Michigan Gov Who Oversaw Flint Water Crisis While In Office Withdraws from Harvard Fellowship

Rick Snyder Withdraws from Harvard Fellowship

A former Michigan governor who saw the ongoing water crisis in Flint unfurl while he was in office said he will withdraw from a Harvard fellowship following backlash.

Rick Snyder, a Republican, announced the decision in a tweet Wednesday, saying, “I am turning down [Harvard’s] offer as Snr Res Fellow.” He said, “Our current political environment and its lack of civility makes this too disruptive.”

In a press release last week, Harvard touted Snyder’s “significant expertise in management, public policy, and promoting civility” in announcing his appointment as a fellow with Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. The release didn’t mention Flint.

The announcement was met by an upwelling of criticism against Snyder’s fellowship coordinated through the Twitter hashtag #NoSnyderAppointment.

The Flint water crisis began in 2014 after Flint’s water supply was switched from Lake Huron to the Flint River, which was not treated correctly and soon became contaminated with toxic levels of lead from pipes. Snyder publicly apologized for the crisis in 2016.

Snyder was term-limited and left office early this year, succeeded by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

[Image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images]

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