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Harvard University has selected Lawrence Bacow to be its 29th president.

The presidential search committee consulted faculty, students, staff, and alumni before ultimately selecting Bacow from nearly 700 candidates. Bacow previously served as the 12th president of Tufts University, stepping down in 2011 after holding the office for a decade.

Bacow is also a Harvard graduate, having earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School and two public policy degrees from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. As an undergraduate, he studied economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He served as a professor at MIT for 24 years, where he was appointed department chair and chancellor and was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Widely considered to be an expert on the resolution of environmental disputes, he has recently turned his academic focus to higher education.

“We need to do a better job of operating more efficiently,” Bacow noted at a press conference on Feb. 11. “We need to collaborate with others, with our peer institutions, with industry and the broader world.”

Bacow is a native of Pontiac, Mich., and the son of immigrants from Eastern Europe. His mother, a survivor of Auschwitz, arrived in the United States at the age of 19.

Harvard’s previous president, Drew Gilpin Faust, announced last June her decision to step down this summer. Faust was Harvard’s first female president. 

“I am truly honored and humbled by this opportunity to succeed my good friend and colleague and someone who I admire greatly, Drew Faust,” Bacow said.

Bacow is scheduled to replace Faust on July 1.

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