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American Academy head Berlowitz went looking for the best and brightest — and found herself

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, which sits on land leased from Harvard University.
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, which sits on land leased from Harvard University.Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

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Every year, members of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge spend months sifting through nominations to find some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, artists, and leaders to join their institution.

And 2004 was no exception. The class of more than 200, elected by members and announced in the spring, included a US senator, the head of the Space Telescope Science Institute, the president of Duke University, and the future head of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

But shortly before the formal induction ceremony in October, the academy’s governing council agreed to add just one more name of their own: the nonprofit’s chief executive, Leslie Cohen Berlowitz.

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