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As it Happened: Harvard Commencement 2023
Timothy R. Barakett ’87 will replace Paul J. Finnegan ’75 as the University’s treasurer beginning July 1, Harvard announced Wednesday afternoon.
Barakett, who became a member of the Harvard Corporation — the University’s highest governing body — in 2019, will remain a member of the Corporation and its committee on finance in his new role.
He will also become an ex officio member of the Harvard Board of Overseers, the University’s second-highest governing body, and continue to serve as a member of the board of directors of Harvard Management Company.
Finnegan is set to step down from the Corporation after the 2023-24 academic year as he reaches the end of his two six-year terms, but he will remain as chair of the HMC board of directors during his final year. Previously a member of the Board of Overseers and president of the Harvard Alumni Association, Finnegan stepped into the role of University treasurer in 2014.
In a University-wide statement, outgoing Harvard President Lawrence S. Bacow, President-elect Claudine Gay, and Harvard Corporation Senior Fellow Penny S. Pritzker ’81 praised Finnegan for his years on Harvard’s highest governing body.
“Paul has served Harvard with extraordinary commitment and effectiveness, including his role in helping the University navigate the financial challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” they wrote. “We look forward to opportunities to celebrate his outstanding service in the year to come.”
Bacow, Gay, and Pritzker also announced in the message that as Finnegan prepares to step down from his role in the Corporation next year, the University will soon begin a search for his successor.
A graduate of the College and Harvard Business School, Barakett co-chaired both the Faculty of Arts and Sciences fundraising committee and the committee on financial aid during the University’s most recent capital campaign, which raised a record-breaking $9.6 billion.
Barakett currently serves as chairman and CEO of TRB Advisors, a New York-based private investment company. He also founded and served as chairman and CEO of Atticus Capital, which was one of the world’s largest hedge funds in 2007.
In an article in the Harvard Gazette — a University-run publication, Barakett applauded Finnegan for an “outstanding job as treasurer” and said he looked forward to helping “Harvard thrive in the years ahead.”
“He will be a tough act to follow, and I’m glad I’ll have another year of partnership with him on the Corporation,” he said. “I’m also excited at the prospect of taking on my new role alongside a new president.”
Finnegan, also a graduate of HBS, is co-founder and chairman of the Chicago-based investment firm Madison Dearborn Partners.
Like Barakett, Finnegan served in leadership positions during the University’s most recent capital campaign, co-chairing the planning committee and the executive committee for The Harvard Campaign. He has also served on various councils and advisory boards at the University.
On the Corporation, Finnegan participated in two presidential searches and served as chair of the Harvard Management Company. In his capacity as HMC chair, Finnegan led the search that culminated in the selection of current HMC CEO N.P. “Narv” Narvekar and oversaw major changes to HMC’s investment strategies.
Finnegan also praised Barakett in the Harvard Gazette for his “financial expertise, deep knowledge of Harvard, sound judgment, and a collegial, collaborative approach.”
“Tim Barakett will do an excellent job as Harvard’s new treasurer,” Finnegan said.
Finnegan said his time as treasurer was a “genuinely fulfilling experience.”
“I’m looking forward not only to helping Tim in whatever ways I can during my final year on the Corporation, but also to supporting our terrific new president, Claudine Gay, as she moves to Massachusetts Hall,” he said.
Correction: May 24, 2023
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Paul J. Finnegan is the co-CEO of Madison Dearborn Partners. In fact, Finnegan is the chairman.
—Staff writer Miles J. Herszenhorn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mherszenhorn.
—Staff writer Claire Yuan can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @claireyuan33.
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