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Five New Members to Join Harvard Board of Overseers in 2024 Election

Five new members were elected to the Board of Overseers, Harvard's second-highest governing body.
Five new members were elected to the Board of Overseers, Harvard's second-highest governing body. By Frank S. Zhou
By Emma H. Haidar, Crimson Staff Writer

Harvard alumni elected five new members to the Board of Overseers, the University’s second-highest governing body, Harvard announced Tuesday morning.

The new Overseers include Modupe Nyikoale Akinola ’96, a professor at Columbia Business School; Nworah Blaise Ayogu ’10, general manager and chief medical officer at Amazon Clinic; Theodore D. Chuang ’91, judge at the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland; Danielle A. Feinberg ’96, a cinematographer at Pixar Animation Studios; and Juan Antonio Sepúlveda Jr. ’85, a political science professor at Trinity University.

Even as the governing boards have faced increased scrutiny following Harvard’s worst leadership crisis in decades, voter turnout remained low. Only 35,377 out of more than 300,000 eligible voters cast ballots in the election, a slight uptick from 32,400 votes last year.

All five new members will serve for six-year terms. All five also scored endorsements from The Coalition for a Diverse Harvard, after being tapped by the 13-member Harvard Alumni Association nominating committee in January.

Incoming Board of Overseers President Vivian Hunt ’89 said the board was “delighted to welcome our newest members,” according to the Harvard Gazette, a University-run publication.

“We are all looking forward to a new academic year to continue our support for Interim President [Alan] Garber and our shared commitment to Harvard’s larger mission,” she added.

In recent months, the election process has come under fire from affiliates for a lack of transparency in the nomination process and a high threshold for petition candidate eligibility. Though several outsider candidates staged campaigns to be included on the ballot, none met the signature threshold – 1 percent of eligible voters.

Tim S. Ritchie, one of the unsuccessful Overseer candidates, called the process “inscrutable” in an March interview with The Crimson’s Editorial Board, which operates independently of The Crimson’s newsroom.

“I won’t say it’s unfair, but I was selected to stand for election completely without my breathing a word,” Ritchie added.

The University also announced the six newly-elected directors of the Harvard Alumni Association, chosen from a slate of eight candidates. The elected directors will serve a three-year term. The directors’ election saw slightly higher voter participation than the Board of Overseers election by 986 votes.

The new directors include Adrian D. Blake ’88, CEO of Precision Syringe; Dorian Orlando Burton II, managing partner of the Southern Reconstruction Fund; Theresa S. Cho ’90, vice president of international affairs at Seoul National University; Tjada D’Oyen McKenna ’96, CEO of Mercy Corps; Edward L. Rocha ’06, president of Rola Corporation; and Basil Williams ’14, an associate at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP.

Incoming HAA President Moitri Chowdhury Savard ’93 said she was “pleased to welcome” the new directors, according to the Harvard Gazette.

“In the year ahead, I look forward to continuing our work to enhance alumni engagement and foster inclusivity across our Harvard community,” she added.

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

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