Harvard Kennedy School Creates a Student Fellowship in Honor of Lisa Garcia Quiroz

The Harvard Kennedy School announced today the creation of a graduate student fellowship in honor of the late Lisa Garcia Quiroz, a champion of a stronger Latino presence at Harvard for some 30 years. The fellowship is designed for emerging student leaders at HKS with a strong commitment to the Latino community. Its lead donor is Time Warner Inc., where she was until recently its Senior Vice President of Cultural Investments and Chief Diversity Officer.

“This fellowship in Lisa’s name represents a very sad but heartwarming story,” said David Gergen, director of the School’s Center for Public Leadership (CPL), where the fellowship will be housed. “Words hardly capture how much we are honored by our friendship with her and how much we will miss her.”

When Ms. Quiroz came to Harvard three decades ago, she was one of the few Latino undergraduates. Before and then after graduation, she served as a minority recruiter for the college, working closely with William Fitzsimmons, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. Her path eventually took her to the Harvard Business School where she earned an MBA before joining Time Warner. There she became Senior Vice President of Cultural Investments. In 2004, she was promoted to be the company’s Chief Diversity Officer and President of the Time Warner Foundation.

“We had the great good fortune to discover Lisa several years ago and she fast became a wonderful partner for our Center,” said Gergen. “She worked tirelessly with us to strengthen the leadership development of Hispanic students and others devoted to that community. Through her, Time Warner has sponsored two conferences on the Latino future.

“Months ago,” he continued, “Lisa told us that upon her retirement from Time Warner this winter, she would join us at CPL to become a Hauser Leader in Residence. She was fiercely committed to our mission and to helping us raise funds for students. We were thrilled at the prospect.

“Tragically,” said Gergen, “she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and as it progressed, her life was turned upside down. She relocated to Denver, CO, for her final months, where she died on Friday, March 16, surrounded by friends and family.

“Lisa was a model of bravery who was dedicated to the development of young Hispanic leaders. When asked by senior leadership at Time Warner how they might honor her, she immediately asked that they contribute to this new fellowship at the Kennedy School.”

Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes said, “As leader of Time Warner’s Cultural Investments team and the company’s first Chief Diversity Officer, Lisa had always been an industry-leading proponent—and shining example—of the benefits of workforce diversity. She was a passionate warrior for social justice and a relentless advocate for underserved and under-represented communities and artists. In recognition of her lifetime of inspirational leadership, we are proud to establish the Lisa Garcia Quiroz Graduate Fellowship.”

About the Lisa Garcia Quiroz Graduate Fellowship
Housed at Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership, the Lisa Garcia Quiroz Graduate Fellowship will provide funding for emerging student leaders who have demonstrated an interest in reducing disparities in U.S. Latino and other underserved communities. The fellowship will offer tuition, fees and living expenses to admitted applicants to any of the master’s degree programs at HKS and will complement the Center’s existing U.S. Latino Leadership Fellowship and U.S. Latino Leadership Initiative Program.

The establishment of the Lisa Garcia Quiroz Graduate Fellowship at Harvard Kennedy School will draw emerging leaders who share Lisa’s passion for service-oriented leaders committed to serving the public good across sectors.

For more information about the Lisa Garcia Quiroz Graduate Fellowship please contact Erika Carlsen at erika_carlsen@hks.harvard.edu or 617-495-1386.

To contribute to the fund, please contact Jody Sharpe at jody_sharpe@hks.harvard.edu or 617-495-9626.

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