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Campus & Community

Candidates for Harvard board positions announced

5 min read

Elections will take place in April-May

As they do each year, Harvard degree holders will have the opportunity to vote this spring for new members of the Harvard Board of Overseers and for elected directors of the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA).

The elections will begin April 1. Eligible voters will have the option of voting online or by paper ballot. Completed ballots must be received by 5 p.m. (EDT) on May 18. All holders of Harvard degrees, except officers of instruction and government at Harvard and members of the Harvard Corporation, are entitled to vote for Overseer candidates. All Harvard degree holders may vote for HAA elected directors.

The candidates listed below will be considered by voters for five anticipated vacancies on the Board of Overseers and for six openings among the HAA elected directors. This year there are 11 candidates for Overseer and nine candidates for HAA elected director.

Eight of the candidates for Overseer, and all nine candidates for HAA elected director, have emerged from this fall’s deliberations of the HAA nominating committee. The committee’s voting members include three current or recent Overseers as well as 10 Harvard alumni of varied backgrounds and experience who are appointed by the HAA executive committee. Through its deliberations, which extended over the fall, the nominating committee reviewed about 300 people proposed for inclusion on the Overseers ballot and about 200 proposed for inclusion on the ballot for HAA elected directors.

Candidates for Overseer may also be nominated by petition — by obtaining a required number of signatures from eligible voters. This year, three candidates qualified for the ballot by petition.

The Board of Overseers is one of Harvard’s two governing boards, along with the President and Fellows, also known as the Corporation. Formally established in 1642, the board plays an integral role in the governance of the University. 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 and more information about the Board (and related Gazette articles) can be found here.

The candidates’ names appear below in ballot order, as determined by lot.

Overseer candidates

The HAA nominating committee has proposed the following candidates for the 2021 election.

Terah Evaleen Lyons ’14
Founding Executive Director, Partnership on AI
San Francisco

Raymond J. Lohier Jr. ’88, cum laude
J.D. ’91, New York University School of Law
U.S. Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Christopher B. Howard, M.B.A. ’03 with distinction
B.S. ’91, U.S. Air Force Academy; M.Phil. ’94, D.Phil. ’96, University of Oxford
President, Robert Morris University

Christiana Goh Bardon, M.D. ’98, magna cum laude, M.B.A. ’03
S.B./S.M. ’93, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Managing Director, Oncology Impact Fund and
Founder, Managing Member, Portfolio Manager, Burrage Capital
Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Maria Teresa Kumar, M.P.P. ’01
B.A. ’96, University of California, Davis
CEO/President, Voto Latino
Washington, D.C.

Sheryl WuDunn, M.B.A. ’86
B.A. ’81, cum laude, Cornell University; M.P.A. ’88, Princeton University
Journalist and Author; Co-Founder, FullSky Partners
Westchester, N.Y.

Kimberly Nicole Dowdell, M.P.A. ’15
B.Arch. ’06, Cornell University
Principal and Director of Business Development, HOK Group, Inc.
Immediate Past President, National Organization of Minority Architects

Mark J. Carney ’87, magna cum laude
M.Phil. ’93, D.Phil. ’95, University of Oxford
United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance
Former Governor, Bank of England and Bank of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The following candidates for Overseer were nominated by petition.

Megan Red Shirt-Shaw, Ed.M. ’17
B.A. ’11, University of Pennsylvania
Director of Native Student Services, University of South Dakota
Vermillion, S.D.

Natalie Unterstell, M.P.A. ’16
B.B.A. ’04, Fundacao Getulio Vargas
Senior International Expert, United Nations’ Green Climate Fund
Rio de Janeiro

Yvette Efevbera, S.M. ’11, S.D. ’18
B.A. ’09 with high honor, Michigan State University
Adviser, Gender-Based Violence and Child Marriage, Gender Equality, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The HAA Board of Directors is an advisory board that guides the fostering of alumni community-building, creating University citizens of alumni and alumni volunteers. The work focuses on developing volunteer leadership, increasing and deepening alumni engagement through an array of programs that support alumni communities worldwide. In recent years, the board’s priorities have included strengthening outreach to recent graduates and graduate school alumni; supporting antiracism work in alumni communities; and continuing to build and promote inclusive communities.

Elected director candidates

The HAA nominating committee has proposed the following HAA elected director candidates for the 2021 election.

Maiya Williams Verrone ’84, cum laude
Television Writer/Producer and Author
Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Hannah Park ’13
M.B.A. ’20, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
Human Resources Business Partner, Curriculum Associates
Everett, Mass.

Benjamin Taylor Faw, M.B.A. ’14
B.S. ’07, U.S. Military Academy
Co-Founder and CEO, AdVon Commerce
Las Vegas

Íñigo Sánchez-Asiaín, M.B.A. ’90
B.A. ’86, Universidad Pontificia Comillas
Founding Partner, Portobello Capital

Jane Labanowski ’17
Lead, Spaceport Development, SpaceX
Brownsville, Texas

Tenzin Priyadarshi, M.T.S. ’03
B.A./B.S. ’01, Le Moyne College
Director, The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT
Cambridge, Mass.

George Abraham Thampy ’10
M.B.A. ’17, Stanford University
Senior Director, CareDx
San Francisco

Rebecca Chamian Ribaudo ’93, magna cum laude
Author and Freelance Writer

Whitney S.F. Baxter ’07, M.B.A. ’11
Vice President, Head of Strategy and Group Enterprises, MTV Entertainment Group
Brooklyn, N.Y.