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Meredith Hodges ’03 Elected President of Harvard Board of Overseers

Meredith L. "Max" Hodges '03, left, will serve as president of Harvard's Board of Overseers, while Geraldine Acuña Sunshine '92, right, will serve as vice chair of the body's executive committee.
Meredith L. "Max" Hodges '03, left, will serve as president of Harvard's Board of Overseers, while Geraldine Acuña Sunshine '92, right, will serve as vice chair of the body's executive committee. By Courtesy of Kris Snibbe / Harvard University
By Miles J. Herszenhorn and Claire Yuan, Crimson Staff Writers

Meredith L. “Max” Hodges ’03, the executive director of Boston Ballet, was elected as president of Harvard’s Board of Overseers for the 2023-24 academic year, the University announced on Thursday.

Geraldine Acuña-Sunshine ’92, a health care nonprofit leader, will serve as vice chair of the Board of Overseers’ executive committee during the same term. Both Hodges and Acuña-Sunshine were elected to the Board of Overseers — the University’s second-highest governing body — in 2018 for six-year terms and will lead the board in the final year of their terms.

Hodges and Acuña-Sunshine take over the body’s top leadership roles from Paul L. Choi ’86, a partner at Sidley Austin LLP, and Leslie P. Tolbert ’73, professor emerita and former senior vice president for research at the University of Arizona. Choi, who served as president this past year, was one of three members of the body to serve on the presidential search committee that selected Claudine Gay as the University’s 30th president.

The announcement comes as nine candidates are running for a seat on the board. Voting in the election began on March 31 and is set to conclude on May 16.

University President Lawrence S. Bacow praised Hodges and Acuña-Sunshine in a Thursday press release for their “extraordinary thoughtfulness, insight, and dedication.”

“Together they bring a valuable set of complementary perspectives to the work of the Overseers and the University,” he said. “It’s been a pleasure to serve alongside each of them, and I’m sure their leadership and commitment will be real assets to Claudine Gay as she steps into her new role.”

Hodges, who also graduated from Harvard Business School, currently serves as chair of the committee on humanities and arts for the Board of Overseers. She is also a member of the executive committee and its subcommittees on governance and visitation; finance, administration, and management; and alumni affairs and development.

Hodges said in a press release that she was “enormously honored” to be elected as president of the Board of Overseers.

“As the child of two public school teachers, I have always believed that education is the single most important source of opportunity and advancement,” she said. “Harvard sets an example for the field nationally and internationally.”

“It has been a deeply rewarding experience to serve and learn alongside such accomplished, devoted, and diverse board colleagues for the past five years, and to engage with Harvard’s extraordinary leaders,” she added.

Acuña-Sunshine, who also graduated from Harvard Kennedy School with a master’s in public policy, serves as chair of the Board of Overseers’ committee on institutional policy. She is also a member of the executive committee, the committee on natural and applied sciences, and the joint committee on inspection.

Acuña-Sunshine previously served as a board member of the Harvard Alumni Association, a position she held from 2012 to 2018. She currently serves on the HAA committee responsible for nominating Overseer and HAA elected director candidates, as well as on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Council.

In the press release, Acuña-Sunshine said she is looking forward to serving as vice-chair of the Board of Overseers.

“Harvard has been an important part of my life since my student days, and serving as an Overseer has been a terrific opportunity to help think about how Harvard can best serve the world,” she said.

—Staff writer Miles J. Herszenhorn can be reached at miles.herszenhorn@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @MHerszenhorn.

—Staff writer Claire Yuan can be reached at claire.yuan@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @claireyuan33.

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