01 Jun 2006
Jay Light Named New HBS DeanTopics:
I am honored by the selection and enthusiastic about the task ahead,” Jay Light said at an April 24 press conference with Harvard University President Lawrence H. Summers following the announcement of his appointment as the School’s ninth Dean. A member of the HBS faculty since 1970, Light, 64, was named Acting Dean last August after the departure of Kim B. Clark.
Summers noted that Light “has done an outstanding job as Acting Dean.” “He has made extraordinary contributions to HBS over the years, and the School will be well served by his leadership qualities and his deep knowledge of the School’s distinctive character,” he added. In response to a question, Light included among his early priorities building and maintaining the faculty, seeking opportunities for collaboration within Harvard, and ensuring that the School’s educational programs remain challenging and engaging.
Light served as senior associate dean, director of Planning and Development (1998–2005), overseeing the School’s strategic planning and helping to shape new educational and research program initiatives. He also was chair of the Finance unit (1986–88) and senior associate dean, director of Faculty Planning (1988–94). He took a leave of absence in 1977–79 to serve as director of investment and financial policies for the Ford Foundation. A 1963 graduate of Cornell University, where he received a degree in engineering physics, Light earned a DBA from Harvard’s joint program in decision and control theory in 1970.
Light’s research and teaching have focused on capital markets and institutional asset management, including the management of pension funds and endowments, as well as on entrepreneurial management of technology companies. He is a director of the Harvard Management Company, which oversees the investment of the University’s endowment.
The announcement of Light’s appointment as Dean came as the magazine was going to press. Look for an in-depth interview with Dean Light in our September issue.