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 fifty 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 typically gathers five times a year for plenary and committee meetings, in addition to the time Overseers devote to other Harvard service. The plenary sessions commonly focus on a topic prominent on the University’s agenda—in areas such as innovations in teaching and learning, research initiatives throughout the arts and sciences and the professions, and efforts to enhance connections across the University’s schools and to amplify Harvard programs’ beneficial impact on the wider world. Plenary sessions typically include reports from standing committees and a discussion with the President of the University about key issues and challenges. The Board also has the power of consent to certain actions such as the election of Corporation members.

In all their activities, the Overseers bring to bear their best judgment and their deep commitment to Harvard’s overarching academic mission and long-term institutional interests.

New members of the board are elected each spring by Harvard degree holders (other than officers of government or instruction at the University and members of the Corporation).  Aspects of their role are set forth in a statement on Expectations of Service.  The current members of the board (with their terms of service) are:

Geraldine Acuña-Sunshine (2018-2024)
Boston, MA
President, Sunshine Care Foundation for Neurological Care and Research, and Senior Counsel, Bracebridge Capital

Raphael W. Bostic (2020-2026)
Decatur, GA
President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale (2016-2022)
Evanston, IL
Frances Willard Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, Northwestern University

R. Martin Chávez (2015-2021)
Alford, MA
Retired Partner, Goldman Sachs

Alice Hm Chen (2019-2025)
San Francisco, CA
Chief Medical Officer, Covered California, and Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

Paul L. Choi (2017-2023)
Chicago, IL
Partner, Sidley Austin LLP 

Philip Hart Cullom (2018-2024)
Gaithersburg, MD
Vice Admiral (retired), U.S. Navy

Fernande R. V. Duffly (2015-2021)
Cambridge, MA
Former Associate Justice, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Janet Echelman (2019-2023)
Brookline, MA
Artist, and President of Studio Echelman

Helena Buonanno Foulkes (2016-2022)
New York, NY
Former Chief Executive Officer, Hudson’s Bay Company

Brian Greene (2015-2021)
New York, NY
Professor of Physics, Professor of Mathematics, and Director, Center for Theoretical Physics, Columbia University

Carla Harris (2017-2023)
New York, NY
Vice Chair of Wealth Management, Senior Client Advisor and Managing Director, Morgan Stanley

Meredith (Max) Hodges (2018-2024)
Boston, MA
Executive Director, Boston Ballet

Marilyn Holifield (2018-2024)
Miami, FL
Partner, Holland & Knight LLP

Darienne Driver Hudson (2017-2023)
Detroit, MI
President and CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan

Vivian Hunt (2019-2025)
London, England
Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company, United Kingdom & Ireland

Tyler Jacks (2019-2025)
Cambridge, MA
Koch Professor of Biology and Director, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ketanji Brown Jackson (2016-2022)
Washington, DC
Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Beth Y. Karlan (2015-2021)
Los Angeles, CA
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California at Los Angeles

John B. King, Jr. (2019-2025)
Washington, DC
President and CEO, The Education Trust

Alejandro Ramírez Magaña (2016-2022)
Mexico City, Mexico
CEO, Cinépolis

Margaret (Midge) Purce (2020-2026)
Silver Spring, MD
Soccer player, United States Women’s National Team and Sky Blue FC

Yvette Roubideaux (2018-2024)
Washington, DC
Vice President for Research and Director, Policy Research Center, National Congress of American Indians

Reshma Saujani (2019-2025)
New York, NY
Founder and CEO, Girls Who Code

Thea Sebastian (2020-2026)
Washington, DC
Director of Policy, Civil Rights Corps

Tracy K. Smith (2020-2026)
Princeton, NJ
Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities, Princeton University; 22nd Poet Laureate of the United States

Leslie P. Tolbert (2017-2023)
Tucson, AZ
Regents’ Professor Emerita, Department of Neuroscience, University of Arizona

Jayson Toweh (2020-2026)
Atlanta, GA
Program Analyst, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Kent Walker (2016-2022)
Mountain View, CA
Senior Vice President, Global Affairs, and Chief Legal Officer, Google LLC

John Silvanus Wilson, Jr. (2015-2021) - on leave
Cambridge, MA
Former President, Morehouse College

Lawrence S. Bacow
President, Harvard University
Ex officio

Paul J. Finnegan
Treasurer, Harvard University
Ex officio