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Abell, Palandjian to Lead Board of Overseers

By Leah S. Yared, Crimson Staff Writer

UPDATED: May 7, 2017 at 8:14 p.m.

Scott A. Abell ’72 will serve as president of Harvard’s Board of Overseers, the University’s second-highest governing body, for the 2017-18 academic year.

Elected to the body in 2012, Abell—who founded Abell & Associates, Inc., a financial services company—has been active in the alumni community. He served as president of the Harvard Alumni Association from 2000 to 2001 and led fundraising efforts for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as its dean for development in 2004.

Tracy P. Palandjian ’93 will lead the Overseers alongside Abell as vice chair of the executive committee. Palandjian worked in the investment and nonprofit sectors and currently works as co-founder and CEO of Social Finance, Inc., a Boston-based nonprofit.

Both Abell and Palandjian said that they feel honored to be selected. Abell said the board’s nominating committee considers all of the names available individually, and then decides who will be the next leaders of the board.

“You’re always surprised because there are a lot of very capable, wonderful people on the Overseers,” Abell said. “You’re always flattered and a bit shocked when you are chosen.”

Abell said he is looking forward to working with Palandjian, who he described as “hugely collegial.”

“We kind of ‘grew up together’ on the Board of Overseers,” Palandjian said, since she and Abell were both elected in the 2012 class.

In a statement to the Harvard Gazette, University President Drew G. Faust said she looks forward to working “even more closely” with Abell and Palandjian next year.

“Scott Abell and Tracy Palandjian each embody the qualities of good judgment, devotion to higher education, constructively critical perspective, and appetite for service that our most valued alumni bring to the work of the University,” Faust said.

Abell and Palandjian will succeed Kenji Yoshino ’91, a constitutional law professor at NYU, and Nicole P. Haughey ’93, the chief operating officer of

The Board of Overseers is comprised of 30 Harvard affiliates who advise University leaders and approve decisions made by the Harvard Corporation, the University’s highest governing body. Alumni elect Overseers to six-year terms on the body.

—Staff writer Leah S. Yared can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @Leah_Yared.

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