THE BOARD OF OVERSEERS

Harvard Forward is working to elect 5 recent graduates 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 in tune with all Harvard affiliates.

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 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

Average number of years since the current Overseers were Harvard students. 

(Also the average age of the Harvard Forward candidates!)

1969

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

12%

The approximate percentage of eligible alumni who participated in the 2019 Board of Overseers election, which was the first election with online voting allowed.

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 our candidates did. The election normally happens in the spring, but because of COVID-19, the 2020 election is July 1st -August 18th.