Campus & Community

Harper concludes service on Harvard Corporation

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Conrad K. Harper has decided to conclude his service on the Harvard Corporation, the University announced today.

A longtime member of the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York, and former Legal Adviser of the U.S. State Department, Harper, a 1965 graduate of Harvard Law School, was elected to the Corporation as a Fellow of Harvard College in 2000.

“Conrad Harper has been a thoughtful counselor and valued colleague to all of us on the Corporation,” said James R. Houghton, the Corporation’s senior fellow. “He is a person of broad learning and experience as well as deeply held values, and Harvard has been very fortunate to have his perspective and expertise. I regret that he has chosen, in reflecting on recent matters at the University, to bring his service to a close.”

“Conrad Harper’s candid and insightful counsel on a wide range of important matters has strongly benefited the University,” said President Lawrence H. Summers. “I am grateful to him, both personally and on Harvard’s behalf, for his devoted service and for the many contributions he has made to the work of the Corporation.”

While on the Corporation, Harper has also served as a member and recent chair of the University’s Advisory Committee on Honorary Degrees and as a member of both the Corporation Committee on Shareholder Responsibility and the governing boards’ Joint Committee on Appointments.

A native of Detroit, Harper received his bachelor’s degree in 1962 from Howard University, then graduated from Harvard Law School in 1965. He served as an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund before embarking on his career as an associate and then partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York.

In 1993, he accepted an appointment as Legal Adviser of the U.S. State Department and in that capacity served for three years as the department’s senior legal officer. In 1996, he returned to Simpson Thacher as a partner, with a practice focused on commercial contract disputes, securities, product liability, environmental law, and insurance defense. He is now of counsel to the firm, having retired from active full-time practice in 2003.

A past president of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, a council member and former first vice president of the American Law Institute, and a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Harper also serves on the boards of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation, and the Academy of Political Science. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

The Corporation, formally known as the President and Fellows of Harvard College, is the University’s executive governing board. A joint committee of the University’s governing boards will work to identify a successor to Harper. Under the University’s charter, a new member of the Corporation is elected by the President and Fellows with the counsel and consent of the Board of Overseers. Advice may be directed in confidence to the Corporation Search Committee, Harvard University, Loeb House, 17 Quincy St., Cambridge, MA 02138, or to