The Harvard Lie

It’s only March and already DDC has discovered a public company CEO who has lied about having a Harvard degree.


To most people, it seems absurd that someone would lie about having a Harvard degree and presume to get away with it. But every year for the past 10 years running, DDC has discovered at least one Harvard bluff during the course of a detailed executive background check. What’s more extraordinary is that these public company executives have invariably already been vetted by other background check firms, executive search firms, law firms and journalists. Repetition of the misrepresented Harvard degree adds to the credibility of the lie over time. Certainly, others have checked this out, the thinking goes.

At DDC, we check everything — every time. Public companies, investors and law firms hire DDC to conduct thorough executive background checks to mitigate reputational risks and protect credibility. A misrepresentation by a public company CEO or board member could leave a company vulnerable to an attack by an activist shareholder, market-moving adverse publicity and loss of investor confidence.

Our clients rely on our detailed, thorough checks to spot omissions and misrepresentations like a Harvard lie. And that’s the truth.