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Faust Joins Goldman Sachs Board of Directors Days After Exiting Presidency

Former University President Drew G. Faust, pictured her in Feb. 2018, will likely see significant financial perks in her new job.
Former University President Drew G. Faust, pictured her in Feb. 2018, will likely see significant financial perks in her new job. By Amy Y. Li
By Kristine E. Guillaume, Crimson Staff Writer

Former University President Drew G. Faust has joined the board of directors of Goldman Sachs, the company announced in a press release Thursday.

The move comes less than a week after Faust ended her 11-year tenure at the helm of the nation’s oldest university. Her appointment to Goldman Sachs’s board as an independent director will expand the group from 11 to 12 members.

Goldman Sachs Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein ’75 praised Faust for leading Harvard through “a decade of growth and transformation” during her presidency in an emailed statement Thursday.

“Her perspective and experience running one of the most complex and preeminent institutions in the world will benefit our board, our firm and our shareholders,” Blankfein wrote.

Faust will become a member of the firm’s governance, public responsibilities, and risk committees.

Her new position likely comes with significant financial perks. Goldman Sachs spokeswoman Ida Hoghooghi wrote in an emailed statement Thursday that Faust will receive an annual grant of restricted stock units valued at $500,000, though the shares underlying the units are not given to directors until after retirement from the board. Directors also earn an annual retainer of $75,000, which they can choose to receive either in cash or in stock units, according to Hoghooghi.

“I mean, is that really what you’re going to focus on?” Blankfein asked in a phone call Thursday, referring to Faust’s salary.

He then mentioned he thinks it is more important to consider why Faust chose to join the firm. He said Harvard and Goldman Sachs have long had a symbiotic relationship in which “a lot” of students from the school “spend years” at the firm after graduating.

Goldman Sachs is not Faust’s first corporate board. She has served on the board of Staples, Inc. since April 2012.

Outside of the corporate sphere, Faust also serves on the educational advisory board of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and has served as a member of several academic organizations.

Faust will continue to teach as a professor of History at Harvard. In previous interviews with The Crimson, she refused to specifically detail her post-presidency plans, noting she wanted to spend at least 12 months in her house at Cape Cod reacquainting herself with historical literature.

“I really would like to take the year to think through whether I can be a historian again, what writing project I might want to take on, how I see my voice,” Faust said when asked about her post-presidency life in May 2017. “That’s the non-plan. I’ve wanted to have enough of a plan so that I don’t feel completely useless, but not so much a plan as to restrict my ability to take a deep breath.”

—Staff writer Kristine E. Guillaume can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @krisguillaume.

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