Harvard Executive Vice President Katie Lapp To Step Down

Meredith L. Weenick ’90 will be promoted to executive vice president of the University when Lapp departs this summer.


Harvard University Executive Vice President Katherine N. Lapp will step down from her post this summer after more than a decade overseeing the University’s campus services, finances, and administration in one of the top jobs at the school.

Meredith L. Weenick ’90, who has served as Harvard’s vice president for campus services since 2014, will replace Lapp as the school’s executive vice president when she departs.

The changes were announced in an email from University President Lawrence S. Bacow on Thursday morning.

“Katie has made a profound difference at Harvard since her arrival in 2009, deftly leading ouradministrative, business, and operational efforts through times of transition, uncertainty, and upheaval,” Bacow wrote.


Since arriving at Harvard in 2009, Lapp has overseen an array of key University initiatives, including its ambitious campus expansion in Allston and the radical transformation of the school’s operations due to Covid-19.


“There is not a part of Harvard untouched by her outstanding service,” Bacow wrote Thursday, praising Lapp’s “level of grit and determination.”

“Our community would not be in as good a shape as we are now without her steady hand and constant effort, by which I mean an unfailing and unflinching dedication to everything in her purview,” Bacow wrote.

Lapp has also overseen Harvard’s finances from the end of the Great Recession through the upheaval caused by the pandemic.

“In the wake of the Great Recession, she brought renewed focus and discipline to the work of planning and budgeting across the University, putting the institution on surer financial footing as she shored up our approach to risk and emergency management,” Bacow wrote. “In the face of the pandemic, she brought clarity and conviction, inspiring senior leaders to think creatively about how to preserve and advance our mission despite an ever-changing landscape.”

Before coming to Harvard, Lapp served as the executive vice president for business operations at the University of California, the chief executive officer for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the New York commissioner of the Division of Criminal Justice Services.

In an email to central administration staff shortly before Bacow’s announcement, Lapp wrote that she has “no immediate plans,” adding that she hopes to pursue opportunities relating to the public sector and non-profits.

Weenick, who will succeed Lapp this summer, has been vice president of campus operations for eight years, overseeing the operation of several service departments and projects, including the construction of the Smith Campus Center.


Prior to arriving at Harvard, Weenick served as the chief financial officer for the City of Boston. An alumna of both Harvard College and Harvard Business School, she spent 12 years working in the city government after first becoming a policy advisor for former Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino in 2002 after she graduated from HBS.

Bacow praised Weenick’s leadership and operational acumen in the Thursday announcement.

“Meredith has done an extraordinary job managing an expanding portfolio of operations, including energy, facilities, and transportation. She has built strong relationships within and beyond Harvard that will enable the work of the executive vice president’s office to continue apace,” Bacow wrote. “I am thrilled that she has agreed to serve her alma mater in a new role.”

—Staff writer Cara J. Chang can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CaraChang20.

—Staff writer Isabella B. Cho can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @izbcho.