Paul J. Finnegan ’75 has been selected as the newest member of the Harvard Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, the University announced Wednesday. Finnegan’s appointment is the latest in a series of additions to the Corporation as part of a multi-year restructuring that includes the imposition of term limits and an expansion in the number of members.
Finnegan, who is the co-CEO of Chicago-based investment firm Madison Dearborn Partners, has been an active and visible Harvard alumnus. He currently serves on the University’s Board of Overseers, Harvard’s second-highest governing body, and was previously the president of the Harvard Alumni Association. He has also served on a number of councils and advisory boards across the University, from Harvard Business School to Harvard School of Public Health.
“I often marvel at how Paul Finnegan seems to be everywhere,” University President Drew G. Faust said in a press release. “It’s remarkable how much he does for Harvard, and how he does it with such enthusiasm, such a thoughtful and probing manner, and such concern for how we can always do better.”
The Corporation, which is the oldest corporate body in the Western hemisphere, announced in 2010 that it would enact the first major structural changes in its history in order to improve transparency and accountability. The plan expanded the Corporation’s membership from seven to 13 members. Finnegan is the fourth appointment since the announcement and the second of the new members to have served on the Board of Overseers, which is the larger of Harvard’s two governing bodies.
“I’m especially pleased to be able to take on this new role at a time when the Corporation itself is in the midst of important changes and when the University is pursuing new approaches,” Finnegan said in the press release. ”This seems to me a particularly interesting moment of transition and possibility for Harvard, and it will be a privilege to continue working with President Faust and others to make the most of it.”
As a corporation member, Finnegan will be responsible for helping make some of the University’s most pressing decisions. Senior Fellow of the Corporation Robert D. Reischauer ’63 cited Finnegan’s knowledge of finance as a skill that would benefit the Corporation.
“Paul Finnegan is one of Harvard’s most devoted, energetic, and accomplished alumni leaders,” Reischauer said in the press release. “He will bring us not only important financial and organizational expertise and a deep knowledge of the University and its governance, but also a broad set of relationships across the community.”
Finnegan’s appointment will begin July 1 and last until 2018, with the possibility of extending his service for a second six-year term.
—Staff writer Justin C. Worland can be reached at email@example.com.