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No Fear of Failure: Real Stories of How Leaders Deal with Risk and Change by Gary Burnison

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Chapter Ten

DREW GILPIN FAUST: CATALYST

As the twenty-eighth president of Harvard University, Drew Gilpin Faust made history in 2007 when she became the first woman to lead this Ivy League university, the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. A noted scholar, history professor, and author of six books on the American Civil War and the South, Faust had come to Harvard six years earlier to be the first dean of its Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. At the time, ascending to the presidency of Harvard was the furthest thing from her mind.

“No way!” she said emphatically, recalling that when she arrived Lawrence Summers was president of Harvard. Faust had assumed Summers would hold that position for most of her career. When ...

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