Columbia University recently announced the election of attorney Jeh Johnson ’82LAW, entrepreneur Adam Pritzker ’07CC, and community leader Sheena Wright ’90CC, ’94LAW to its Board of Trustees.
Johnson, who served as US secretary of homeland security from 2013 to 2017 and as general counsel to the Defense Department before that, is a partner at the firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, and Garrison, where he advises corporate clients on the legal aspects of national security, cybersecurity, data privacy, and government relations. He has been affiliated with Paul, Weiss since 1984, becoming the firm’s first African-American partner in 1994. Formerly a member of Columbia Law School’s Board of Visitors, he received the school’s Medal for Excellence in 2012.
Pritzker is the founder and CEO of Assembled Universe, an investment group that helps to develop consumer, software, and financial-services companies. He is also the cofounder and chairman of Future Now, a nonprofit dedicated to improving Americans’ lives “by winning state legislative majorities and working with them to achieve goals for the common good.” As an undergraduate majoring in social anthropology at Columbia College, Pritzker studied economics and sustainable development with Jeffrey D. Sachs. He is currently a member of the President’s Council for Columbia World Projects.
Wright is the president and CEO of United Way of New York City (UWNYC). During her nine-year tenure there, Wright, who is the first woman to lead the organization, has overseen a number of large-scale relief efforts, including for COVID-19; spearheaded the ReadNYC initiative to promote reading among children in underserved communities; and launched UWNYC’s Campaign for Equity to address “the underlying structural and systemic failures” that lead to racial disparities in health, education, and financial stability. She received Columbia College’s John Jay Award in 2016 and delivered the keynote address at the College’s Class Day ceremony the following year.
“This Board’s newest members have already established themselves as alumni who care deeply about the University and the broader Columbia community,” Trustee co-chairs Lisa Carnoy ’89CC and Jonathan Lavine ’88CC wrote in a statement. “We’re grateful that they have chosen to bring their extensive experience in the public and private sectors to their work as members of our Board.”
Says President Lee C. Bollinger: “Jeh, Adam, and Sheena have achieved great professional success while demonstrating a profound commitment to some of the most important issues facing society, including economic and racial inequality, education, and sustainability. We’re proud to welcome them to Columbia’s Board of Trustees.”