Photo: Jonathan Blanc / NYPL.
At its meeting last week, The New York Public Library’s Board of Trustees elected four new members: critically-acclaimed writers Annette Gordon-Reed and Tracy K. Smith, financier Michael Byungju Kim, and business leader Hubert Joly. The four new Trustees—named during the virtual Board meeting on September 23—will begin their tenures immediately.
“It is my distinct pleasure to welcome this illustrious group of writers, public intellectuals, business leaders and philanthropists to our Board of Trustees. Their extensive and varied backgrounds are just what we need to further bolster our leadership strengths and guide our path forward, respectful of our past legacy, mindful of our current pressing responsibilities, and ready to thoughtfully innovate to meet the future,” said New York Public Library Board of Trustees Chairman Evan Chesler. “We thank them for their dedication to the Library, and look forward to their contributions.”
“It is my privilege and pleasure to welcome this new class of Trustees, which so wonderfully represents New York City and the diversity of services that the Library offers,” said New York Public Library President Anthony W. Marx. “I have no doubt that they will provide invaluable contributions to the institution and offer critical perspectives as we move forward and continue our work offering opportunities to all.”
Annette Gordon-Reed, honored in 2012 as a Library Lion, is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University. Gordon-Reed won 16 book prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (2008). She is the author of six books, and editor of two. She was the Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History at the University of Oxford (Queen’s College) 2014-2015, and was appointed an Honorary Fellow at Queen’s in 2021. Gordon-Reed served as the 2018-2019 President of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, and is currently president of the Ames Foundation. Her honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations, and the National Humanities Medal. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the British Academy.
Michael ByungJu Kim is Founder and Chairman of MBK Partners, a leading Asian private equity firm, with over $24 billion in capital under management. Prior to MBKP, Mr. Kim was President of Carlyle Asia and a member of The Carlyle Group’s Management Committee. Before Carlyle, Mr. Kim was Managing Director and COO of Asia-Pacific Investment Banking for Salomon Smith Barney and an Executive Director at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Mr. Kim has a BA with Honors from Haverford College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He was also a Fulbright Scholar. Mr. Kim was named one of Bloomberg’s “50 Most Influential People in the World” in 2015 and CKA’s “Philanthropist of the Year” in 2017. He is the author of the national bestseller, Offerings.
Tracy K. Smith, Professor of English and of African and African American Studies Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute. Smith is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, memoirist, editor, translator and librettist. She served as the 22nd Poet Laureate of the United States from 2017-19 and is the author of the award-winning poetry collections Wade in the Water, Life on Mars, Duende, and The Body’s Question. Her memoir, Ordinary Light, was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in nonfiction. She is the co-translator (with Changtai Bi) of My Name Will Grow Wide Like a Tree: Selected Poems of Yi Lei and her new work, Such Color: New and Selected Poems, will be published next month. Among her other honors are the Academy Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets, the Harvard Arts Medal, the Columbia Medal for Excellence, a Smithsonian Ingenuity Award and anEssence Literary Award. She is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Hubert Joly is a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School and the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Best Buy. Joly has been recognized as one of the top 100 CEOs in the world by the Harvard Business Review, one of the top 30 CEOs in the world by Barron’s and one of the top 10 CEOs in the U.S. by Glassdoor. He is the author of the best-selling and highly acclaimed book The Heart of Business – Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism.
About The New York Public Library
For 125 years, The New York Public Library has been a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library receives approximately 16 million visits through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at nypl.org/support.