Campus & Community

Harvard Board of Overseers announces newly elected members

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The president of the Harvard Alumni Association announced on June 7 the results of the annual election of new members of the Harvard Board of Overseers.

The results were released at the annual meeting of the association following the University’s 356th Commencement.

The five newly elected Overseers are:

Ronald Cohen (London): Born in Egypt, he was educated at Oxford and the Harvard Business School, from which he received an M.B.A. in 1969. He was for many years active in the European venture capital and private equity market. He is the co-founder of the Portland Trust, a not-for-profit foundation to encourage the pursuit of peace in the Middle East through innovative economic tools.

Richard R. Schrock (Cambridge, Mass.): The recipient of the 2005 Nobel Prize in chemistry, he is the Frederick G. Keyes Professor of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1975. A graduate of the University of California, Riverside, he received the Ph.D. from Harvard in 1972.

Richard A. Meserve (Washington, D.C.): He is the president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, a not-for-profit organization that conducts scientific research. A former chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, he is a Tufts graduate with a Ph.D. in applied physics from Stanford. He received the J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1975.

Stephanie D. Wilson (Houston): She is a NASA astronaut, who spent 13 days in space in July 2006 on a flight to the International Space Station. A 1988 graduate of Harvard in engineering science, she later received a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas.

Lucy Fisher (Los Angeles): She is an independent film producer and co-head of Red Wagon Entertainment. The movies of Red Wagon have won 10 Oscars and received 28 nominations. She has been active advancing regenerative medicine, serving as co-chair of the 2004 California stem cell research and cures initiative. She received an A.B. from Harvard in 1971.

The five new Overseers were elected for six-year terms. In 2007, there were eight candidates nominated by a committee of the Harvard Alumni Association, as prescribed by the election rules. Alumni and alumnae ballots cast in the election totaled 28,888.

The primary function of the Board of Overseers is to encourage the University to maintain the highest attainable standards as a place of learning. Overseers carry out this mission by visiting faculties, departments, and other important programs throughout the University so that they can inform themselves about the quality of teaching, research, and administration and then identify problems and offer advice to faculties and University officials.