LAFFing Parade, Fall 2020
Andrea Taylor has been appointed the first senior diversity officer at Boston University, charged with forming an anti-racism working group of leaders from throughout the university to examine policies affecting diversity, inclusion and equity for students, faculty and staff.
The group, said the university in making the announcement, “will examine processes and policies that may inhibit diversity, equity and inclusion…, make recommendations for modifying those policies and practices and develop metrics for monitoring progress…with an aim toward removing systemic racism and bias from the university….”
“It’s not easy,” Taylor said, “to bring about such a shift as is being proposed in Boston University and the greater society. But I think the time has come and there seems to be a willingness and a recognition that there’s no time like the present that we really need to get on this.”
Taylor has relinquished her position on the university’s Board of Trustees, where she has been a member since 2009, in order to assume her new position.
She was most recently the president and chief executive officer of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Alabama, becoming head of that civil rights organization after eight years as director of Citizenship and Public Affairs for the Microsoft Corporation.
Before joining Microsoft, she was director of the media program at the Ford Foundation from 2001 to 2004.
Andrea has a long personal and family connection to Boston University. Eight other members of her family graduated from BU, including both parents and an uncle, and she earned her bachelor’s degree there in 1968.
She and her family also have a decades-long connection with the national struggle for civil rights. As a teenager, she joined her uncle in the March on Washington, and while at BU she was a member of an African-American student group that, as part of a protest movement, occupied the college’s administration building.
Kim Lew is the new president and chief executive officer of the Columbia Investment Management Company, responsible for managing Columbia University’s more than $10 billion endowment.
She has been vice president and chief investment officer of Carnegie Corporation of New York since 2007, where she oversaw the investment portfolio of Carnegie’s $3.5 billion endowment.
Prior to joining Carnegie, she was a portfolio strategist at the Ford Foundation and then Senior Manager of Private Equity for more than a decade, beginning in 1994.
Lew earned a bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s of business administration degree from the Harvard Business School.
“In a career that has spanned three decades,” said Lee C. Bollinger, president of Columbia University, “Ms. Lew has established herself as a thoughtful and innovative investor with an immersive approach that yields impressive results.”
Susan Hairston, a member of the Common Council of Summit, N.J., is one of two public figures in that city who will receive this year’s “Demmy” Award for Distinguished Service from the Summit Municipal Democratic Committee.
She is being honored along with the city’s former mayor, Jordan Glatt.
Susan joined the Council in a special election last year to fill a vacant seat, and is chairperson of the Safety and Health Committee, a member of the Law and Labor Committee and liaison to six community committees, including Affordable Housing and Labor negotiations.
She has a long record of involvement in community affairs, including two terms on Summit’s Board of Education, as a governor for Union County College and Foundation and as chairwoman of the Municipal Democratic Committee. She co-chaired the Mayor’s Forum on Diversity and was a trustee for the Providing Educational Possibilities Foundation.
Susan went to work at the Ford Foundation in 1997 as a senior grants administrator and, when she left in 2016, was director of the Office of Program Operations and Services.
She wrote about the “confluence of her philanthropic and political careers” in an article in the Winter 2019 issue of the newsletter titled, “My Life at Ford and in Politics: ‘Pursuing the Audacious’ ”.
Nazeema Mohamed, who had worked as a program officer for social justice in the Ford Foundation’s South Africa office, has been elected to a four-year term as deputy chair of the University of Cape Town (UCT) Council. The university also elected Mamokgethi Phakeng the new chair of the council, making them the first women in UCT’s history to head its “crucial governance, ceremonial and executive roles”.
The university, in a statement announcing their election, noted that the women have “the task of leading a collective that is responsible for steering the institution at a governance level.” The council is comprised of the heads of various university committees, including finance, audit and risk, human resources and buildings and developments.