The witch or wizard who runs a wizarding school. Among other duties, a headmaster or headmistress is tasked with hiring faculty and acting as a sort of figurehead for the school. Albus Dumbledore was Headmaster of Hogwarts until the end of Harry’s sixth year, while Minerva McGonagall was the Deputy Headmistress. Igor Karkaroff is Headmaster of Durmstrang until June 1995 (GF35) and Olympe Maxime is Headmistress of Beauxbatons (GF29). Portraits of previous Headmasters and Headmistresses hang in the Head’s office at Hogwarts.
Known Heads of Hogwarts:
- Black, Phineas Nigellus (c. 1800s?)
- Dilys Derwent ( 1741 - 1768) (OP22)
- Eupraxia Mole (1876)
- Armando Dippet (c. 1940) (CS13, OP27)
- Everard (dates unknown) (OP21)
- Dexter Fortescue (dates unknown) (OP21, DH36)
- Albus Dumbledore (c. 1965-1997)
- Dolores Umbridge (a few months in 1996)
- Severus Snape (1997-1998) (DH33)
- Minerva McGonagall (1998 - present) (DH30, CC)
Known Heads of the Durmstrang Institute:
- Nerida Vulchanova (founder, Middle Ages) (Pm)
- Harfang Munter (successor to Vulchanove) (Pm)
- Igor Karkaroff (until June 1995) (GF35)
There have been an equal number of male and female headmasters/headmistresses at Hogwarts (CBC).
The portrait of Albus Dumbledore added to the head's office wall is large and was placed right behind the desk (DH36).
Dumbledore refers to former Headmasters by their first names ('Phineas,' 'Dilys').
'Everard' is probably a first name, since Dumbledore refers to other former Headmasters by their first names ('Phineas,' 'Dilys').
There is contradictory evidence for the location of the head's office at Hogwarts. In GF28, the entrance is on the second floor, but in HBP, it is on the seventh floor in one of the towers.
Rowling says she wanted to associate Professor Dumbledore's name with bees (“Dumbledore” is an 18thC Eng. word for ‘bumblebee.’) because she imagines him wandering around the castle humming to himself.