Board of Overseers Candidates Announced

The Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association
Catherine A. Gellert '93, pictured here at a meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association in 2014, is one of eight individuals vying for a spot on the Board of Overseers.

UPDATED: January 8, 2018 at 4:55 p.m.

Harvard announced a slate of candidates vying for spots on the Board of Overseers—the University’s second highest governing board—and elected directorships in the Harvard Alumni Association on Friday.

All Harvard degree holders, barring those in University governance positions and Harvard Corporation members, are eligible to vote in the election via mail-in ballot. Alumni will elect five of the eight nominees put forward by an Alumni Association nominating committee to serve six-year terms. Additional candidates can also be nominated through a petition process.

Members of the Board of Overseers are tasked with weighing in on the direction of the University, advising top Harvard administrators, and approving certain actions by the University’s highest governing body, the Harvard Corporation. Three current Overseers are now serving as members of Harvard’s presidential search committee, which is working to find a successor for University President Drew G. Faust, who will step down in June.


Though the nominees are all Harvard alums, they hail from a range of backgrounds and geographical locations. This year’s eight Overseers nominees comprise president of the Sunshine Care Foundation Geraldine Acuna-Sunshine ’92, retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Philip Hart Cullom, finance director Catherine A. Gellert ’93, Boston Ballet Executive Director Meredith L. Hodges ’03, law partner Marilyn Holifield, retired pharmaceutical company CEO John C. Lechleiter, tech executive Diego A. Rodriguez, and National Congress of American Indians policy research director Yvette Roubideaux ’85.

Those elected will replace outgoing members Scott A. Abell ’72, James E. Johnson, Tracy P. Palandjian ’93, Swati A. Piramal, and Kathryn A. Taylor.

Candidates for Harvard Alumni Association elected directors will serve as representatives of the general alumni community on the HAA board of directors. The nominees are: oil technology company CEO Eric R. Calderon, Brown University architect Collette Creppell ’82, Microsoft executive Sid Espinosa, pastor and Habitat for Humanity lawyer Natosha Reid Rice ’93, physician Krishnan Namboodiri Subrahmanian ’03, Hong Kong investment firm co-founder Rita Pang ’96, Northwestern University administrator Matthew Temple ’86, Mass. high school principal Bella T. Wong ’82, and Vanderbilt Ph.D. student Rashid Muhammed Yasin.

University administrators will mail ballots to eligible voters by April 1, and alumni must complete and return their ballots by May 15.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: January 8, 2018

A previous version of this story incorrectly indicated that certain United States government officials with Harvard degrees are barred from voting in the Board of Overseers elections. In fact, it is those in University governance positions with Harvard degrees who are barred from voting in the Board of Overseers elections.

—Staff writer Jamie D. Halper can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @jamiedhalper.


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