LINC warmly welcomes James Lieber to our Board of Directors!
James E. Lieber is the founder and president of Lieber Strategies and holds more than 25 years of experience in the strategic management of complex international projects and situations for multi-national corporations, investment funds, organizations and high net-worth individuals in Europe and the United States. Prior to Lieber Strategies, Mr. Lieber served as the Director of Corporate Affairs at LVMH Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton S.E. and practiced law with Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. Mr. Lieber is an attorney admitted to practice in the State of New York and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Read more about James' favorite children’s book, current reads, and passion for our mission below:
What attracted you to Literacy Inc. and why are you excited about joining the board?
Books have always been a part of my environment. Both my parents were voracious readers and rooms were lined with bookshelves floor to ceiling. My father was a publisher of political science and sociology texts by university professors. He was an intellectual with an old school European education who read almost exclusively literature - in English, French and German. My mother Mimi, LINC’s founder, was far more practical and engaged; the idealistic one, always reading biographies, history, commentary on society and other non-fiction. Through her work as a sociologist and on the New York State Board of Regents, my mother became convinced that literacy was an essential factor in socio-economic opportunity and that if one didn’t learn to read young, opportunity was lost. As I got older, my innate love of books was imbued with the understanding of how reading and the knowledge we get from books open doors in life. Access to opportunity comes from the ability to take part in what is going on. Literacy provides that ability. And of course it is particularly important that our family pick up where Mimi left off, and that we ensure her legacy through the success of LINC’s mission.
What was your favorite book as a kid?
When I was about 15 years old, my father gave me The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder to read over the summer. It was the first time I read what I thought was an “adult book” purely for the pleasure of reading, not because it was for school. It is the story of a rope bridge in Peru that breaks, and how each of the people who dies in the accident came to be there at the wrong moment. I thought the plot device was intriguing and that it was beautifully written. I felt elevated by having read something of that nature – about the randomness (or not) of life – that seemed at the same time both literary and philosophical.
What are you reading right now, and why?
I tend to have many books going at the same time, some in Paris and others in upstate New York. My bedside tables are graveyards of books that I started, didn’t love, but can’t accept that I’m not going to finish. Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain has been collecting dust there for maybe 10 years. My family recently went on holiday and I had the idea that we’d all read the same book in different languages - a magnificent work by Carlo Levi called Christ Stopped at Eboli. That experience inspired my wife Leah and me to pick a more challenging book to read together. We decided to revisit The Magic Mountain. Leah is reading it in French and my copy is in English. It is a real pleasure to read an iconic work of literature together, although Leah will reach the summit long before I do!
We’re delighted to have James join the LINC team. Welcome to the LINC Board of Directors, James!
For more information about LINC’s current online literacy activities, please visit https://www.lincnyc.org/onlineprograms.