COLLEGE STATION, Texas—The Texas A&M Foundation has appointed George N. Harris Jr. ’85, cofounder of the Kozusko Harris Duncan law firm, to its Board of Trustees, effective July 1, 2021.
Harris and his wife, Karen Zent ’86, are Houston natives, and each holds a B.A. in English from Texas A&M University. They recently returned to Texas after spending more than 30 years in Washington, D.C. During his seven-year term on the board, Harris hopes to use his legal skills and broad cultural experiences to bring a unique perspective to the Foundation.
“The ability to synthesize my professional experiences and apply them in a way that might benefit Texas A&M is an enormous privilege,” Harris said. “I hope my work with families and family offices around the world will be of value to my colleagues and help us better understand how the evolving economic and geopolitical landscape will influence the work we do. Change is inevitable; we must determine how best to navigate change without sacrificing the values that make Texas A&M such a special place.”
Joining the other six members of the Board, Harris looks forward to witnessing the positive effects philanthropy has on Texas A&M’s reputation, rankings and programs.
“George Harris brings an invaluable perspective to our Board of Trustees,” said Texas A&M Foundation President Tyson Voelkel ’96. “He has a lawyer’s analytical instincts, a traveler’s perspective, and an Aggie’s heart for serving others. I am confident his service will help our organization continue to build a brighter future for Texas A&M University.”
Upon his graduation from Texas A&M, Harris worked in sales for two years before attending law school. Law degree in hand, he took a position in Washington, D.C., as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tax Division, where he earned the Department’s Outstanding Attorney Award.
After spending the early part of his career as a tax litigator at Justice, Harris moved to the private sector at a multinational law firm. Then, in 1999, he helped establish a private client boutique to serve clients in a focused environment. Thus, Kozusko Harris Duncan was born, with Harris serving as managing partner until 2019. The firm specializes in tax, succession, and philanthropic planning for U.S. and international families. It has offices in New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.
During their time in Washington, Harris and Zent stayed connected to the Aggie family through the National Capital Texas A&M Club. Attending club events and volunteering led Harris to an opportunity to serve as a member of the club’s Board of Directors from 2011 to 2014.
His work with the DC Aggies brought him to the attention of The Association of Former Students, which invited him to serve on its Board of Directors from 2015 to 2018, where he chaired the Compensation and Affiliation Agreement Committees and served on the Finance and Audit Committees. Harris and Zent both hold membership in The Association of Former Students’ Endowed Century Club, as well as the Texas A&M Foundation’s Legacy Society and the Chancellor’s Century Council. Zent served on the Board of Directors of the Aggie Women Network from 2009 to 2011 and as the network’s president in 2010.
In April 2020, Harris and Zent returned home to Texas, taking up residence on Lake Conroe. Both continue to work, with Zent as a professional writer and editor for the Department of Defense while Harris maintains his legal practice.
Harris said he looks forward to spending more time on campus and getting to know today’s students as he works to contribute to the future of Texas A&M.
“In the coming decades, Texas A&M’s position on the world stage will continue to grow in prominence,” Harris said. “Aggies will be a strong voice in the global community working to overcome the enormous challenges we face. I am humbled by the generosity of the Foundation’s donors and feel a deep responsibility to ensure their gifts are thoughtfully invested and used wisely to help students reach their full potential. Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders in business, the military and public service; I am confident they will rely on our Aggie core values to affect positive change around the world.”
Harris replaces trustee Jorge Bermúdez ’73, who served his seven-year term from 2014 to 2021.
The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that aspires to be among the most trusted philanthropies in higher education. It builds a brighter future for Texas A&M University, one relationship at a time. To learn more, visit txamfoundation.com.