LEWISTON — Bates College in Maine has named a Harvard University official as its new president.

The Lewiston school’s trustees elected Ava Clayton Spencer as Bates’ eighth president today. Spencer, of Winchester, Mass., begins work on July 1.

Spencer is vice president for policy at Harvard, where she works closely with the president and deans. She previously served as executive dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and was a lecturer at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.

Spencer graduated magna cum laude from Williams College, and earned a theology degree from Oxford in 1979. She received a master’s degree in the study of religion from Harvard in 1982.

Spencer will succeed Nancy Cable, Bates’ interim president since July 1. Elaine Hansen stepped down from the position last June.

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