MEET THE CANDIDATES
Harvard Forward is proud to support three outstanding recent alumnae who are committed to forward-looking advocacy on the Board of Overseers and can leverage their unique experiences at Harvard and beyond to inform their contributions on the Board.
Our 2021 candidates were chosen by a Candidate Selection Committee that included not only Harvard alumni but also students, faculty, and former staff members – groups that are just as much part of the Harvard community but are ineligible to participate in the election.
HSPH 2011 | HSPH 2018
Dr. Yvette Efevbera is a global health and equity expert working to create a world where young people and women are healthy, happy, unafraid, and unapologetic.
Efevbera develops strategies and investments addressing barriers girls and women face in her role as Advisor, Gender-Based Violence and Child Marriage, Gender Equality at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She has worked for a decade across academic, non-profit, and philanthropic spaces at the intersection of research, policy, and advocacy, bringing culturally intentional lenses to health and development in U.S. and African contexts. In 2017, the NIH awarded Efevbera the Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research.
Throughout her career, Efevbera’s passion has been creating spaces for underrepresented voices to participate in decision-making. As a master’s and doctoral student at the Chan School of Public Health, she spent seven years advancing racial justice and was a teaching fellow at Harvard College, HSPH, HKS, and HGSE. Efevbera served as Senior Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Fellow at HSPH, leading the design of the University’s first anonymous bias-related incident reporting system, enabling 4,000 students, faculty, and staff to report discrimination. She is proud to have served as a Cabot House resident tutor.
“As a global health specialist, I’ve seen the consequences of inequity and advocated for organizations to bring community voices to the table. Racial injustice, gender inequality, and climate inaction impact Harvard students’ success. We have the opportunity and responsibility to boldly lead here.”
Megan Red Shirt-Shaw (Oglala Lakota) is an educator, writer, higher education expert advocating for greater Indigenous presence and commitment to Native student success in higher education.
At Harvard, Red Shirt-Shaw received a master’s degree in higher education from the Graduate School of Education, earned her cohort’s Intellectual Contribution Award, and was selected as Convocation Student Speaker. Additionally, she was a HGSE Equity & Inclusion Fellow, served on the Dean’s Advisory Committee on Equity and Diversity, and co-chaired FIERCE: Future Indigenous Educators Resisting Colonial Education. Red Shirt-Shaw is currently pursuing a PhD in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development with a focus in higher education and a minor in American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota.
She has worked in undergraduate admissions, college access, and college counseling at the University of Pennsylvania, QuestBridge, Albuquerque Academy, the 7th Gen Summer Program, and Santa Clara University. Currently, she is the Director of Native Student Services at the University of South Dakota.
Red Shirt-Shaw is also the founder of Natives In America, an online literary publication that empowers Native youth to use their voices to fight for change.
“As a Lakota educator studying higher education, I’ve challenged the institutions I've attended and worked for to think about their impact environmentally, academically, and racially on both a local and national level. Harvard has the power to set the standard for other institutions, and I hope to challenge them to restructure and rethink their priorities.”
Natalie Unterstell is a climate policy and finance expert. As Senior International Expert at the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund and founder of a groundbreaking, cross-sector data initiative to protect the Amazon rainforest and its Indigenous inhabitants, she’s working to build a zero-carbon economy and deforestation-free world.
Unterstell has worked in public and private sector roles across Latin America, Europe, and Africa. She served as Head of Sustainable Development for the Brazilian Presidency and Head of Climate Change and Forests at the Brazilian Environmental Ministry. As a climate negotiator at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, she helped develop signature agreements on forests and on international obligations regarding Indigenous rights when fighting climate change.
She is the founder of multiple think tanks and policy advocacy groups focused on climate leadership, democracy, and good governance, and she serves as advisor and board member to various initiatives, including the world’s largest climate action fund.
Unterstell received an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government and co-founded its Climate Justice Caucus. She holds a BBA from the Fundação Getulio Vargas and is a Climate Adaptation Finance expert certified by the Frankfurt School of Finance.
“I’ve experienced firsthand the effects of climate change in my home, Brazil, where Harvard has owned extensive land holdings. I believe Harvard has a responsibility to lead on climate action and racial justice through research, education, responsible investments, and recognizing the impact of climate inaction on the most vulnerable communities throughout the world.”