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Vanessa Liu

A.B. ‘96, J.D. ‘03

As HAA president in 2021-22 and on its Executive Board before that, Liu kept DEI at the core of her work: rolling out allyship programming, participating in HAA’s Anti-Racism Working Group, and galvanizing HAA and other leaders to speak out in support of affirmative action at events, in the media, and in Court filings.

Convinced that “diversity in the tech sector leads to better innovation”, Liu guided SAP.iO North America’s venture program dedicated to accelerating software start-ups led primarily by women and members of underrepresented groups. Now she is Co-Founder and CEO of Sugarwork, a tech startup helping companies hold onto an aging workforce through flexible arrangements and knowledge transfer, with a goal of tackling ageism head on.

A child of Chinese immigrants who was able to attend Harvard with financial aid, Liu advocates for:  

  • further strengtheningHarvard’s financial aid program

  • increasing diversity among faculty, staff, and administrators

  • creating an Ethnic Studies department and including Ethnic Studies in Gen Ed

  • implementing the Harvard Legacy of Slavery recommendations and addressing shortfalls in Harvard’s obligations under the 1650 charter to facilitate the education of “Indian youth of this country”  

  • scrutinizing the finances of Harvard through a DEI lens.

Liu also believes Harvard must “engage, convene and work beyond our walls with individuals, businesses, governments, non-profits, and other higher education institutions to drive meaningful change in areas such as climate, public health, and economic inequality.”

Vanessa Liu
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