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University Names Nelson Newest Member of the Harvard Corporation

Loeb House is located at 17 Quincy Street and was the former home of Harvard Presidents. Today it houses Harvard’s Governing Boards and their administrative offices.
Loeb House is located at 17 Quincy Street and was the former home of Harvard Presidents. Today it houses Harvard’s Governing Boards and their administrative offices. By Kathryn S. Kuhar
By Michelle G. Kurilla, Crimson Staff Writer

Diana L. Nelson ’84 will join the Harvard Corporation — the University’s highest governing body — in July, the University announced Monday.

Nelson will replace James W. Breyer, who stepped down from the Corporation in May.

Nelson said in a press release that she is honored to join the Corporation and carry out the school’s mission.

“I am deeply honored to join President Bacow and my future Corporation colleagues in serving to support and advance Harvard’s mission,” Nelson said in the press release. “Harvard is a powerful engine of opportunity for students, the broader community, and society at large. Thanks to its capacity for constant renewal, and the creativity and dedication of its people, I’m confident the University will meet new challenges and be an ongoing force for good.”

Nelson graduated from the College and then attended Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, where she received a master’s degree in management. Nelson served as the chair of Carlson Inc., a hospitality company, and is involved in a variety of education and art-related organizations, including Teach for America and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Nelson, who previously served on Harvard’s Board of Overseers from 2010 to 2016, is “known for her strong commitment to education and wide ranging governance experience,” according to a press release.

While on the Board, she served as the vice-chair of the Board’s Executive Committee and as co-chair of the Harvard Campaign, which ended in 2018. She also served as chair of the Board’s Subcommittee on Visitation, co-chair of the Joint Committee on Alumni Affairs and Development, and chair of the Committee on Finance, Administration, and Management.

In addition to serving on the Board, Nelson co-chaired the Harvard College fund, co-chaired a Faculty of Arts and Sciences task force on the undergraduate experience, and served the Radcliffe Institute’s Dean’s Advisory Council. Since 1994, she has led her class reunions every five years.

William F. Lee, the senior fellow of the Corporation, wrote in a press release that Nelson has been a “devoted” Harvard alumna.

“Diana Nelson has been one of her generation’s most devoted Harvard alumnae,” Lee said in a press release. “She knows the University well, she has a passion for education, and she brings a remarkable breadth of experience in governance roles. We are sure to benefit from her thoughtfulness and insight, and we look forward to welcoming her back to Harvard’s governing boards.”

The Harvard Corporation — which is known formally as the President and Fellows of Harvard College — is the oldest corporation in the Western Hemisphere. The Corporation consists of 13 members that exercise responsibility in the University’s academic, financial, and physical resources, and overall well-being.

—Staff writer Michelle G. Kurilla can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @MichelleKurilla.

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