"Every headmaster and headmistress of Hogwarts has brought something new to the weighty task of governing this historic school, and that is as it should be, for without progress there will be stagnation and decay."
Dolores Umbridge[src]

A Headmaster or Headmistress is the chief administrator of a school, be it Muggle or Magical. They make all major decisions regarding the safety and the day-to-day functioning of the school, and have the power to override any decision made by any other authoritative facilitator at the school; though in Hogwarts, with the possible exception of the Board of Governors, and during a brief period in 1996, the "High Inquisitor". A Headmaster also controls the protective enchantments surrounding the school and the ability for certain individuals to enter or exit the grounds at will.

Beauxbatons Academy of Magic

Known Headmasters of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic:

Portrait Headmaster
(term of office)
Unidentified individual


Maxime Olympe Maxime


Known Headmasters of Castelobruxo:

Portrait Headmaster
(term of office)
Benedita Dourado

(c. 1940s/50s)

Durmstrang Institute

Known Headmasters of Durmstrang Institute:

Portrait Headmaster
(term of office)
Nerida Vulchanova


Harfang Munter
Unidentified Professor


Igor Karkaroff GoF Igor Karkaroff


Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Main article: Hogwarts Headmaster

Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Known Headmasters of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry:

Portrait Headmaster
(term of office)
Isolt Sayre Isolt Sayre

(c. 1620s)

JamesSteward James Steward

(c. 1620s)

Agilbert Fontaine

St. Grogory's Primary School

Known Headmasters of St. Grogory's Primary School:

Portrait Headmaster
(term of office)
C. Roemmele

[1] (1990s)

Behind the scenes

Dumbledore's speech at the Great Hall in 1996

Hogwarts' Headmaster Albus Dumbledore stands in front of the students at the Great Hall during the Welcoming Feast in 1996

  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Dumbledore refers to Karkaroff's title as "Highmaster." Pottermore, however, confirms that the title of Headmaster is used at Durmstrang as well.
  • It is unclear if Headmasters must die in office to get a portrait on the wall[2] or if they must simply not abandon (in the sense of betraying, not simply leaving) their position.[3]


  • Danish: Rektor (literal)
  • Estonian: Direktor
  • Faroese: skúlastjóri
  • Greek, Modern: Διευθυντής ("director")
  • Icelandic: skólastjóri


Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey, p. 403 (see this image)
  2. 2007 Accio Quote! Bloomsbury Chat: Laura Trego: Was the absence of snapes portrait in the headmasters office in the last scene innocent or deliberate
    J.K. Rowling: It was deliberate. Snape had effectively abandoned his post before dying, so he had not merited inclusion in these august circles..
  3. J.K. Rowling at Carnegie Hall
    Q: Is Severus Snape’s portrait in the headmaster’s office? JKR: Some have been asking why hasn’t the portrait appeared immediately. It doesn’t. The reason is that the perception in the castle itself and everyone who was in the castle, because Snape kept his secret so well was that he abandoned his post. So all the portraits you see in the headmaster’s study are all headmasters and mistresses who died, it’s like British royals. You only get good press if you die in office. Abdication is not acceptable, particularly if you marry and [sic] American. I’m kidding! [laughter] I digress. I know, because I thought this one through, because it was very important to me, I know Harry would have insisted that Snape’s portrait was on that wall, right beside Dumbledore’s. [Applause.]
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