Dianne Harris is a senior program officer at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation where she focuses on Higher Learning. From 2015–2017 she served as dean of the College of Humanities and as professor of history at the University of Utah. She holds a PhD in architectural history from the University of California, Berkeley.
Her scholarship, which has a broad temporal and geographic reach spanning from 18th-century Lombardy to the postwar United States, is united by a constant interest in the relationship between the built environment and the construction of racial and class identities. She is particularly well-known for her scholarly contributions to the study of "race and space." In addition to her numerous scholarly articles, her award-winning publications include the co-edited volumes Villas and Gardens in Early Modern Italy and France (2001), and Sites Unseen: Landscape and Vision (2007). She is editor of Second Suburb: Levittown, Pennsylvania (2010), and she is the author of three monographs: The Nature of Authority: Villa Culture, Landscape, and Representation in Eighteenth-Century Lombardy (2003); Maybeck’s Landscapes: Drawing in Nature (2005); and Little White Houses: How the Postwar Home Constructed Race in America (2013).
Ms. Harris is a past-president for the Society of Architectural Historians, and she is editor for the University of Pittsburgh Press's "Culture, Politics, and the Built Environment" series. She has served on the boards of the Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University, the National Humanities Alliance, and the Utah Humanities Council. In October, 2016, Ms. Harris was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the National Council on the Humanities.