Gregory to step down

Maddy Daum

After 46 years at the school, Director of Admission Elizabeth Gregory Riordan will be stepping down from her position to focus more time on public education and her new marriage to Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan.

“I just felt that it was time for me to spend a little more time with my husband,” Gregory Riordan said. “I was married in February and starting last year it was hard to keep up with his schedule and mine. I told Rick Commons that I love [my job] and I’ll still be involved at Harvard-Westlake, but I think it’s time for somebody else to take on the responsibility so they can give it their full attention.”

The school began its search through a top independent school search firm to replace Gregory Riordan with a new director who will take over in July.

“The ideal candidate is someone with leadership and experience with selective admissions and enrollment management at the secondary and/or university setting plus a familiarity with the Los Angeles independent school environment and/or Harvard-Westlake community would be an appealing quality,” Head of External Relations Ed Hu said in an email.

Gregory Riordan’s further involvement with the school will depend on the new director’s vision for the future of admissions, she said.

“I think if they hire someone who really wants to do their own thing, which I would completely understand, then I would probably just step back quite a bit from admissions and probably be involved more in communications and external relations,” Gregory Riordan said.

Along with the student and parent ambassadors, Gregory Riordan said she will miss her colleagues the most as she steps back from day-to-day operations.

“[Gregory Riordan] so deftly handles the intricacies of secondary school admission with compassion, intuition and insight and has surely contributed to making Harvard-Westlake the amazing school it has become since it’s inception over 25 years ago,” Associate Director of Admission and Enrollment Management Nancy Jeon said in an email. “I will miss her incredible and undeniable presence, which has been a constant source of inspiration and admiration for me over these many years.”

With more time available for her own interests, Gregory Riordan said she hopes to devote more time to her position on the board of the Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools.

“I do think I will be spending a lot of time in public education,” Gregory Riordan said. “It’s something that my husband has devoted his life to and he is a very politically and socially active man, and I think I’ll do a lot of the things we can do together as a couple to make education in Los Angeles better for all kids.”