News Release

Brookings Board Elects New Trustees Harold Hongju Koh and David F. Swensen

July 1, 2004

The Brookings Institution’s Board of Trustees has elected two Yale University officials—Harold Hongju Koh, dean of the law school, and David Swensen, the university’s chief investment officer—as its newest members.

“Brookings derives much of its strength from the experience and good counsel of our board members. Harold Hongju Koh and David Swensen will be terrific additions to the group,” said John L. Thornton, chairman of the Brookings board.

“We’re fortunate to have Harold and David joining our board,” said Strobe Talbott, president of Brookings. “Harold’s career, which combines academic accomplishment, institutional leadership, and public service, reflects the values and mission of the Institution. David’s broad-gauge expertise in economics and governance will, I’m sure, translate into wise guidance as we develop our research programs in those areas.”

Harold Hongju Koh, an expert on human rights and international law who has taught at Yale Law School since 1985, assumes his new post as dean of Yale Law School this month. He was assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor from 1998 to 2001.

Before joining Yale University, where he is the Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law, Koh practiced law at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Covington and Burling and at the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice. Before that, he was a law clerk to Judge Malcolm Wilkey of the D.C. Circuit and Justice Harry Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Koh has written dozens of articles in his areas of expertise, and has authored or co-edited Justice Harry Blackmun Supreme Court Oral History Project (2004); Different But Equal: The Human Rights of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (2003); Transnational Business Problems (2003); Deliberative Democracy and Human Rights (1999); Transnational Legal Problems (1984); and The National Security Constitution (1990), which won the American Political Science Association’s award for best book on the American presidency.

Koh is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the American Law Institute, an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and an overseer of Harvard University. He was an editor of the American Journal of International Law and has received Guggenheim and Century Foundation Fellowships. In 2003, he was awarded Columbia Law School’s Wolfgang Friedmann Memorial Award for his contributions to international law.

Koh received his A.B. in Government from Harvard College in 1975, an Honours B.A. in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford in 1977, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1980. He lives in New Haven with his wife, Mary-Christy Fisher, an attorney, and their two children.

David Swensen, Yale’s chief investment officer, is responsible for more than twelve billion dollars in endowment assets and hundreds of millions of dollars in other investment funds.

Prior to joining Yale in 1985, Swensen spent six years on Wall Street, including three years at Lehman Brothers as senior vice president and three years at Salomon Brothers as an associate in corporate finance. His work focused on developing new financial technologies.

After receiving his B.A. and B.S. in 1975 from the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, Swensen pursued a Ph.D. in economics at Yale, where he wrote his dissertation, “A Model for the Valuation of Corporate Bonds.”

He is the author of Pioneering Portfolio Management: An Unconventional Approach to Institutional Investment (2000).

Swensen is a trustee of the Carnegie Institution of Washington and treasurer of the Hopkins Committee of Trustees. He serves as a trustee of TIAA and a non-executive director of Schroders plc. He has advised the Carnegie Corporation, the New York Stock Exchange, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Courtauld Institute of Art, the Yale New Haven Hospital, the Investment Fund for Foundations, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and the States of Connecticut and Massachusetts.

At Yale, where he teaches students in Yale College and at the School of Management, he is a fellow of Berkeley College, an incorporator of the Elizabethan Club, and a fellow of the International Center
for Finance.

The Brookings Institution is an independent, nonpartisan organization devoted to research, analysis, education, and publication focused on public policy issues in the areas of economics, foreign policy, governance, and metropolitan issues. The Board of Trustees, the Institution’s voluntary oversight group, is comprised of corporate executives, academic leaders, and former government officials and is responsible for the general administration of the Institution. It is charged with ensuring the highest caliber of scholarship and preserving the independent studies for which the Institution is known.

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.