THE BOARD OF OVERSEERS

Harvard Forward is working to elect 3 recent alumnae to the Board of Overseers, the highest democratically-elected body at the University. We believe the Board of Overseers must be more representative of our alumni and the broader Harvard community.

THE BOARD

FACTS & FIGURES

1865

Last time the Board of Overseers was significantly restructured, immediately following the Civil War and 14 years before Radcliffe College was founded.

28.2

Number of years since the average

Overseers were Harvard students before Harvard Forward elected three recent alumni in the 2020 election.

1969

Princeton became the first Ivy League school to incorporate recent alumni into its Board of Trustees. Today, many schools have instituted similar programs.

18%

Turnout increase in the 2020 board elections relative to 2019, thanks in part to Harvard Forward's efforts to increase engagement among alumni.

The Board of Overseers "exerts broad influence over the University's strategic directions" and has the power to approve the President of University and new members of the Corporation. It is composed of 30 members, each serving six-year terms. All Overseers must be Harvard alumni. 

THE ELECTION

Five seats on the Board of Overseers are up for election each year. All Harvard alumni are eligible to vote, except for Corporation members and University employees. In addition to the candidate slate presented by the Harvard Alumni Association, any Harvard degree-holder can run by gathering petition signatures, which is what Harvard Forward helps facilitate. The election takes place from early April to mid-May, with results announced at Commencement.

2020 EXPLAINER VIDEO