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Harvard announced the candidates nominated for positions on the Board of Overseers — the University’s second-highest governing body — and for elected directorships in the Harvard Alumni Association on Tuesday.
The Board of Overseers is responsible for providing input on decisions about the direction of the University, advising top Harvard administrators, and approving certain actions by the University’s highest governing board, the Harvard Corporation. Its members serve six-year terms.
The eight Harvard alumni contending for the five anticipated vacancies on the Board work in a wide array of professional fields and live in the United States, Canada, and Spain. They are: Oncology Impact Fund managing director and Burrage Capital founder Christiana G. Bardon; United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance Mark J. Carney ’87; Principal and Director of Business Development at HOK Group Kimberly N. Dowdell; Robert Morris University President Christopher B. Howard; President and CEO of Voto Latino Maria T. Kumar; United States Circuit Judge Raymond J. Lohier Jr. ’88; Partnership on AI founding executive director Terah E. Lyons ’14; and journalist and Fullsky Partners co-founder Sheryl WuDunn.
Alumni can nominate additional candidates through a petition process, which requires 2,987 signatures from eligible voters by Feb 3.
Harvard Forward — a student and alumni organization working to call attention to climate action and racial justice issues within the University’s governance boards — has proposed three Board of Overseers candidates to be nominated by petition: Yvette O. Efevbera, Megan H. Red Shirt-Shaw, and Natalie Unterstell.
The group successfully elected by petition three of its five nominees to the Board of Overseers’ five vacant spots in the 2020 election, making it the first campaign to successfully petition a candidate for the position in over three decades. Less than a month after the election’s conclusion, the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers jointly imposed a new policy disallowing more than six petition-backed candidates from sitting on the Board at any time, drawing heavy criticism from Harvard Forward representatives and supporters.
Elected directors of the Harvard Alumni Association serve as representatives for alumni across the University and focus on increasing alumni engagement worldwide. The nine candidates vying for six available seats are: MTV Entertainment Group Vice President Whitney S. F. Baxter ’07; co-founder and CEO of AdVon Commerce Benjamin T. Faw; spaceport development lead at SpaceX Jane A. Labanowski ’17; human resources business partner at Curriculum Associates Hannah M. Park ’13; Director of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT Tenzin Priyadarshi; author Rebecca C. Ribaudo ’93; founding partner of Portobello Capital Íñigo Sánchez-Asiaín; CareDx Senior Director George A. Thampy ’10; and television writer and producer Maiya W. Verrone ’84.
Elections will begin April 1 and close May 18 at 5 p.m. All Harvard degree holders are eligible to vote for Harvard Alumni Association elected directors either online or by traditional paper ballot. All Harvard degree holders — except members of the Harvard Corporation and alumni in University instruction or governance positions — are eligible to vote for the Board candidates.
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