At its meeting yesterday evening, The New York Public Library Board of Trustees elected acclaimed writer Zadie Smith and philanthropist Howard L. Morgan as its newest members. The two longtime Library supporters will begin their tenure on immediately.
"The Library is very pleased to welcome Zadie and Howard to the Board of Trustees. Their clear affinity for the Library and its mission, as well as their impressive expertise in the worlds of business, literature, philanthropy, and culture, will no doubt be invaluable as the Board helps steward this beloved and critically important institution through this current crisis and beyond,” said NYPL Board of Trustees Chairman Evan Chesler. “We thank them for their dedication to the Library, and look forward to their contributions.”
Zadie Smith is an award-winning novelist, essayist, and short story writer. She has a long relationship with The New York Public Library: she was named a Library Lion in 2010, has participated in many Library programs, and her debut novel White Teeth was named to the Library’s 125 Books We Love list, released earlier this year to celebrate books, reading, and the Library’s 125th anniversary.
Smith has been a contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, and Harper’s Magazine, and has won numerous literary awards, including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award, National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, and the Orange Prize for Fiction. She has also been nominated for a Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Smith is also a senior faculty member in NYU’s Creative Writing Program, and has previously taught at Harvard and Columbia Universities. Her newest work, Grand Union (2019), is her first short story collection.
Howard L. Morgan is a long-time New York Public Library donor, venture capitalist, and angel investor who founded or co-founded several firms, including Renaissance Technologies, B Capital Group, and First Round Capital. Morgan—whose career is often focused on supporting firms at the seed stage—is also president of the Arca Group Inc., which nurtures early stage companies and taking them through initial public offerings. A former professor of decision sciences at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Morgan has also co-authored several books on subjects such as computer science, business investment, and marketing. Morgan is a graduate of the City College of the City University of New York and Cornell University.
The Board meeting last night was held virtually.