Conrad K. Harper and Herbert S. Winokur Jr. were named on Monday to join the seven-member Harvard Corporation. Both will assume their positions as Fellows of Harvard College by the start of the 2000-01 academic year.
“Harvard is very fortunate that two individuals of such extraordinary caliber have agreed to serve the University in these vital roles,” said President Neil L. Rudenstine. “Conrad Harper is an outstanding lawyer and a devoted humanist with significant government and international experience as well as deep interests in scholarly pursuits ranging well beyond the law. Herbert Winokur is a broad-gauged and highly respected business executive whose varied career has kept him in close contact with Harvard and higher education, and who has a strong sense of the nature of universities and the human dynamics of complex organizations. Both are persons of remarkable intelligence, wisdom, and scope, and each will bring a valuable perspective to the Corporation’s deliberations.”
Harper, a 1965 graduate of Harvard Law School, is a partner in the New York law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and former legal adviser of the U.S. State Department.
“My joy today is exceeded only by my sense of duty to be of service to Harvard,” Harper said. “I very much look forward to joining President Rudenstine, the other members of the Corporation, and the Overseers in our work on behalf of the entire Harvard community.”
Winokur, who did his undergraduate work and his doctoral work in applied mathematics at Harvard, is the chairman and chief executive officer of the investment firm Capricorn Holdings Inc., based in Greenwich, Conn.
“Harvard’s faculty and students continue to have a major influence on the world, from basic research to education and policy-making,” Winokur said. “It is a great privilege to be invited to join the Corporation. I have enjoyed my long involvement with Harvard, going back to undergraduate and graduate days, and look forward to working with the administration and faculty in the years to come.”
The Harvard Corporation, formally known as the President and Fellows of Harvard College, is the University’s executive governing board. It is the smaller of Harvard’s two boards, the other being the Board of Overseers.
The appointments mark the culmination of a search for successors to two current Fellows of Harvard College, Judith Richards Hope and Richard A. Smith, both of whom have announced their intentions to conclude their Corporation service by the end of this academic year. Other members of the Corporation include President Rudenstine, Treasurer D. Ronald Daniel, and Fellows Hanna Holborn Gray, James R. Houghton, and Robert G. Stone Jr.
Conrad K. Harper
A native of Detroit, Harper received his bachelor’s degree in 1962 from Howard University, before graduating from Harvard Law School in 1965. He spent the first five years of his legal career as an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the noted civil rights law organization. He went on to serve as an associate (1971-74) and then partner (1974-93) at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, one of New York’s preeminent law firms.
In 1993, he accepted an appointment in Washington as legal adviser of the U.S. Department of State and in that capacity served for three years as the department’s senior legal officer. In 1996, he returned to Simpson Thacher, where he remains a partner active in litigation and in international arbitration and mediation, in areas that include commercial contract disputes, securities, product liability, environmental law, and insurance defense.
The first African-American to serve as president of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (1990-92), Harper is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a council member and second vice president of the American Law Institute, a member of the executive committee of the American Arbitration Association, and a trustee and former co-chair of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He also has been closely associated with a number of international law organizations, serving, for example, as a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague.
Over the years, Harper has remained closely connected to the world of higher education. He has at various times served as a visiting lecturer at Yale Law School and at Rutgers Law School, as a member of the board of visitors at Fordham Law School and at the City University of New York, as a member of the board of the Institute of International Education, as a director of Phi Beta Kappa Associates, as a member of the board of managers of Yale’s Lewis Walpole Library (18th-century British collections), and as a trustee of the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation (legal history).
He is the author of scholarly articles about Charles Hamilton Houston and Thurgood Marshall, two seminal African-American figures in U.S. legal history. He has also jointly authored and delivered a paper to the Jane Austen Society of North America. A person of wide interests beyond the law, Harper has been a director of both the Academy of Political Science and the Academy of American Poets, and he is both a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Before his government service in Washington, in the early 1990s he was a member of the board of managers of the Harvard Club of New York City.
Harper’s other civic and community involvements are numerous and diverse. Among these activities, he is a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and he served in the early 1990s as chairman of the executive committee and vice chairman of the board of the New York Public Library. From 1987 to 1992 he was chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of New York.
Herbert S. Winokur Jr.
Born in Columbus, Ga., Winokur holds three degrees from Harvard: A.B. ’65 (’64), A.M. ’65, and Ph.D. ’67. His doctoral degree is in applied mathematics (decision and control theory). Since 1987, Winokur has been chairman and chief executive officer of the investment firm Capricorn Holdings Inc., based in Greenwich, Conn. He is also managing general partner of three affiliated limited partnerships, Capricorn Investors, L.P., I, II, and III. The portfolio investments encompass companies with revenues of more than $2 billion and having more than 20,000 employees.
Winokur has maintained close ties to Harvard over the years. A member of the Committee on University Resources since 1989, he has also served since 1995 as a member of the board of directors of the Harvard Management Company. He serves on the advisory committee of Harvard’s Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative, as well as on the Technology and Education Planning Committee of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the Committee to Visit the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and previously served on the FAS Planning Committee for Faculty Recruitment and Development. Co-chair of reunion fundraising efforts for the Class of 1965, he is a member of the New York Major Gifts Steering Committee.
An active board member in both the nonprofit and for-profit worlds, Winokur is an honorary director of the UCLA Medical Center, a former trustee of the Greenwich Academy, and a former co-chair of the New York Historical Society. He is on the board of Second Stage Theatre and until recently served on the board of Project 180, an organization that facilitates the restructuring of nonprofit institutions. He is a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Council, and he chaired the search for the Center’s current director. His present and past corporate directorships span a wide range of industries, including information technology, energy, water management, and commercial real estate finance.
Before becoming chairman and CEO of Capricorn Holdings, Winokur served as senior executive vice president of the Penn Central Corp., and played a leading role in the corporation’s major restructuring and cost reduction efforts. Previously, from 1974 to 1983, he held senior management positions at Pacific Holding Corp., Victor Palmieri and Co., and Pennsylvania Co., Penn Central’s principal operating subsidiary.
From 1969 into the early 1970s, Winokur was co-founder and chairman of the Inner City Fund (later ICF Kaiser International), a management consulting firm specializing in policy planning for senior government and business officials, and which also focused on stimulating minority entrepreneurship. For the two preceding years, following the receipt of his Ph.D., he served as an officer in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.