Harry Kavros received his bachelor's degree from Haverford College and his Ph.D. in English from the University of California at Berkeley, where he also taught courses in composition, technical writing, English literature and the humanities. He worked in various capacities on Wall Street for 13 years, ultimately becoming the chief operating officer in an economics and fixed income research department. In his spare time, he wrote a financial dictionary and taught writing seminars.
While on Wall Street, Dean Kavros decided to take his business acumen to the nonprofit sector as a volunteer consultant. Through the Arts&Business Counsel, he did strategic planning and compliance consulting for off-Broadway theater companies. He also became a board member for Greenwich House Arts, one of the original Settlement Houses in New York, with a specialty in strategic planning, fundraising and financial advice.
At that time, Dean Kavros co-founded two educational nonprofit organizations. The first, Drama in the Schools, produced a play, Euripides' Alcestis, that Stuyvesant High School was teaching. In addition to assembling the director, actors, stage designers and other theater professionals, he incorporated students into all aspects of the production, raised funds, worked with the English department and the administration to ensure that school and city requirements were met, delivered a lecture on the play and organized student and teacher workshops. For the second organization, American Connections to Africa, Dean Kavros designed strategic plans, budgets and a web site and brought together a board of trustees. In addition to offering educational tours to Africa for college credit, the organization donated computer equipment to African villages and trained students.
To recuperate from Wall Street, Dean Kavros traveled to Eastern Europe reading Hungarian and Romanian novels, until accepting a management position at the Ford Foundation. There, he supervised a staff of 40 grants administrators, budgeters and information specialists and managed staff in 14 overseas offices. At Ford, Dean Kavros learned how foundations judge the merits of grant proposals, and how they monitor and measure the success of their grantees. By visiting grantees here and in a dozen developing countries, he learned how nonprofit organizations create successful programs, grow and develop staff.
Dean Kavros took a two-year sabbatical to research the history of Crete as well as its mythological, religious, culinary and literary background, to live in his grandmother's mountain village, and to write a book about his travels. The essays on Honey, Herbs, Abraham and Child Sacrifice, the Mother of God, Law, Liturgy, Dreams, Death and other Cretan topics appear in his book Dandelions and Honey. Upon his return from Crete, Dean Kavros spent six years as the associate dean for administration at Columbia Law School. He also taught Greek and other world literature at Columbia University.