George Andreou, v-p and senior editor at Alfred A. Knopf, has been named the new director of the Harvard University Press. Andreou takes over from William Sisler, who announced his intention to retire in January after leading the press for 27 years.
Taking the position is a homecoming for Andreou, who graduated from Harvard College in 1987 with a degree in English and American literature and language. Three years after graduation, he began his career in publishing as an editorial assistant at Knopf. In 1994 he co-founded Vintage Español. He was appointed to his current position at Knopf in 2005.
During the 30 years since he graduated, Andreou has continued to be a familiar face to Harvard faculty and scholars, having worked with a number of them as an editor, including David Armitage and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
University Provost Alan Garber said that Andreou was tapped for the job because of his "vision within the publishing industry and his extraordinary skill."
Founded in 1913, the press has published some of the last century’s most influential books, including John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice, E.O. Wilson’s On Human Nature, and Thomas Piketty’s bestselling Capital in the Twenty-First Century.
Speaking to his new job, Andreou said: “These are transformational times, both in the academy and in publishing, and they present unique opportunities for prosecuting the dual mission first enunciated by my early predecessor Dumas Malone in the 1930s: to serve both the scholarly community and the serious general reader.”
After downsizing its staff in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the press took some steps in recent years to respond to the transformations Andreou sees underway. HUP ramped up its title output during its centennial year, and revamped its sales and distribution channels joining the Columbia University Press Sales Consortium last year.