Building The Board

Alumni Pick Five New Members for Harvard's Oldest Governing Body

This year, eight candidates are vying for five positions on the Board of Overseers, the oldest of Harvard's two governing boards. This board along with the President and Fellows of Harvard College, which is also known as the Corporation, are ultimately responsible for the decisions and policies of the University.

The Corporation handles day-to-day matters about the upkeep of the University, while the Overseers focus on longer-term questions that require a greater diversity of opinion.

The Board of Overseers's 30 members serve six-year terms. Five members are elected annually. All graduates of Harvard University are eligible to vote in the election by returning the ballots they receive in the mail.

A nominating committee that comes from the Harvard Alumni Association choses the eight candidates each year from people suggested by alumni and others affiliated with the University.

The committee this year received over 300 suggestions. Overseer candidates can also be included on the ballot through a petition drive of graduates, although none used this method this year.

Current members of the Board of Overseers include presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office from 1989 to 1995 and Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution Robert D. Reischauer '63 and leading doctor in AIDS research David Ho.

The results of the election will be announced during the afternoon of Commencement Day, June 8.

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