Harvard, New President

Vivian Hunt To Serve As Next President Of Board Of Overseers To Search For New Harvard University President 

This should be interesting....

Harvard University has selected ​​Vivian Y. Hunt to serve as the next president of the Board of Overseers, the school’s second-highest governing body

Her appointment comes after the board and the school’s highest governing body, Harvard Corporation, met in early April 2024 on campus for their regularly scheduled meeting. The alum of the class of 1989 will lead the Overseers for the 2024-2025 academic year and serve on the university’s presidential search committee following the resignation of the school’s first Black president, Claudine Gay. 

Hunt’s impressive resume includes titles of senior partner at McKinsey & Co., overseeing operations in the United Kingdom and Ireland as well as being named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2018 for her contributions to women in business.

In the past, three members of the committee joined the presidential search with all 12 members of the Corporation. The last five searches consisted of the Overseer’s president being one of them.

While Hunt’s appointment brings the Ivy League institution closer to announcing the committee appointed to select a permanent successor, the University has not indicated any rush to announce the search committee.

The former McKinsey consultant will lead the search after Gay’s shortest tenure in the university’s history. In a letter dated Jan. 2 to the Harvard faculty, staff, and community, Gay officially stepped down amid rounds of plagiarism accusations and mentioned that her decision to resign circulated around the racially motivated attacks on her character and academic morality. 

In recent months, the board has faced scrutiny over its election process after a number of outside candidates failed to meet the eligibility threshold. However, Hunt said she understands the “challenges and opportunities facing the University” and that she and board vice chair Tyler Jacks can handle them.

“Tyler Jacks and I hope to work closely with Interim President Garber and all of our stakeholders to support excellence, inclusion, and world-class leadership in all that we do,” she said. 

Currently serving as the chief innovation officer of Optum Health, Hunt has been a driving force behind several DEI initiatives. In 2015, she penned a paper used by companies and institutions, including the Pentagon, according to Free Bacon, that justified their diversity programs. After arguing that a “meritocratic” policy of “treating people evenly isn’t good enough” due to allowing “the bias that is in our systems … to perpetuate,” a recent study from Econ Journal Watch found that diversity has no effect on company returns.