The President and CEO of one of the world’s top design firms takes on key volunteer leadership role as the School prepares to launch its multi-million dollar campaign
Cambridge, Massachusetts – The Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) announces the appointment of Philip L. Harrison AB ’86, MArch ’93, President and Chief Executive Officer of the renowned design firm Perkins+Will, as co-chair of its Campaign Committee, a volunteer-based leadership council dedicated to advancing the work of the School. Harrison joins the ranks alongside John K.F. Irving AB ’83, MBA ’89, who has been serving as chair since February 2012. Together, they will lead a team of experts from within the field of design comprised of GSD alumni and friends who will take ownership in the success of the School’s upcoming multi-million dollar Campaign.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Phil aboard as co-chair. As a respected leader in the design industry, his expertise and his unwavering passion for the GSD will be crucial in guiding the group as we work towards reaching the Campaign goal. I hope our joint efforts will result in attracting others to join us in our care for the School so that we can further design research, bolster student financial aid, support our world-class faculty, and uphold Dean Mohsen Mostafavi’s overall vision for the GSD,” said Irving who personally extended the invitation to Harrison.
“I’m honored to accept the role of co-chair. As a graduate of both the College and the GSD, my time at Harvard has had an extremely positive effect on my life. I’m excited about the opportunity to give back in a meaningful way. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I’m up for the challenge to bring the GSD and the field of design into the forefront, and I look forward to ensuring the success of the Campaign,” said Harrison.
Harrison, who holds a bachelor of arts degree in visual and environmental studies and philosophy from Harvard College and a master in architecture from the GSD, joined the global multidisciplinary architecture and design firm Perkins+Will in 1993 as an architect working with education, science and technology, healthcare and corporate clients. As President and CEO, he is responsible for the firm’s design direction, strategic focus and business performance. Harrison is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council, and a member of the Executive Committee of the AIA Large Firm Roundtable. He serves on a number of design and arts related boards, including the National Building Museum in D.C., Museum of Design Atlanta, and the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta. Harrison lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and alumna of the GSD, Susan Stainback MLA ’85, and their two children.
The Campaign Committee was created in preparation for the launch of the GSD’s multi-million dollar Campaign. The School’s effort is part of the $6.5 billion University-wide Harvard Campaign. Headed by Dean Mostafavi and the two co-chairs, the committee is charged with developing and engaging a network of active, committed and involved alumni, friends and industry partners. The collective group’s activity will build a culture of philanthropy at the School, resulting in a pipeline of funding for the Campaign and beyond. The Campaign for Harvard University Graduate School of Design will officially launch this fall with a celebratory event the weekend of September 12-13, 2014 on campus in Cambridge, MA.