Mark Zuckerberg is expected to endorse a Silicon Valley entrepreneur Friday to join the board overseeing Harvard University, the New York Post reports.

Sam Lessin, a former Facebook employee and Zuckerberg classmate, has been pushing for a seat on Harvard’s Board of Overseers.

Lessin is scheduled to speak with Zuckerberg — himself Jewish but heretofore largely silent on antisemitism at Harvard — via Zoom at 6:30 p.m. EST Friday, to discuss the future of Harvard. Also on the call will be the Facebook founder’s wife, Priscilla Chan.

“Antisemitism at Harvard is extremely disappointing and a huge problem,” Lessin told On The Money. “It needs to be solved, but it’s also the canary in the coal mine in terms of a free speech problem.”

After the Oct. 7, 2023, attacks by Hamas in Israel, Lessin said he called his alma mater to say that he would not “be donating any more until governance and administration improved, and the campus was clearly putting academics first.”

Zuckerberg is not the only powerhouse to endorse Lessin. Thrive Capital Josh Kushner, former CEO of Oscar Heath Mario Schlosser and former COO of Zappos Alfred Lin have joined in with executives at General Catalyst, Sequoia, Y Combinator, Bessemer, and Tiger Global, to back Lessin.

Pershing Square CEO Bill Ackman — who has criticized Harvard’s Board of Overseers and helped oust Harvard President Claudine Gay — has nominated his own slate of candidates.

Lessin says he is a superior candidate to Ackman’s proposed slate since he has a background in technology at a time when artificial intelligence and social media are increasingly vital.

As to why Silicon Valley is underrepresented in Harvard’s leadership, Lessin says it is probably due to tech entrepreneurs’ focus on “building new stuff — they discount brand equity.”

“In tech, I think a lot about platforms — we need trusted institutions like Harvard,” Lessin added.

Lessin is married to Jessica Lessin, founder of The Information.

Representatives for Harvard and Zuckerberg did not respond to a request for comment by the Post at deadline.


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