Around New England

More Than One-Third of Harvard Faculty Not Born in the United States

February 19, 2021

About 35 percent of the faculty of Harvard University is foreign-born, the school’s president said.

Lawrence Bacow, president of Harvard University, which is in Cambridge, Massachusetts, made the remark while arguing in favor of amnesty for illegal immigrants during an online forum Friday.

“Students from across the world challenge us, their teachers, but also our domestic students, in the classroom. And many of them hope and desire just to build lives in the U.S., as others have before them. In fact, 35 percent of the Harvard faculty were born someplace else,” Bacow said.

He noted that the founder of the pharmaceutical company Moderna and the current head of Pfizer were also born in foreign countries.

“And five of the 13 Nobel Prize winners that we’ve had over the last 25 years were actually born abroad,” Bacow said.

Bacow called on Congress to “provide the broadest possible relief for those who are undocumented, including those who have enjoyed temporary protected status.”

The forum, which took place on Friday, February 19, was sponsored by The New England Council, a regional business association that lobbies on behalf of its members.

The forum was also sponsored by several pro-immigration groups, including the American Business Immigration Coalition; The Massachusetts Business Immigration Council; Maine Business Immigration Council; The Presidents’ Alliance On Higher Education and Immigration (the title refers to college presidents); and Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.