The HAA's nominating committee has proposed the following candidates for Overseer in 2016:
- Kent Walker AB '83 magna cum laude
Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Google Inc.
Palo Alto, CA
- Ketanji Brown Jackson AB '92 magna cum laude, JD '96 cum laude
Judge, United States District Court for the District of Columbia
- Helena Buonanno Foulkes AB '86 magna cum laude, MBA '92
President, CVS/pharmacy; Executive Vice President, CVS Health
- John J. Moon AB '89 magna cum laude, AM '93, PhD '94
Managing Director, Morgan Stanley
New York, NY
- Alejandro Ramírez Magaña AB '94 cum laude, MBA '01
Chief Executive Officer, Cinépolis
Mexico City, Mexico
- Damian Woetzel MPA '07
Artistic Director, Vail International Dance Festival; Director, Aspen Institute Arts Program, DEMO at the Kennedy Center, and Independent Projects
- Karen Falkenstein Green AB '78 magna cum laude, JD '81 cum laude
Senior Partner, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, LLP
- Lindsay Chase-Lansdale AB '74 magna cum laude
Associate Provost for Faculty and Frances Willard Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, Northwestern University
The following candidates for Overseer were nominated by petition:
- Ralph Nader LLB '58
Citizen-activist and author; Founder, The Center for Responsive Law and Public Citizen
- Stephen Hsu
Professor of Theoretical Physics and Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, Michigan State University
- Ron Unz AB '83 magna cum laude
Software Developer and Chairman, UNZ.org; Publisher, The Unz Review
Palo Alto, CA
- Stuart Taylor, Jr. JD '77 magna cum laude
Author, journalist, lawyer; Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
- Lee C. Cheng AB '93 magna cum laude
Chief Legal Officer, Newegg, Inc.
Santa Ana, CA
The HAA's nominating committee has proposed the following candidates for Overseer in 2016:
A.B. '83 magna cum laude; J.D. '87, Stanford University
Palo Alto, California
Kent Walker believes that the breadth of Harvard's academic excellence uniquely positions it to have an influence far beyond its gates. "I use lessons from Harvard every day in approaching questions of public policy, market dynamics, and technological progress. I hope the University will continue its great tradition of integrating discoveries in science and technology, advances in the social sciences, and insights from the humanities to inspire change around the world."
As senior vice president and general counsel of Google Inc., Walker oversees a wide range of legal and policy matters as well as the work of Google.org, the company's philanthropic arm, which supports innovative approaches to issues including education, the environment, and international development.
Through his work at Google, he has advocated for legal rules promoting the free flow of ideas. "Perhaps the most important thing we do is working to bring information and access to everyone—to researchers working on their next breakthrough, to small farmers who need the same knowledge as large agribusinesses, and to parents looking for medical advice to help their sick children."
He has a special interest in global humanitarian and refugee programs. He is active with the International Rescue Committee and Save the Children, and he advises the Mercy Corps Social Venture Fund. He also serves on the Dean's Advisory Board of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and volunteers with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and its Humanitarian Academy.
He and his wife, Diana Walsh, have three children, including Callie '18.
Ketanji Brown Jackson
A.B. '92 magna cum laude, J.D. '96 cum laude
"Giving back is a core part of my upbringing and values, and I have so much to be grateful for when it comes to Harvard. Being a student there changed the trajectory of my life, both professionally and personally. I welcome the chance to invest substantial time and energy into the exciting work of supporting Harvard and continuing to improve the learning experience for current and future students."
Ketanji Brown Jackson is a federal judge who serves on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. She was nominated for this lifetime position by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2013.
As a judge, she has a particular interest in criminal justice and sentencing policy, having served as a vice chair and commissioner of the U.S. Sentencing Commission and as an assistant federal public defender in D.C. She has also worked in private practice and as a law clerk to Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court.
A former Harvard Alumni Association elected director, she is a member of the Harvard Club of Washington, D.C., and an active local alumni interviewer. As an undergraduate, she was active in theater productions and the Black Students Association. At Harvard Law School, she was a supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review. She currently serves on the board of the Historical Society of the D.C. Circuit and is committed to empowering and mentoring young people.
She is married to Patrick Jackson A.B. '91, and they have two teenage daughters.
Helena Buonanno Foulkes
A.B. '86 magna cum laude, M.B.A. '92
Providence, Rhode Island
"I would be honored to contribute whatever I can to Harvard's immensely important role in improving the health and well-being of people around the world. And I'd value the chance to help encourage students, whatever their career paths, to focus on not just doing well but doing good."
As president of CVS/pharmacy and executive vice president of CVS Health, Helena Foulkes has brought her passion for improving health care to millions of consumers and more than 200,000 employees. In fact, she was a key architect of the company's historic decision to quit selling tobacco in 2014. Creator of the ExtraCare customer loyalty program, she was named one of Fortune magazine's Most Powerful Women in 2015. She has helped the company grow from its retail roots into the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States.
Foulkes has served on the Advisory Board of the Harvard Business School Health Care Initiative, the reunion gift committees of her College and HBS classes, and as an alumni interviewer for Rhode Island high school seniors applying to Harvard College. She serves on the boards of directors of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Home Depot and has served on the national board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. She is also the chair of the Dodd Center at the University of Connecticut, a human rights advocacy organization.
She and her husband, William G. Foulkes A.B. '86, M.B.A. '91, have four children, including Zoe '17 and Owen '20.
John J. Moon
A.B. '89 magna cum laude, A.M. '93, Ph.D. '94
New York, New York
John Moon, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Korea, experienced firsthand the benefits of education, and he views educational access as a key to opportunity for others.
"I would like to help ensure that Harvard remains a world-class educational and research institution that continues to lead globally. Equally important, Harvard should not only remain open to but actively seek out a diverse student body at the College and its graduate schools."
For nearly 20 years, he has worked as an alumni interviewer and volunteer for the Harvard Schools Committee of New York City and the Harvard Club of New York Foundation. He has volunteered and served on the boards of two high schools and Operation Exodus Inner City, an after-school tutoring and mentoring program in New York City.
At Harvard, he lived in Dunster House and received his A.B. in economics. He was the founding publisher of a Korean American literary journal. He went on to receive his Ph.D. in business economics, a joint program of Harvard Business School and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He served as a teaching fellow and a resident tutor in Leverett House. He is now a managing director of Morgan Stanley and teaches as an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School.
Moon serves on the Harvard Graduate School Alumni Association Council and the Executive Committee of the Harvard College Fund, and he has chaired his 25th Reunion committee and the Graduate School Fund.
He is married to Hee-Jung Shin Moon A.B. '88, and they have two sons.
Alejandro Ramírez Magaña
A.B. '94 cum laude, M.B.A. '01; M.Sc. '95, University of Oxford
Mexico City, Mexico
"I hope to bring a continued international approach to the Board of Overseers, building on Harvard's status as a genuinely international institution, mindful that we continue to attract the most promising students and scholars from around the world and that we continue to encourage truly responsible global citizens."
After graduating from Harvard and Oxford and working as an economist for the United Nations, Alejandro Ramírez Magaña returned to Mexico to join the private sector, where he has been active in cultural and economic development for over 20 years.
His concern for poverty in Latin America led him to found Del Amor Nace la Vista, a social program that provides low income Mexicans in rural areas with free medical care to remove debilitating cataracts, helping more than 30,000 people regain their sight. He also cofounded Mexicanos Primero, an initiative to raise the quality of public education in Mexico.
He is chief executive officer of Cinépolis, one of the world's largest movie theater companies, operating in Latin America as well as Spain, India, and the U.S.
A member of the board of the Sundance Institute, he founded the Morelia International Film Festival to provide a platform for young Mexican filmmakers, and he has overseen its growth to become one of the premier film festivals in the world.
At Harvard, he serves on the Advisory Committee of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, the Harvard Global Advisory Council, and the Dean's Advisory Board of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Damian Woetzel, former principal dancer with New York City Ballet, has combined his creative passion with his master's in public administration from Harvard Kennedy School to become a leader, public advocate, and activist for the arts.
"The arts are an essential element in education at every level. At a time when universities face pressures to focus on specialized job skills, Harvard is committed to the full range of liberal arts education. As an Overseer, I would relish the opportunity to draw on my national work engaging the arts in society, to focus on Harvard as a leader and model for the value of arts in the university environment."
He is the artistic director of the Vail International Dance Festival and the director of the Aspen Institute Arts Program. From 1989 to 2008, he was a principal dancer with New York City Ballet.
In 2007, he earned his MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, where he combined his work in the arts onstage with his emerging role as a public advocate and activist for the arts. He currently serves on the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, working to expand arts education initiatives nationally.
The recipient of the 2015 Harvard Arts Medal, Woetzel served on the Harvard Task Force on the Arts and was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, co-creating a course on performing arts and the law. His wife, Heather Watts, has also taught at Harvard, creating two courses on the work of ballet master George Balanchine.
Karen Falkenstein Green
A.B. '78 magna cum laude, J.D. '81 cum laude
"My experiences at Harvard literally transformed me. Learning experiences inside and outside the classroom caused me to adopt a much larger worldview and fostered in me a love—not only for lifelong learning, but also for Harvard. I would like to work to ensure that Harvard continues to attract the very best students, regardless of their economic circumstances, and remains accessible and affordable to students of modest means."
An active alumni leader of Harvard, Radcliffe, and Harvard Law School (HLS), Karen Green is a former elected director of the Harvard Alumni Association and director of the Harvard Club of Boston. She has served on the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association's (RCAA) Board of Management, chaired the RCAA nominating committee, co-chaired her class's 15th reunion committee, and chaired her HLS class's 15th reunion committee.
A litigation partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, she was chief of staff to Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld and served as deputy U.S. attorney for the federal District of Massachusetts. She was selected as a 2015 Advanced Leadership Fellow at Harvard.
Green is president of the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society; a director of CareGroup Inc., an organization of teaching and community hospitals; and a trustee of the Corporation of the Foundation of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. She was a director of the Children's Trust Fund and vice chair of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services.
She is married to Mark Green J.D. '82, and they have two sons.
A.B. '74 magna cum laude; Ph.D. '81, University of Michigan
Lindsay Chase-Lansdale has dedicated her social science career to enhancing the lives of children through teaching and mentoring, research, and translating research into policy and practice. Much of her work addresses family strengths that lead to children's positive social and educational outcomes in the context of economic hardship.
The Frances Willard Professor of Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern University, she is the founder and former director of Cells to Society: The Center on Social Disparities and Health at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern. Currently, she also serves as Associate Provost for Faculty at Northwestern, seeking to foster faculty excellence and diversity.
"I believe strongly in addressing equity and inclusion, and in building diverse communities that thrive while simultaneously exploring new knowledge and debating various perspectives. I am particularly interested in promoting faculty skills that advance the success of students from underrepresented groups, first-generation college students, and low-income students."
She has chaired the board of directors of the Foundation for Child Development, a visionary philanthropy dedicated to improving the lives of children through research and policy, and she serves on the National Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars program.
Having chaired the Visiting Committee to the Harvard Graduate School of Education, she also served on the Advisory Board of the Harvard Kennedy School's Urban Seminar Series on Children's Health and Safety and is a member of the Harvard Club of Chicago.
She and her husband, Compton Chase-Lansdale A.B. '74, have two grown children.
The following candidates for Overseer were nominated by petition:
LL.B. '58; A.B. '55, Princeton University
Ralph Nader is a candidate for the Free Harvard/Fair Harvard slate, www.freeharvard.org. He favors transparency and fairness in admissions and ending undergraduate Harvard tuition.
"Even with restrictions on portions of its $38 billion endowment, Harvard is easily capable of ending net tuition revenue at the undergraduate level and setting an example for other well-endowed Universities."
Life Magazine has called Ralph Nader one of the 100 most influential Americans in the Twentieth Century. As an advocate, author and organizer, he has been responsible for starting many enduring civic groups, including Public Citizen, Center for Study of Responsive Law, Center for Auto Safety and the student public interest groups in many states.
He has been instrumental in the passage of numerous health, safety, water pollution, air pollution and product safety laws and agencies, along with the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970 and the historic Freedom of Information Act of 1974.
He has written many books, starting with Unsafe at Any Speed and most recently Unstoppable: The Emerging Left/Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State and Seventeen Solutions. He has also sponsored and guided many recent college and law school graduates in writing their own books of consequence for future leadership roles.
Mr. Nader is especially interested in nourishing all specialized curricula with their historical contexts, and providing opportunities for students to learn civic skills by engaging in civic experiences that connect classrooms to communities.
B.S. '86, California Institute of Technology; Ph.D. '91, University of California, Berkeley
Stephen Hsu is Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies and Professor of Theoretical Physics at Michigan State University. He oversees roughly $600 million in annual research expenditures on a campus of 50,000 students and over 5,000 faculty and academic staff.
Previously, he was Founder and CEO of SafeWeb, a Silicon Valley information security startup acquired by Symantec, and held faculty positions at Yale and the University of Oregon. Hsu was a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows, 1991–1994.
His research areas include quantum field theory, cosmology, and computational genomics.
He and his wife, literature professor Tzelan Sang, have two young children.
"As a scientist, university administrator, and technology entrepreneur, I believe I have unique insight into the challenges facing modern research universities.
"My father immigrated here in 1948 to pursue graduate studies, and I was blessed to have a wonderful midwestern upbringing in a small college town. Many teachers, professors, and mentors contributed to my growth and development. Therefore, I am obliged to contribute to the continued vitality of the U.S. educational and scientific enterprise. Toward this goal, it would be my great honor to serve as a Harvard Overseer. Two of my objectives, which I hope you share: 1. let us make Harvard more accessible to talented students of limited means, 2. let us ensure that Harvard admits the students who are most able to benefit from its gifts, and in return benefit the world." See www.freeharvard.org.
A.B. '83 magna cum laude; M.A.St. '84, Cambridge University
Palo Alto, California
As a candidate of the Free Harvard/Fair Harvard slate (www.freeharvard.org), Ron Unz advocates elimination of undergraduate Harvard tuition and greater transparency and fairness in admissions.
"Its $38 BILLION endowment has transformed Harvard into one of the world's largest hedge funds, with tax-exempt annual investment income twenty-five times greater than net college tuition revenue. Forcing families to pay tuition to a giant hedge fund is unconscionable."
For over two decades, Unz has authored influential articles for publications across the ideological spectrum, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, Commentary, and National Review, applying his physics-honed analytical skills to contentious public issues.
In 2012 his 30,000 word analysis alleging Ivy League admissions bias, "The Myth of American Meritocracy," sparked an ongoing national debate, inspiring the current Free Harvard/Fair Harvard campaign.
In 2011 Unz suggested that a dramatic hike in the minimum wage to $12 per hour would produce numerous social and economic benefits. "My proposal was quickly taken up by several prominent advocates and after several years of united effort, brought into the political mainstream, eventually becoming a centerpiece of Democratic Party policy," he said.
Raised by a single mother in Los Angeles, Unz was a first-place winner in the Intel/Westinghouse Science Talent Search and during the 1980s co-founded Wall Street Analytics, Inc., a financial services software company. He served as publisher of The American Conservative from 2006 to 2013, and now publishes The Unz Review. In 1994 he received 34% of the vote in the Republican Primary for Governor of California.
Stuart Taylor, Jr.
J.D. '77 magna cum laude; A.B. '70, Princeton University
As a candidate of the Free Harvard/Fair Harvard slate, www.freeharvard.org, author and journalist Stuart Taylor, Jr. advocates transparency and fairness in admissions and ending undergraduate tuition.
"Promoting these critical goals at Harvard is especially exciting because of its leadership role. My recent work has explored the unnecessary secrecy and unfairness of the higher education admissions process, as well as the decline of ideological diversity on faculties. And free tuition will also make Harvard more fair."
Often ranked among the nation's leading legal journalists, Taylor writes frequently on the Supreme Court and a range of legal-political issues. He has taught law at Stanford and practices on occasion.
Now working on a freelance basis and serving as a Brookings Institution nonresident senior fellow, Taylor has written for The New York Times, from 1980–1988; American Lawyer Media, from 1989–1997; National Journal and Newsweek, from 1998–2010; and many other publications. He has been interviewed on all major broadcast networks and has won numerous journalism honors.
Taylor has coauthored two books, both critically acclaimed by thinkers of diverse political persuasions. In 2007, Taylor and KC Johnson wrote Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Fraud.
In 2012, Richard Sander and Taylor wrote Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It's Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won't Admit It. They have also filed amicus briefs in related Supreme Court cases. Now 67, Taylor is married to Sally Lamar Ellis. Their daughters are Sarah Taylor Bower and Molly Taylor.
Lee C. Cheng
A.B. '93 magna cum laude; J.D. '97, University of California, Berkeley
Santa Ana, California
"As the child of an immigrant librarian and bookkeeper, and public school product, I am a grateful beneficiary of Harvard's financial aid program. I am on the Free Harvard/Fair Harvard candidate slate (www.freeharvard.org) to make Harvard accessible to all qualified applicants, particularly those from working middle class families. At the same time, I support affirmative action, but oppose discrimination. I believe that the University can only become truly diverse, and truly inclusive, by becoming completely transparent about admissions criteria and practices. More transparency has always improved and increased access for the underprivileged."
Lee Cheng is presently the Chief Legal Officer at Newegg.com, the largest American online only electronics retailer.
Cheng has received numerous awards, including recognition as one of America's 50 Outstanding General Counsel and a top 50 IP Pioneer and Trailblazer by the National Law Journal. He is known for wiping out "patent trolls."
Cheng is an active participant in many professional and community organizations like the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, where he founded the Prospective Partners Program to equitably increase diversity in the legal profession. He is the Chair of the Law Committee of the Consumer Technology Association.
After Harvard, Cheng served as a Board member of the Harvard Club of San Francisco, and has interviewed Harvard applicants in San Francisco and Southern California for over 20 years.
He is married and has 3 children—ages 11, 9 and 15 months, who will all be identified as ethnically Asian when they apply to college.