Campus & Community

Rothenberg named University’s next treasurer

5 min read

President of major investment firm in L.A., active in alumni affairs

James F. Rothenberg, a leading figure in the investment world and a distinguished alumnus of both Harvard College and Harvard Business School, will


become the University’s next treasurer and the newest member of the Harvard Corporation, effective July 1.

Elected by the Harvard Corporation earlier Sunday (April 4) with the consent of the University’s Board of Overseers, Rothenberg is the president of Capital Research and Management Co., a major investment management firm based in Los Angeles. An active presence in Harvard alumni affairs, Rothenberg serves on the dean’s advisory councils of both the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Business School, as well as the executive committee of the Committee on University Resources.

The election of Rothenberg marks the culmination of a search begun last fall after D. Ronald Daniel M.B.A. ’54, announced his intention to step down as treasurer this June 30, after 15 years of distinguished service to the University and counsel to three Harvard presidents.

“Jim Rothenberg combines a sophisticated knowledge of the world of investment and finance with a deep devotion to Harvard, higher learning, and the governance of educational and civic institutions,” said James R. Houghton, the Harvard Corporation’s Senior Fellow and chair of the search committee. “He’s someone respected for his sound judgment, his breadth of interests, his integrity, and his collegiality, and I very much look forward to his joining the corporation.”

“I feel honored to have this opportunity to serve Harvard, which has meant so much to me ever since I arrived in Harvard Yard nearly 40 years ago,” said Rothenberg. “Universities have never had a more vital role to play, and no university pursues its educational and scholarly mission more ambitiously, across a wider span of academic domains, than Harvard. I hope to contribute what I can to that effort, and especially to help ensure that our faculty and students have the resources they need to do their best possible work.”

“Jim Rothenberg will bring a great deal of valuable experience and practical wisdom to an essential role in Harvard’s governance,” said President Lawrence H. Summers. “He is an admired leader of one of the largest investment firms in the country, and he’s also a strongly committed alumnus who’s respected for his consistently insightful advice and his sense of University values. I’m very pleased that we’ll have the opportunity to benefit even more from Jim’s expertise and perspective in the years to come.”

Rothenberg has served since 1994 as president and as a director of Capital Research and Management Co., a principal subsidiary of the Capital Group Companies Inc., and as the investment adviser to the American Funds. The American Funds group is the third largest mutual fund family in the United States. Rothenberg is also president and director of The Investment Company of America, chairman of The Growth Fund of America and Fundamental Investors, and a director of the Capital Group. A chartered financial analyst, he has worked within the Capital organization since 1970.

A native of Pittsburgh, Rothenberg graduated from Harvard College in 1968, having lived in Quincy House and concentrated in English. He went on to receive his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1970. As an alumnus, he has served on the Dean’s Council of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences for both Dean Jeremy R. Knowles and Dean William Kirby, and on the Business School’s Board of Dean’s Advisers for Dean Kim B. Clark. A prominent leader among Harvard alumni on the West Coast, he has also served as a member of the executive committee of the Committee on University Resources, as co-chair of his 30th and 35th College reunions, and as a member of then-Dean Knowles’ planning committee for undergraduate education.

Besides his longtime employment within the Capital organization and his activities on behalf of Harvard, Rothenberg has been active in an array of educational, civic, and community pursuits in the Los Angeles area. He serves on the boards of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the Huntington Memorial Hospital, and the Westridge School, and he chairs the board of KCET, the public television station in Los Angeles. He is also a past trustee of Occidental College. Within the investment world, he was a governor of the National Association of Securities Dealers from 1996 to 2002 and a member of the board of directors of NASDAQ from 1996 to 1999.

Under Harvard’s charter, the treasurer serves as one of the seven members of the Harvard Corporation and, along with the president of the University, one of two ex officio members of the Board of Overseers. In addition to exercising the usual responsibilities of a member of the governing boards, the treasurer typically provides particular expertise in aspects of finance and management and, among other duties, chairs the board of directors of the Harvard Management Co. and works closely with the vice president for finance. In succeeding Daniel, the treasurer since 1989, Rothenberg will become the 30th treasurer in Harvard’s history, in a line that dates back 361 years to 1643.

“I’m fortunate to be able to follow in the footsteps of someone as able and dedicated as Ron Daniel,” said Rothenberg, “and I’m greatly looking forward to getting started.”