and entering

Hey Guys, What About Me? Just a Thought!

William F. Lee
Again, take all of this with a grain of salt!

To the Harvard Presidential Search Committee:

Hey guys! What’s up? How’ve you been? Well, I hope!

We’ve been whittling down possible picks for the prez 29.0, and I think we have some great candidates! But— and this might sound crazy— hear me out: maybe we should consider… me? Just a thought!

I know, I know— I’m not a conventional choice. I’m just the child of immigrants who came to this country after fleeing Maoist China and a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College. I’m only a member of the Order of the Coif, Cornell Law’s honor society, and the first Asian-American to lead a major law firm. Those accomplishments, which represent only a sampling of my many relevant professional experiences, might seem a bit unorthodox. But I’m just throwing it out there!

We all admire President Faust. But hey, on the other hand, as Corporation member Susan L. Graham ’64 said, we’re not looking for a carbon copy of her! I’m just spitballing here, but wouldn’t it be great if the next Harvard president were trustworthy, intellectually curious, had integrity, possessed great communication skills, and helped prosecute the Iran-Contra affair? Again, I’m just throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks. Feel free to tell me I’m wrong!

The presidential search committee is doing a great job. But what if sometimes the answer comes not through the search but from within the search committee? You know the expression, “Maybe what I was looking for was in front of me the whole time, and maybe it was William F. Lee AB ’72”? Personally, I’ve always thought that was a great expression to live by. But maybe that’s just me!

Sure, Danielle S. Allen has published insightful and personal critiques of the criminal justice system. And sure, Nitin Nohria knows business and stuff. But has either of them argued over 100 cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals? All I’m saying is if I were looking for the next Harvard president, I’d pick the appeals guy.

Not convinced? Oh, okay, that’s cool. Honestly I really don’t care! Back to searching, then, LOL. Sorry I even mentioned it! 


William F. Lee AB ’72, Senior Fellow


Image credit: Harvard Magazine

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