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Harvard Alumni Association Announces Board of Overseers, Elected Directors Candidates

The Harvard Alumni Association announced eight candidates who will campaign for five open spots on the Board of Overseers, Harvard's second-highest governing body.
The Harvard Alumni Association announced eight candidates who will campaign for five open spots on the Board of Overseers, Harvard's second-highest governing body. By Truong L. Nguyen
By Emma H. Haidar and Cam E. Kettles, Crimson Staff Writers

The Harvard Alumni Association announced eight candidates for election to the Board of Overseers — the University’s second-highest governing body — the nominating committee announced Friday.

The candidates will seek to fill five open spots on the 30-member board composed of Harvard alumni. The HAA also nominated eight candidates for election to six vacancies for the HAA elected directors.

The HAA nominating committee selected Columbia Business School professor Modupe Nyikoale Akinol ’96; Amazon Clinic General Manager and Chief Medical Officer Nworah Blaise Ayogu ’10; U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang ’91; Pixar Animation Studios cinematographer Danielle A. Feinberg ’96; Boston Ballet Executive Director Ming Min Hui; photographer and Bramley Studio founder Scott Mead ’77; Boston Museum of Science President Tim Ritchie; and Trinity University political science professor Juan Antonio Sepúlveda Jr. ’85.

Mead is a current member of the Board of Overseers, having filling a vacancy when Yvette D. Roubideaux ’85 stepped down in 2022.

At least six other Overseer hopefuls not nominated by the HAA — including former Facebook executive Samuel W. Lessin ’05, lawyer and former candidate Harvey A. Silverglate, and four other candidates endorsed by hedge fund CEO and prominent University critic William A. Ackman ’88 — are staging write-in campaigns. They must obtain signatures from 1 percent of eligible alumni voters by the end of January to appear on the ballot.

Established in 1642, the Board of Overseers — which meets five times each year — is responsible for assessing the University’s schools and individual departments through various standing and visiting committees.

The election comes at a time of heightened scrutiny on Harvard’s top governance. In recent weeks, the Harvard Corporation — the University’s highest governing body — has found itself under the national spotlight over its handling of Harvard’s leadership crisis, facing widespread criticism and calls for Senior Fellow Penny S. Pritzker ’81 to resign.

As the Corporation begins the search for a new Harvard president following former University President Claudine Gay’s departure last Tuesday, the Board of Overseers will play an advisory and approval role in the process.

While the Board of Overseers has faced less direct public criticism than the Corporation, Congress has requested a litany of internal documents from Harvard as part of its ongoing investigations into the University — a move that threatens to expose the inner workings of both governing bodies.

The HAA nominating committee also selected eight candidates for election to six open positions on the HAA elected directors board.

The candidates for the elected directors board include Precision Syringe CEO Adrian D. Blake ’88; Southern Reconstruction Fund Managing Partner Dorian Orlando Burton II; Seoul National University Vice President of International Affairs Theresa Seung-Ah Cho ’90; Stony Brook University associate professor Brooke M. Ellison ’00; former Westport Consulting Group Senior Director Randolph C. Lindel ’66; Mercy Corps CEO

Tjada D’Oyen McKenna ’96; California State University, Fullerton assistant professor Madeleine Mejia; and Rola Corporation President Edward L. Rocha ’06.

The HAA elected directors seek to boost alumni engagement around the world, building alumni networks and bolstering outreach to recent graduates.

Excluding current Harvard faculty, administrators, and members of the Corporation, all Harvard degree holders as of Jan. 1 are eligible to vote. The election for both the Harvard Board of Overseers and HAA Elected Directors will run from April 1 through May 14. All Harvard alumni are eligible to vote.

—Staff writer Emma H. Haidar can be reached at Follow her on X @HaidarEmma.

—Staff writer Cam E. Kettles can be reached at Follow her on X @cam_kettles or on Threads @camkettles.

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