Michael Reed and Provost JoAnne Epps met early in their careers and bonded over being young African-Americans in the National Bar Association.
Years later, they still work together — in July, the Board voted for Reed to join Temple’s Board of Trustees.
Reed graduated from the College of Liberal Arts with a degree in political science in 1969. From Temple, he went on to Yale Law School to achieve his childhood dream of becoming a lawyer.
Reed joined the law firm Pepper Hamilton in 1972, after he graduated from Yale. He was named partner in 1980 and still works for the firm as special counsel in bankruptcy and corporate restructuring. Reed believes his background as a lawyer helps him in leadership positions.
“There’s something in the training of lawyers that prepares them to serve in positions of leadership in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations,” he said.
Epps and Reed have been friends for more than 30 years and work together professionally on the Philadelphia Board of Ethics, which holds the city accountable to the ethics code made by City Council in 1962.
Reed has chaired the Board of Ethics since December 2012.
“He’s a very good leader, organized, disciplined, yet very patient and willing to listen to people,” Epps said.
Epps said Reed’s dedication to the intuitions he has been serving his whole life will be no different now that he has been given the position at Temple.
“I think his service on the Board of Ethics and other organizations bespeaks to his commitment in lending his services to the betterment of various institutions,” she added.
Reed has also worked as special counsel to Temple’s Alumni Association. His other leadership positions have included working on the executive board with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.
He served as president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and as the state delegate for Pennsylvania in the American Bar Association.
“Mike has been incredibly selfless with his time and generous in making contributions to many bar associations at the state and national level,” Epps said.
Reed believes that his experience working with nonprofit organizations will help him on the Board of Trustees.
“In my many years of service, I have learned about the challenges and requirements of serving for an important charitable institution,” he said.
Reed said he is learning about how complicated it is to be on the board of a large educational institution with a health care component.
“I am quickly becoming aware of the complexity of running and governing an institution as large and diverse as Temple,” he said.
Reed added he will define his success at the end of his term through Temple’s ability to be a good neighbor, to provide quality health care and to provide an excellent education.
“If all those things continue to head in a positive direction, then the Board did a good job while I was a member,” Reed said.
“I am grateful that he has chosen Temple’s Board of Trustees for him to spend some of his time, because other organizations have benefited from his presence,” Epps said.
Jonathan Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com.