Campus & Community

Search for Harvard’s next treasurer

3 min read

A letter from President Summers

Harvard University
Office of the President
Massachusetts Hall
October 1, 2003

Re: Search for Harvard’s Next Treasurer:
Request for Advice

Dear Members of the Harvard Community,

Ron Daniel recently announced his plans to step down as the University’s Treasurer and as a member of the Harvard Corporation at the end of the 2003-04 academic year. Ron has made invaluable contributions to Harvard during his nearly fifteen years of service – as a cornerstone of the Corporation, as a leader in overseeing the University’s investments and finances, and as someone whose judgment, experience, and organizational savvy have greatly helped Harvard to thrive. I write now, on behalf of the search committee chaired by James Houghton, Senior Fellow of Harvard College, to ask your help with the challenging task of identifying Ron’s successor.

The Treasurer’s role has in recent years had at least three major dimensions. First is serving as a member of the Corporation, a role to which the Treasurer has often brought particular expertise in aspects of management and finance. Second is chairing the board of the Harvard Management Company, which is responsible for the investment of the University’s endowment funds. Third is acting as a broad-gauged senior adviser to Harvard’s president and provost, as well as deans, vice presidents, and other senior officials. The Treasurer works particularly closely with the Vice President for Finance, plays a significant role in alumni affairs and development circles, and sits as an ex officio member of the Board of Overseers. With this range of responsibilities, the Treasurer devotes a substantial proportion of his or her professional efforts to Harvard matters, while serving on a volunteer basis.

A joint committee of the governing boards has been formed to conduct the search for a new Treasurer. In addition to Jamie Houghton (chair), the committee includes Hanna Gray, a member of the Corporation since 1997; Overseers Roger Ferguson, Bill Lee, and Dick Spangler; and myself.

As we embark on the important task of identifying Ron Daniel’s successor, we would be grateful for any advice you are willing to provide – about the nature of the role, about the kind of person best suited to serve, and, most important, about individuals who you believe would serve with distinction.

Faculty, students, staff, alumni, and interested others are invited to convey your thoughts in confidence to the Treasurer Search Committee, Harvard University Office of the Governing Boards, Loeb House, 17 Quincy St., Cambridge, MA 02138, or by e-mail to

Many thanks for your counsel, and all best wishes.


Lawrence H. Summers