Washington, D.C. – Last week Jeffrey Liebman, director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the Kennedy School at Harvard, announced the appointment of former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder as a senior research fellow at the Center. Advocates, including Food & Water Watch, were outraged and demanded that Harvard rescind the appointment. Thousands of Food & Water Watch members contacted Liebman demanding that Snyder be fired for the role he played in the Flint water crisis.
Finally, today, Rick Snyder tweeted, “I have informed the HKennedy Sch that I am turning down its offer as Snr Res Fellow. It would have been exciting to share my experiences, both positive and negative; our current political environment and its lack of civility makes this too disruptive. I wish them the best.”
In response, Food & Water Watch’s executive director Wenonah Hauter released the following statement:
“People power has kicked Rick Snyder out of Harvard. In a callous tweet announcing the news, Snyder blamed the ‘lack of civility’ of clean water advocates for his decision to turn down the position. Harvard, so far, remains silent in the face of thousands of activists demanding that they rescind Snyder’s appointment.
“The announcement is good news and a testament to the power of organizing. But Harvard, do better: their handling of this affair represents underwhelming leadership at best. Harvard’s behavior in the face of human suffering is completely unacceptable. If Harvard were a true leader required of the times, it would stop profiting off of polluting industries and propping up the credibility of failed government officials.”
Food & Water Watch mobilizes people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people’s health, communities, and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.
Contact: Darcey Rakestraw, 202-683-2467; [email protected]