Harvard University names Lawrence Bacow as 29th president

Lawrence S. Bacow is named the 29th President of Harvard University. He is pictured in Loeb House at Harvard University. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Harvard University has announced that it is appointing Lawrence S. Bacow to succeed Drew Faust as its 29th president.

Bacow, who is a former president of Tufts University, has three degrees from Harvard. The school announced Sunday that he will be replacing Drew, the university’s first female president, on July 1.

“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 said after his election.

The incoming president said that the Harvard that he has known stands for the pursuit of truth, an unwavering commitment to excellence, and opportunity.

Bacow, who is currently serving as the Hauser Leader-in-Residence at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Center for Public Leadership, served as president of Tufts University for 10 years.

Prior to his stint at Tufts, Bacow spent 24 years in the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was a chancellor, chair of the faculty, and the Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies.

Hailing from Pontiac, Michigan, Bacow attended college at MIT before earning three degrees from Harvard University.

“Larry Bacow is one of the most accomplished, admired, insightful, and effective leaders in American higher education,” said William F. Lee, senior fellow of the Harvard Corporation and chair of Harvard’s presidential search committee.

Lee added that Bacow’s skillful leadership, strategic thinking, and disciplined execution will serve him well as the university’s president.

Harvard is currently the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department regarding its affirmative action policies. The investigation was launched following a 2015 complaint that accused the university of discrimination against Asian-Americans during its admissions process.

Faust has served as president of Harvard since 2007. In June, she announced that she will be stepping down this summer.