Getting To Know the Bosses

The Harvard Corporation oversees all of the University's major decisions. But who makes up this panel?

Ask a student about the Harvard Corporation and you’ll get one of two responses. Said student may act bewildered and confused. Alternatively, she migh hop on the nearest soapbox and rant. What does the Corporation actually do?

Officially known as the Board of President and Fellows, the Corporation is an oversight panel comprised of seven ludicrously pedigreed Harvard graduates who evaluate the University’s departments, programs and museums; give consent to University appointments and “major initiatives,” such as Allston; and contribute expertise and advice to various committees and boards.

Last spring, the Corporation’s sole female member, Hanna H. Gray, accepted a history professorship at the University of Chicago and will officially step down from the board in June. While the Corporation searches for a replacement, FM takes a look at the team she’s leaving behind.

Lawrence H. Summers

Born: New Haven, Connecticut, November 30, 1954

RESIDES: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Education: B.A. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1975; Ph.D. Harvard, 1982.

Day Job: President of Harvard University.

Street Creds: Former member of economics faculty of MIT and Harvard; member of President’s Council of Economic Advisers; winner of Alan Waterman Award from National Science Foundation, 1987 and John Bates Clark Medal, 1993, for work in economics; former chief economist of the World Bank; Secretary of the United States Treasury, 1999-2001; former fellow at Brookings Institution; member of National Academy of Sciences.

High Point: Creating groundbreaking project for expansion of Harvard campus into Allston.

Low Point: Publicly alienating African-American Studies Department faculty and engaging in a standoff with Cornel West.

Robert E. Rubin

Born: New York, New York, 1938

RESIDES: New York, New York

Education: B.A. Harvard, 1960; L.L.B. Yale School of Law, 1964.

DAY JOB: Director and Chairman of Executive Committee, Citigroup Inc.; Chairman of Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

Street Creds: Former Goldman, Sachs & Co. Co-Chairman; helped to found the National Economic Council; member of boards of Mount Sinai-NYU Health, the Edmond Safra Foundation, Ford Motor Company and Rockefeller Family Trust; member of United States Council on Foreign Relations.

High Point: United States Secretary of Treasury under President Clinton from 1995 to 1999. Fiscal policy paved way for greatest national economic expansion since the 1950s; buddies with Clinton and Greenspan.

Low Point: Widely criticized for lobbying for repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act (preventing merger of banking, securities and insurance companies) as Secretary of Treasury while accepting cushy position at Citigroup. Nader blacklisted him.

Robert D. Reischauer

Resides: Washington, DC

Education: B.A. Harvard, 1963; M.I.A. Columbia, 1966; Ph.D. Columbia, 1971. Day Job: President of The Urban Institute.

Street Creds: Director of Congressional Budget Office, 1989-95; frequent Op-Ed contributor to New York Times, Washington Post; commentator for PBS and MSNBC; frequent testifier to United States Congress on economic issues; published economist; Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution.

High Point: Leading liberal economic advisor, still researching and publishing.

Low Point: He’s no Robert Rubin.

Conrad K. Harper

Born: Detroit, Michigan, 1951

RESIDES: New York, New York

Education: B.A. Howard University, 1962; L.L.B. Harvard Law School, 1965.

DAY JOB: Partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Street Creds: Former attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; member of the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague; former director of Academy of Political Science; member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

High Point: First African-American president of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York; head legal council to U. S. Department of State.

Low Point: Also former director of the Academy of American Poets. What a softie.

James R. Houghton

Born: Corning, New York, 1937

Resides: Corning, New York

Education: A.B. Harvard College, 1958; M.B.A. Harvard Business School (HBS), 1962.

Day Job: Chairman of the Board, Emeritus, Corning Incorporated.

Street Creds: Joined Corning in 1962; member of board of directors of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Exxon Mobil Corporation; trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Pierpont Morgan Library and the Corning Museum of Glass.

HIGH POINT: Moved Corning from producing glass to producing fiber optics.

Low Point: Not actor James Houghton from popular television show “Knot’s Landing.”

James F. Rothenberg

Born: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1947

RESIDES: Los Angeles, California

Education: B.A. Harvard, 1968; M.B.A. Harvard, 1970.

Day Job: President and Director of Capital Research and Management

Company; Treasurer of Harvard University.

Street Creds: Chartered Financial Analyst; President of Investment Company of America; Chairman of The Growth Fund of America; on board of Huntington Memorial Hospital, Westridge School and KCET Public Television, Los Angeles; former member of board of directors of NASDAQ and National Association of Securities Dealers.

High Point: Named thirtieth Treasurer of Harvard University; oversees Capital’s management of $500 million.

Low Point: The Treasurer of Harvard University is a Quincy House English concentrator? God help us.