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Campus & Community

New Overseers, Alumni Association directors elected

5 min read

Five alumni join Board of Overseers, six elected directors of HAA

Five alumni have been elected as new members of Harvard University’s Board of Overseers and six as directors of the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA).

The new Overseers, whose terms will extend through Commencement 2026, are:

Raphael William Bostic ’87, magna cum laude
Ph.D. ’95, Stanford University
President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Decatur, Ga.

Margaret “Midge” Purce ’17
Professional soccer player, Sky Blue FC and U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team
Silver Spring, Md.

Thea Sebastian ’08, J.D. ’16
M.Sc. ’11, University of Oxford
Ed.M. ’13, Hunter College
Policy counsel, Civil Rights Corps
Washington, D.C.

Tracy K. Smith ’94, cum laude
M.F.A. ’97, Columbia University
Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor of the Humanities and chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University; 22nd poet laureate of the United States
Princeton, N.J.

Jayson Toweh, S.M. ’19
B.S. ’17, cum laude, University of Michigan
Program analyst, Environmental Protection Agency Atlanta

There were 13 candidates in this year’s Overseers election. Eight were nominated by an alumni nominating committee whose 13 voting members are appointed by the Harvard Alumni Association executive committee. The other five qualified for the ballot by petition, having obtained the required number of signatures from eligible voters. Harvard degree holders cast a total of 43,531 ballots in the Overseers election.

“All of us on the Board welcome this year’s new Overseers,” said R. Martin Chávez ’85, S.M. ’85, president of the Board of Overseers. “These are extraordinary times, posing extraordinary challenges, and the Board will do all we can to help Harvard navigate them as thoughtfully as possible, always with an overriding concern for the best interests of the University and how it can best serve the world.”

The Board of Overseers is one of Harvard’s two governing boards, along with the President and Fellows, also known as the Corporation. As a central part of its work, the Board directs the visitation process, the primary means for periodic external assessment of Harvard’s Schools and departments. Through its array of standing committees, and the roughly 50 visiting committees that report to them, the Board probes the quality of Harvard’s programs and assures that the University remains true to its charter as a place of learning. More generally, drawing on its members’ diverse experience and expertise, the Board provides counsel to the University’s leadership on priorities, plans, and strategic initiatives. The Board also has the power of consent to certain actions, such as the election of Corporation members.

The current membership of the Board of Overseers is listed here. Profiles of several current Overseers appear here.

The newly elected HAA directors are:

Santiago Creuheras, A.L.M. ’00, A.L.M. ’01
B.S. ’97, summa cum laude, Universidad de las Américas-Puebla
M.St. ’14, with distinction, University of Cambridge
Senior consultant on sustainable infrastructure and energy, Inter-American Development Bank
Mexico City, Mexico 

Kelsey Trey Leonard ’10
M.Sc. ’11, University of Oxford
J.D. ’15, Duquesne University
Ph.D. ’19, McMaster University
Banting Postdoctoral Fellow, McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Michael D. Lewis ’93
Strategic technology adviser, iCorps Technologies
Cambridge, Mass.

Mallika J. Marshall ’92, cum laude
M.D. ’96, UCSF School of Medicine
Medical reporter, CBS Boston; physician, Massachusetts General Hospital
Weston, Mass.

Benjamin D. Wei ’08
CEO, Nova Invite
New York, N.Y.

Joyce Y. Zhang ’09
M.P.A. ’15, Princeton University
M.B.A. ’15, Stanford University
CEO, Alariss Global
San Francisco

The new HAA directors were each elected for three-year terms. They were chosen from a slate of nine candidates, nominated by the same HAA committee that nominates candidates for Overseers. Harvard degree holders cast 45,299 ballots in the HAA directors’ election.

The HAA Board of Directors is an advisory board that actively works to support Harvard alumni volunteers working on behalf of the HAA. The Board’s main work focuses on developing volunteer leadership and increasing and deepening alumni engagement through an array of programs that support alumni communities worldwide. In recent years, the board’s priorities have been strengthening outreach to recent graduates; connection to graduate school students and alumni; public and community service; and alumni access to intellectual content.

“As Harvard’s global alumni community continues to evolve and seek out new ways to engage with each other and with the wider world, the HAA increasingly relies on the diligence, dedication, and creative insights of our elected directors,” said John West, M.B A. ’95, the association’s president. “Joining the HAA Board of Directors as a volunteer means working hard to ensure all our alumni have robust and meaningful opportunities to connect — and support — each other, to learn from one another across perspectives, and to make a difference in their communities and as ambassadors of Harvard wherever they do good in the world.”

This year’s elections took place from July 1 through Aug. 18, following the governing boards’ decision to postpone the elections in light of uncertainty and disruption related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The elections ordinarily take place in the spring, with results announced on Commencement Day.