Corp. Member Bacow To Join Kennedy School as Leader-in-Residence

Lawrence S. Bacow, the president emeritus of Tufts University and a member of the Harvard Corporation, will join the Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership as its inaugural leader-in-residence, the school announced in a press release.

In the coming months, the center will release the names of at least two more leaders-in-residence, filling out the inaugural class of the program, according to the center’s co-director, David R. Gergen.

“[Bacow] has earned a reputation for civic engagement and encouraging a strong sense of citizenship and leadership in society, which is very consistent with our mission at the center,” Gergen said. “We are honored to have him.”


Bacow left Tufts in 2011 after serving as president of the university for a decade and joined the Graduate School of Education’s advisory board. The same year, he was appointed to serve on the Harvard Corporation, the University’s highest governing body. Prior to his tenure at the helm of Tufts, Bacow served as chancellor at MIT.

Bacow’s two-year appointment at the Center for Public Leadership, which will help further the center’s focus on the gap between the academic study of leadership and real-world experience, will begin this summer.


In his newly created role, Bacow is expected to give guest lectures, teach co-curricular classes—classes that supplement learning,  but do not count for credit—and serve as an advisor for students and fellows at the Center, according to Business School professor Max H. Bazerman, the center’s co-director.

“We have long attempted to bridge the gap of the academic study of leadership with the insights we can glean from leaders,” Bazerman said. “He is both; he can help us develop this bridge.”

Bacow wrote in an email to The Crimson that he looks forward to working with and mentoring students in the new position.

“Part of the attraction of the leader-in-residence concept is the opportunity to work with extraordinary students and faculty,” Bacow wrote. “I expect I will learn at least as much from them as they will learn from me.”

While Bacow’s appointment is fixed at two years, Bazerman noted that there may be room for him to remain at the center for longer.

“If he enjoys his experience we hope that it would lead to a longer term relationship,” Bazerman said.

Bacow’s name was tossed around as a potential candidate to succeed Harvard University president emeritus Lawrence H. Summers after he stepped down in 2006, but Bacow said at the time that he was committed to remaining at Tufts.

Bacow graduated from MIT with a degree in economics before earning his law degree from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D. from the Kennedy School in 1977. After graduating, Bacow returned to MIT to to teach before rising to the position of chancellor.

—Staff writer Ivan B. K. Levingston can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @IvanLevingston.

—Staff writer Tyler S. Olkowski can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @OlkowskiTyler.


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