Henry H. Leitner, Ph.d.


I met the love of my life, Catalina Laserna, while we were graduate students at Harvard. Catalina was a Senior Fellow at HarvardX and was previously a Lecturer on Anthropology at Harvard as well as a lecturer at the Graduate School of Education.

We have 3 wonderful and talented daughters. From left to right: Monica, Sofia, and Liliana.  They are all now young adults!

I have been known to play baseball in a local summer league, as well as engage in full-court basketball most Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons.

Long before Siri and Alexa, I cofounded Articulate Systems, Inc., a company that pioneered speech recognition on the Apple Macintosh platform.


As Associate Dean for IT and Chief Innovation Officer for the Division of Continuing Education (DCE) at Harvard University, I provide vision and leadership in the development and implementation of technology-based initiatives, especially online teaching and learning

I have oversight responsibility for dozens of staff, a cloud-based open-source system (Opencast) that captures, processes and distributes lectures to students around the world, a first-rate computing lab, as well as a growing collection of Harvard Extension School and Summer School technology courses that collectively enroll thousands of students annually.  

I created the Master’s of Liberal Arts in Information Technology degree (the ALM in IT) at the Harvard Extension School, a graduate program of study in which adult learners are exposed to modern software engineering methodologies, theoretical and formal areas of computer science, advanced topics such as cryptography and nanoscale science, digital media arts and sciences, as well as the latest trends in IT management, data science, and enterprise computing. There are currently more than 600 degree candidates matriculated toward the degree.

Since 1986 I have been a Senior Lecturer on Computer Science at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where I have taught a number of large introductory courses.  I have had more than 10,000 students over the years.  

I served as Acting Dean of DCE for 3 months, June-September, 2019.  I later serving as Interim Dean of DCE from in January, 2020 until mid-July of that year.  The virtual Harvard Extension School commencement I hosted is here.