
- Nancy Coleman named new dean for Division of Continuing Education
The Harvard Gazette, June 18, 2020
- Nancy Coleman Appointed Dean of Continuing Education
Harvard Magazine, June 18, 2020
Contact the Dean