Bekenstein ’80 appointed Lead Director of Yale Corporation
In his new role, Josh Bekenstein ’80 will oversee the University’s upcoming fundraising campaign.
Joshua Bekenstein ’80 is the most recent senior administrator of the Yale Corporation, the university’s highest governing body.
Bekenstein has been a director since 2013, where he served as Chair of the Society’s Faculty of Medicine and Alumni Development and Affairs Committee. The lead director is chosen by University President Peter Salovey in consultation with the other directors of the company, and Bekenstein will succeed Catharine Bond Hill GRD ’85, who held this position from 2018 until the end of his term. last term of office on June 30. .
“Josh Bekenstein brings a long-standing love for Yale to his role as a senior administrator, as well as exceptional long-term service to the university,” Salovey wrote in an email to The News. “Since his appointment as a director in 2013, he has demonstrated excellent judgment, genuine collegiality and close attention to the work of the Board of Directors. “
Bekenstein spoke with the News about his past service with the Company, what he hopes to accomplish in the role of Senior Administrator, and what he considers to be the most significant challenges the University will face in the future. coming years.
“It’s really the job of the main trustee, to listen to the other trustees and coordinate with Peter [Salovey] to make sure we spend our time together effectively, talking about the university’s most complex and important issues, so that the board is aligned with management, ”said Bekenstein. “And once the decision is made, you know, you need the board and the management team to all be focused.[ed] and agreed on the direction.
He further described the role of the lead administrator as the interlocutor between the directors and their various concerns and the office of the chairman, while keeping the group “organized and structured”. Understanding the relationship between the board of trustees and the management of the University is crucial for the role of lead administrator, Bekenstein said.
“The relationship between the board and management is fascinating, because on the one hand, the board is ultimately responsible for major decisions, whether it is a university, a hospital or a hospital. ‘a for-profit business,’ he explained. “But obviously the board is not running the business or the hospital… the university is run by the management team. It is therefore very important to have the right level of involvement.
Bekenstein cited his predecessor, Hill, as a role model for a successful senior administrator. Recognizing the true role of the Society, Hill kept the group focused on important long-term strategic issues for the University, rather than micromanaging every issue that popped up on their radar, he said. This is especially difficult at a time when news travels much faster due to the internet – so this element of the role of the lead administrator is especially important, he added.
In particular, Bekenstein commented on the way the Council approached the issue of the pandemic.
“The management team has done an amazing job, I think of opening Yale, keeping it open, keeping it open safely and managing everything,” Bekenstein added. “And we, as administrators… haven’t tried to micromanage… in any way. “
In an email to the News, Hill further described the role of a lead director in maintaining a balance of roles between directors and the board.
“The lead administrator works with the president to ensure that the board of trustees is working effectively to support the mission and priorities of the university,” she wrote. “The Lead Trustee also works with the President and other members of the administration to help the university engage trustees in a way that leverages their experiences and expertise for the benefit of the university.”
As Bekenstein steps into his role as lead administrator, one of the main goals of the board will be the next fundraising campaign, which is still in its silent phase but will enter its public phase in October. Bekenstein will be the campaign co-chair.
Salovey underlined the important role of the campaign in the future of the University.
“Yale’s campaign is designed to ensure the next big step forward for the university, and its design has benefited greatly from the careful consideration of the board as a whole,” said Salovey. “As the campaign enters its public phase, it will be of great value to have Josh actively engage in his execution as the campaign co-chair. “
The Yale Corporation will meet five times over the next academic year.