A Harvard-trained lawyer who later became the first Black man to serve as CEO of a major pharmaceutical company has joined the 13-person governing board of Harvard University, which is still reeling from accusations that it failed to condemn calls for the genocide of Jews.

Kenneth Frazier, who was general counsel of Merck before serving as CEO from 2011 to 2021,  will fill a vacant seat on the board as it grapples with reputational damage and boycotts by a number of financial donors accusing the school of going soft on antisemitism. One sign of that discontent was a sharp drop in early undergraduate applications.