12 Apr 2018

Carla Harris, Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley, to be Harvard Business School’s Class Day Keynote Speaker

Will Address Class of 2018 the Day before Harvard University Commencement Exercises
Carla Harris

BOSTON—Carla Harris (MBA 1987), vice chairman, managing director, and senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley and a member of the Harvard University Board of Overseers, will be Harvard Business School’s (HBS) Class Day keynote speaker on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. The ceremony, which will take place on the Baker Lawn on the School’s campus in Boston, will also include a welcome from the co-presidents of the MBA Class of 2018, presentations of the Alumni Achievement Awards and Faculty Teaching Awards, and a student address.

During her three decades at Morgan Stanley, Harris has held influential positions in mergers and acquisitions and equity capital markets, where she oversaw a number of the largest initial public offerings in history. She is also the subject of an HBS case study focusing on whether to start an ambitious development program for emerging female and minority asset managers.

In addition, Harris is an accomplished gospel singer who has produced three albums and performed at Carnegie Hall five times. A sought-after public speaker as well, she is the author of two books, Expect to Win (2009) and Strategize to Win (2014). She graduated from Harvard Business School with second-year honors and is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College, where she studied economics.

Harris has been named to Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America, Fortune’s Most Influential List, U.S.Banker’s Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance (2009, 2010, 2011), Black Enterprise’s Top 75 Most Powerful Women in Business (2017) and Top 75 African Americans on Wall Street, Essence Magazine’s list of the 50 Women Who are Shaping the World, and Ebony’s list of the Power 100 and 15 Corporate Women at the Top.

She has also received honorary doctorates from Marymount Manhattan College, Bloomfield College, Jacksonville University, Simmons College, the College of New Rochelle, St. Thomas Aquinas College, and Fisk University.

The HBS Class Day ceremony is planned and conducted by a committee of second-year MBA students. It is open to members of the graduating class and their guests as well as HBS alumni, faculty, and staff.

Click here for more information on HBS Class Day and Harvard University Commencement.


Cullen Schmitt

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.