VOTE By May 17

for Candidates Endorsed by 

Coalition for a Diverse Harvard and 10 Alumni Organizations 

for Harvard Overseers and Elected Directors

 

Click here to JOIN THE COALITION

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Since 2016 when we began endorsing candidates, the Harvard Overseers and HAA Elected Directors have become more diverse and more connected to racial and social justice issues. Many have been willing to hear our views and raise their voices on important issues like Ethnic Studies.

 

But the need to elect Harvard leaders who will work collectively for diversity and racial justice – with each other and with us – remains urgent. Harvard must continue to fight for affirmative action and has far to go on issues from Ethnic Studies and racist attacks to sexual harassment and faculty tenure and retention. With that in mind, the Coalition for a Diverse Harvard urges you to VOTE for the terrific candidates below when your online ballot arrives on April 1. We are proud to be joined in our endorsements by these extraordinary organizations:

 

First Generation Harvard Alumni

Harvard Arab Alumni Association

Harvard Asian American Alumni Alliance

Harvard Black Alumni Society

Harvard Gender & Sexuality Caucus

Harvard Latino Alumni Alliance

Harvard Progressive Jewish Alumni

Harvard South Asian Alumni Alliance

Harvard Tamil Sangam Alumni

Native American Alumni of Harvard University

 

These candidates have the strongest histories of advocacy and accomplishments on diversity initiatives and are best positioned to help Harvard be a more diverse, inclusive, and just institution. We endorse them enthusiastically, and we need your support to get them elected.

 

OUR OVERSEER ENDORSEMENTS

 (in ballot order - see photos and profiles below)
 

a leader who is a tireless and passionate advocate for diversity in the corporate world

 

former Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner, who prioritizes equity, diversity, and public 

engagement in all her work

 

a Ghanaian entrepreneur and philanthropist who for 15 years has pushed Harvard to be more inclusive

 

a federal judge with an extensive record of public, educational, and community service who is dedicated to equal access to justice and opportunity for all

 

the former U.S. Chief Technology Officer who is a social entrepreneur focused on how tech innovation can improve people’s lives and health

 

an expert in epidemiology and data science who works with public health agencies and policymakers to design equitable and effective strategies for combating outbreaks

 

OUR HAA ELECTED DIRECTOR ENDORSEMENTS

(in ballot order)

 

an international nonprofit leader and former government advisor who aspires to improve the lives of children, support students, and help alumni through networking and awareness

 

a skilled advisor with broad international experience working at the intersection of business, education and government and a native of Wendake, an Indigenous community

 

a voting rights lawyer who is invested in promoting civic engagement, diverse career pathways, and diversity, equity, and inclusion

 

a University of Texas educator who focuses on community engagement, widening access to college, and bridging educational research and policy, as well as a founder of the Harvard Latino Alumni Alliance

 

an angel investor, entrepreneur, and author with a passion for equalizing access to educational and financial resources

 

an accomplished organization leader who has devoted her professional and volunteer work to building equitable communities

 

*Member of the Coalition for a Diverse Harvard

Our Endorsed Overseer Candidates (in alphabetical order)

 

Monica Bharel MPH ’12 

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After six years as Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health, Monica Bharel is now advising Boston’s mayor on the intersecting crises of substance use, mental health, and homelessness. From 2003-15, she was at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, including as chief medical officer. “My entire career,” Bharel told the Coalition, “has been focused on creating justice and fairness in health.” As commissioner, for example, she centered equity in hiring, trainings, procurement, contracts, and programs at the Department of Public Health. Bharel also worked with the state’s Medical Society and top schools on a plan for dismantling structural racism in medical education. She has worked consistently to expose and address racial health disparities in high-stakes situations, including the opioid crisis and the COVID pandemic.

 

Bharel calls for a paradigm shift at Harvard, envisioning diversity and equity as priorities university-wide in coursework, programs, and policies.  She suggests a strategy that has underpinned her many public-health interventions: true community engagement, inviting diverse stakeholders in and around Harvard to express themselves, and to share in decision-making.  Such collaborations, Bharel believes, hold the key to “transformative work.”

Sangu J. Delle AB ’10, JD ’16, MBA ’16

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Born and raised in Ghana, Sangu Delle is CEO of Africa Health Holdings, working for a sustainable health-care future. He also co-founded the non-profit Cleanacwa, to provide clean-water access for 160 Ghanaian villages.

 

Having dreamt of Harvard since childhood, upon arrival Delle found a more complex reality.  Ever since, he has pushed the university to live up to its ideals. Racially profiled freshman year by HUPD while playing on the Quad, Delle helped create the “I Am Harvard” campaign.  He then joined protests for collective bargaining by Harvard workers. Delle was the first-ever student in AAAS’s Social Engagement Initiative, a program he now endows. After graduating, he helped lead the Black Alumni Society; Delle currently co-chairs the African Studies Center’s Leadership Council and serves on the Med School’s Global Health and Service Advisory Council. 

 

As an overseer, Delle will advocate for increased faculty diversity; minority representation in the Management Corporation; and DEI criteria for procurement and investment. He wants more attention to socioeconomic diversity, with resources that help low-income students succeed. Delle strongly supports an Ethnic Studies department and integrating DEI curricula throughout the university. If elected, Delle will be the only African on the Board of Overseers.

Lauren Ancel Meyers AB ’95 

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Lauren Ancel Meyers is a professor of integrative biology, statistics and data sciences, and population health at the University of Texas at Austin. As the founding director of the UT COVID-19 Modeling Consortium, Meyers has focused her research on health disparities and has created a public facing dashboard highlighting socioeconomic disparities in mortality and access to vaccines.

 

In her 18 years on the faculty at UT Austin—one of the largest public flagship universities in the country, Meyers has engaged in numerous efforts to promote DEI across campus. These include hiring an equity specialist to provide direction and check for biases across her lab’s research and data analysis activities, advising dozens of undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented groups in her research lab, and being an outspoken advocate for transparent and equitable evaluations that reward DEI-related activities in her roles as a member of committees overseeing faculty recruitment, faculty promotion and tenure and the UT faculty council.

 

If elected, Meyers will draw on her two decades of leadership in higher education, research, and public health “to support the establishment of a vibrant ethnic studies program, including alignment of the core curricula to cultivate the diverse skills, open-mindedness, and knowledge that future leaders will need to collectively tackle our increasingly complex societal challenges.” She will also serve as a champion for holistic admissions and efforts to enhance diversity among faculty and staff.

Todd Y. Park AB ’94

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A child of Korean immigrants, Todd Park co-founded and chairs Devoted Health, which seeks to provide seniors with well-coordinated and more attentive health insurance plans and medical care – “the kind we want for our own families.” “Far too many seniors don’t get the best healthcare in the world. The problem is that the health care system as a whole isn’t systematically wired to support doctors and nurse practitioners and other care delivered to get people the best care in the world. Devoted’s mission is to change all of that.” He states that “my life’s work is to unleash the power of innovation in service of the public interest to help improve as many lives as possible.” 

 

As U.S. Chief Technology Officer during the Obama Administration, Park sought to make government data publicly available and accessible as fuel for social good, aggressively recruited and welcomed a diverse and talented team of top technologists into public service, and helped to dramatically expand access to affordable health insurance for millions of Americans.

 

Park previously co-founded pioneering health information technology companies Athenahealth and Castlight Health. He has also served on the board of the Biden Cancer Initiative and as a volunteer advisor to Ashoka, a global incubator of social entrepreneurs. He currently serves on the board of New America and on the Digital & Technology Council of the Obama Foundation.

Kim M. Rivera JD ’94

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After a childhood in Puerto Rico and Paraguay, Kim Rivera arrived in the U.S. in 1991 for college "as an orphan, without financial or family resources and with a younger sister I was raising.” She later attended Harvard Law School, which “gave me both an uncompromising challenge and a community of smart, talented, and equally determined people to grow with."  After years of hard work and determination, Rivera became the chief legal officer at the HP Company in 2015. In March 2022 she became Chief Legal and Business Affairs Officer at OneTrust.

Rivera explained in her responses to the Diversity Questionnaire that as "a former student, active Latinx alumnus, donor, non-profit board member and career corporate executive, I have been an outspoken proponent of diversity and inclusion for 30 years." Under Rivera's leadership, since 2017 HP has required most of its outside law firms to staff at least one attorney who is a person of color or face a reduction in fees. Less than half of the firms met the standard in 2017; by three years later, 95 percent were compliant.       
 

Last year when Edward Blum – who is behind the SFFA admissions lawsuits against Harvard and UNC – and others challenged diversity guidelines at the Coca-Cola Company, Rivera spoke forcefully in support of those guidelines: "It's well established that diversity, equity, and inclusion are important drivers of financial performance, business performance, innovation, thriving corporate cultures, and, frankly, they’re vital to securing and developing world class talent."

Wilhelmina "Mimi" Wright JD ’89

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A federal judge who has repeatedly been honored for her advancement of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, Wilhelmina “Mimi” Wright is dedicated to equal access to justice and opportunity for all.

 

Judge Wright grew up on the campus of a historically Black college in Virginia, where she observed the transformative power of a college education and the sacrifices parents and communities made to provide their children with an opportunity that would change their trajectory in life. This led to her deep belief in the promise of higher education. As an Overseer, Judge Wright would “be honored to help Harvard strengthen and sustain its commitment to bringing together a demographically diverse student body”; a “faculty devoted to advancing education and scholarship at Harvard and confronting challenges in the wider world; and a robust leadership that fosters open inquiry and collaboration among faculty, students, and staff.”

 

At Harvard Law School, Judge Wright was an officer of the Black Law Students Association and campaigned for HLS to hire its first African American woman professor. Her early legal practice included counsel to school districts on implementing desegregation orders. As a federal prosecutor, she handled cases involving violent crimes and white-collar fraud, winning awards for achievement and public service. Judge Wright served on three levels of Minnesota state courts before becoming the first Black woman appointed as a federal judge in Minnesota. She reportedly was a leading contender to succeed Supreme Court Justice Breyer.

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PLEASE NOTE: To select our endorsed candidates, our Candidate Review Committee spent weeks

 

 

The Committee then met repeatedly to discuss each candidate’s experience advancing racial justice and equity before choosing candidates to endorse. Please note that we had to choose from many qualified candidates; we selected the same number of candidates as there are available seats in order to maximize the electoral impact of our endorsement. The Candidate Review Committee of Diverse Harvard found that all the candidates have made stellar contributions to their communities and professions. 

 

The 2022 Candidate Review Committee: Jane Sujen Bock AB '81, Margaret M. Chin AB '84, Laura Dumbach AB '84, Kristin R. Penner AB '89, Tab Timothy Stewart AB '88, David Van Taylor AB '83, Rachel B. Tiven AB '96, Emily Van Dyke AB '03 MPH '09, Itzel Vasquez-Rodriguez AB '17, and Michael Williams AB '81 (with thanks to Hyeryoung Rhee HGSE MA '22).

 

We note that, as in 2017 and 2019, our research does not show that any of the 18 candidates identify publicly as LGBTQ or have substantial experience in addressing LGBTQ issues. This is a concern that we and the Harvard Gender & Sexuality Caucus will raise with the Harvard Alumni Association.

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Please VOTE online or by mail starting 4/1 (it’s easy). Completed ballots must be received by 5 pm on 5/17. Another strong showing by the Coalition will help us in our efforts to promote Ethnic Studies, race-conscious holistic admissions, faculty of color, and other issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. (To date, 48 of the 59 candidates that we have endorsed over the past six years have been elected.) 

  

 

With thanks,

Jane, Margaret, Jeannie, Kristin & Michael

 

Jane Sujen Bock, Margaret M. Chin, Jeannie Park, Kristin R. Penner & Michael Williams

Directors, Coalition for a Diverse Harvard

 

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* We are grateful that 17 of the 18 candidates responded to the Diversity Questionnaire sent to them by the endorsing organizations, and we appreciate their detailed and thoughtful answers.