Luis A. Ubiñas
A.B. ’85, M.B.A. ‘89
Chair of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Ubiñas is past president of the Ford Foundation, where he built a majority-female, majority-people of color, and LGBTQ+-inclusive leadership team. He started the Foundation’s first LGBTQ rights program, with a $10 million annual budget.
Ubiñas has served at the UN Fund for International Partnerships, the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Trade Commission, and the Export-Import Bank. He led the West Coast media practice at McKinsey. As Pan American Development Foundation president, he expanded work in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Central America to foster diversity in higher education. He has been honored by the National Council for La Raza, the NAACP, and the HBS Latino Alumni Association.
A passionate supporter of race-conscious admissions, Ubiñas explains that he embodies why affirmative action matters. To bring him to campus, “Harvard had to look past high school grades and test scores undoubtedly affected by homelessness and the chaos of poverty; cultural questions that must have arisen about someone from the South Bronx, whose mother was a seamstress and whose father suffered and died from alcohol abuse and drug addiction; and, the economic implications of admitting a student with no support possible from home.” A first-generation student, Ubiñas graduated with a Truman Scholarship and later was an HBS Baker Scholar. “Countless future leaders across fields need the level playing field that affirmative action provides for candidates who do not benefit from privilege," he writes. He’ll bring this perspective to issues from on-campus support and faculty hiring to Harvard’s legacy of slavery and its1650 charter obligations to Native American students.