Professor Harris served as Vice Chancellor(VC) of The University of the West Indies (UWI) from 2004 to 2015. Prior to serving as VC at UWI, he was Dean and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. He has held several leadership posts including Chairman of CXC (2006 -2014), Chairman of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (2011-2013), and he is currently President of the Caribbean Association of Universities,Colleges and Institutes (UNICA) and administrative board member of the International Association of Universities (IAU) –a consortium of over 600 universities around the world. He is a rheumatologist who is best known academically for identifying with collaborators a disorder called the Antiphospholipid Syndrome and for developing the test for its diagnosis – he has published extensively on these subjects.
While he was Vice Chancellor, UWI sent several teams to UG to assist in areas such as Strategic Planning, updating the Library and ICT system, an audit of UG’s finances, restructuring the Human Resource Department, and curriculum reform. UWI also collaborated with UG to win grants from the Europe Union and to deliver a few postgraduate programmes.
Professor Harris is Guyanese by birth and was educated at Queens College (1955 -1964); Howard University (BS-Chemistry (1965-1968)); Yale University (M.Phil- Biochemistry (1968-1970)); University of Pennsylvania (MD (1973-1976)) and the University of the West Indies (DM -(1977-1981)).
He is married to Dr Yvette Williams-Harris, who is Guyanese by birth and they have three children and five grandchildren.