Kai-Jae Wang/Harvard Staff
Lawrence Bacow will become the 29th president of Harvard University

Harvard University names new president

Feb. 12, 2018
Lawrence S. Bacow will replace Drew Faust, who was the university's first female president.

Lawrence S. Bacow, a leader-in-residence at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Center for Public Leadership and former president of Tufts University, will become the 29th president of Harvard University on July 1.

The Harvard Gazette reports that Bacow is a native of Pontiac, Mich., and the son of immigrants. He served as Tufts president for 10 years, and before that, was on the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for 24 years. He will replace Drew Faust, Harvard's first female president, who is retiring.

“I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to lead this remarkable institution — and to succeed Drew Faust, whom I have been privileged to count as a friend and an inspiration since we met over a decade ago," Bacow says. “The Harvard I have known has always stood for at least three things: the pursuit of truth, an unwavering commitment to excellence, and opportunity. In a nation divided, these guiding ideals have never been more important. We should never shy away from nor be apologetic about affirming our commitment to making the world a better place through our teaching and scholarship and our commitment to truth, excellence, and opportunity for all. 

Bacow's appointment concludes a search launched last summer following Faust’s announcement that she would step down after 11 years as Harvard’s president.  

Following his decade at Tufts, Bacow came to Harvard in 2011 as president-in-residence at the Graduate School of Education. He also became a member of the Harvard Corporation, the University’s principal governing board. In 2014, he moved  to the Harvard Kennedy School, where he remains the Hauser Leader-in-Residence in the Center for Public Leadership.

Bacow is the author or co-author of four books and numerous articles on topics related to environmental policy, economics, law, land use, and occupational health and safety. More recently, his writings and lectures have focused on issues in higher education, including online learning, innovations in teaching, the political economy of universities, and higher education leadership and governance.

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