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Former Harvard Undergraduate Foreign Policy Initiative President Sama E.N. Kubba ’24 denied recent reporting of financial misconduct in a statement on her personal website Wednesday — though club leaders said they are still awaiting the return of more than half of the approximately $30,000 she transferred to her personal account.
Kubba wrote in the statement that she no longer has access to any of the funds, having returned the approximately $15,000 she said she could transfer. The rest, she wrote, remains frozen by Bank of America at the request of HUFPI. As of Thursday evening, Kubba has not provided any supporting evidence for her statement on the website.
A two-month investigation by The Crimson published last week detailed allegations of internal conflict and financial misconduct surrounding Kubba’s tenure at HUFPI. The investigation found that Kubba transferred approximately $30,000 from the organization’s bank account to her own in early January, weeks after departing from the presidency.
Kubba acknowledged the initial transfer in the statement on her website Wednesday, though reiterated her position that she did so to prevent funds being “lost to fraud.”
“HUFPI got half of the money returned a month before the article’s release, and the other half is held by Bank of America due to a hold initiated by HUFPI ($15k) – not something I have control over,” Kubba wrote in the statement on her website. “No money is missing; nothing is unresolved. The only money not ‘returned’ is held by Bank of America at HUFPI’s request.”
Kubba did not respond to multiple requests for comment from The Crimson following the release of her statement, and declined a telephone interview Thursday evening.
Kubba sent the club a cashier’s check for $11,483 last month, according to Kubba and three sources familiar with the situation. HUFPI Co-Presidents Cosette T. Wu ’25 and Joyce Chen ’25 acknowledged that some funds had been returned in a Thursday statement on behalf of the club.
“Regarding the wrongfully converted $30,000, HUFPI has secured a total of just below half of the original outstanding balance from the relevant actor,” Wu and Chen wrote.
In a follow-up statement on behalf of HUFPI, Wu and Chen denied that HUFPI is responsible for the hold on Kubba’s bank account.
“On January 13th, HUFPI canceled all pending fraud claims on its bank accounts,” Wu and Chen wrote. “HUFPI was later notified by Bank of America that these cancellations were completed on January 17th. The organization maintains no current claims on any of its accounts.”
According to a January email from HUFPI leadership to Kubba obtained by The Crimson, the organization had previously pursued a fraud claim regarding the initial approximately $30,000 transfer, after they discovered the funds were missing.
Along with a $3,500 Zelle payment made to the club in January, Kubba has now repaid approximately $15,000 to the club.
According to a Thursday statement from Wu and Chen on behalf of HUFPI, the club is yet to regain access to several of their media accounts — including their Instagram and website — after Kubba revoked their access in early January.
Kubba previously offered to return the transferred funds and social media accounts in exchange for more than $10,000 — including compensation for the club-funded trips that she was removed from following the initial transfer as well as $5,000 for “emotional distress and wrongdoing.”
In her statement Wednesday, Kubba wrote that HUFPI was not cooperative with her, adding that the club “snubbed” repeated efforts for a “peaceful solution.”
Three sources familiar with the situation indicated that Kubba and HUFPI are actively navigating a peer dispute through the Harvard College Administrative Board.
College spokesperson Aaron M. Goldman declined to comment on the state of the dispute, citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
HUFPI declined to comment on the involvement of the Ad Board. Kubba did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Ad Board involvement.
After The Crimson reported that HUFPI accused Kubba in a Jan. 4 email of having improperly used her credit card during her tenure as president, Kubba again denied having done so in the statement, highlighting the number of people who had access to the card.
“Everyone in HUFPI used my Presidential credit cards; it was the default for anyone’s needs and I had multiple cards in my name – including for one of the now co-presidents,” Kubba wrote. “The idea that I abused HUFPI funds for personal purposes is a lie.”
Wu and Chen indicated in a statement on behalf of HUFPI that the club is still seeking repayment for credit charges during Kubba’s tenure.
“No funds relating to alleged misspending on the organization’s credit or involving other significant transfers made as late as January 12th have been recuperated,” Wu and Chen wrote.
An internal record of transactions of Kubba’s HUFPI credit card obtained by The Crimson includes $275 in expenses at hair and nail salons. One transaction for $122 occurred at The Nail Shop in Virginia Beach — Kubba’s hometown.
The transaction record also shows more than $1,200 in expenses at a high-end French department store, while HUFPI was in Paris on a foreign policy trip.
In an emailed statement Wednesday on behalf of HUFPI, Wu and Chen maintained that purchases made on the card were Kubba’s responsibility.
“Members of HUFPI holding corporate credit cards are required to abide by an org-wide policy guide which stipulates regulations and limitations on card usage,” Wu and Chen wrote. “Above all, in holding a company card, members of the organization agree to accept full responsibility for purchases made on their card and under their name.”
In her post Wednesday, Kubba also took aim at the club’s current leadership, as well as The Crimson’s reporting of the dispute.
“Now I am disappointed in HUFPI for wasting my hard work,” her statement reads. “The board had multiple resignations after the Crimson article, it seems the organization can no longer stand on its own financially, events are poorly attended, and new leadership does not even bother to show up for their own organization’s events.”
Wu and Chen refuted Kubba’s characterization.
“There have been no changes to Board membership following the Harvard Crimson’s most recent reporting,” Wu and Chen wrote. “The organization remains solvent, sound, and committed to its mission for years to come.”
—Staff writer J. Sellers Hill can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SellersHill.
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