Alex Navab ’87CC and Li Lu ’96CC, ’96LAW, ’96BUS, investment bankers and philanthropists with deep ties to Columbia, have been elected to the University’s Board of Trustees. Their six-year terms began in September.
Navab, a native of Iran whose family escaped to Greece and subsequently to the United States following the 1979 Iranian revolution, served for many years as a senior executive at the private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. He sits on the boards of numerous cultural and educational organizations, including the Columbia College Board of Visitors, and received the College’s John Jay Award for distinguished professional achievement in 2011. He is also co-chair of the College’s Core to Commencement Campaign Committee.
Li, who grew up in China during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, was a prominent student activist who helped lead the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. The following year, he was invited to speak about his experiences at Columbia and soon enrolled at the University, earning degrees in economics, business, and law simultaneously. He has since run his own hedge fund, Himalaya Capital, while continuing to advocate for human-rights reforms in China. He received the College’s John Jay Award in 2012. He has also received the Raoul Wallenberg Human Rights Award from the Congressional Human Rights Foundation, and the Reebok Human Rights Award for his human-rights advocacy.
“I am very pleased to welcome Alex Navab and Li Lu to the Board of Trustees,” says President Lee C. Bollinger. “They are loyal Columbia alumni who bring with them decades of success and innovation in business and civic leadership, as well as a diversity of personal experience that will be invaluable as we build the University’s academic excellence and our engagement with the world in the years ahead.”