Corporation Appoints Jessica Tuchman Mathews, Theodore V. Wells Jr.

The senior governing board reaches full membership, as envisioned in reforms announced in late 2010.

Jessica Tuchman Mathews and Theodore V. Wells Jr.

The University announced today that Jessica Tuchman Mathews ’67 and Theodore V. Wells Jr., J.D.-M.B.A. ’76, have been elected members of the Harvard Corporation, the senior governing board, effective January 1. In accordance with Harvard’s charter, they were elected by the Corporation, with the consent of the Board of Overseers; the two governing bodies conducted their joint autumn meeting in Cambridge this weekend. With their election, the President and Fellows of Harvard College, as the Corporation is formally known, will expand to 13 members. Read the University announcement here.

Governance Reforms

The Corporation has been gradually expanding its membership, as provided for by the significant changes in governance announced in December 2010 by President Drew Faust and Senior Fellow Robert D. Reischauer ’63. Those reforms put in place a process of enlarging the Corporation’s ranks from seven members to 13, and thereby broadening the expertise available to it, enabling it to establish permanent committees focused on its most important fiduciary responsibilities, and focusing its efforts on matters of greatest strategic importance to the University.

In May 2011, three of those new Corporation seats were filled with the elections of Lawrence S. Bacow, M.P.P.-J.D. ’76, Ph.D. ’78, past president of Tufts and former chancellor of MIT; Susan L. Graham ’64, Chen Distinguished Professor emerita of electrical engineering and computer science at Berkeley; and Joseph J. O’Donnell ’67, M.B.A. ’71, a Boston business executive and active Harvard alumni-affairs and fundraising leader. This past May, a fourth new member—Paul J. Finnegan ’75, M.B.A. ’82, head of a Chicago-based private-equity firm, past president of the Harvard Alumni Association, and a leader in planning the forthcoming University capital campaign—was elected, bringing the Corporation’s ranks to 11 Fellows.

Jessica Tuchman Mathews

Mathews has since 1997 served as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, based in Washington, D.C., and now with a network of offices in Moscow, Beijing, Brussels, and Beirut. According to her Carnegie Endowment biography, Mathews worked on the National Security Council from 1977 to 1979 (focusing on nuclear proliferation, arms sales, and human rights). She was a member of the Washington Post’s editorial board from 1980 to 1982; thereafter, from 1982 through 1993, she was founding vice president and director of research of World Resources Institute, an environmental research and policy organization, before serving briefly as deputy to the undersecretary of state for global affairs and then working at the Council on Foreign Relations’ Washington office from 1994 to 1997. She was a participant in Harvard Magazine's 2000 roundtable discussion on the world's poor.

A graduate of Radcliffe, Mathews earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology at California Institute of Technology. She was a Radcliffe College trustee from 1992 to 1996, and has served on the boards of directors of several nonprofit organizations and foundations.

In the University’s announcement, Mathews said:

I’m thrilled to be coming home to Harvard. The world of education is globalizing, with consequences as profound as those for government and business. Having spent more than a decade building a global think tank, I look forward to helping think through this great University’s international role and contributing all I can to the full range of the Corporation’s work.

Theodore V. Wells Jr.

Wells is a partner and co-chair of the litigation department at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. He has had a broad white-collar criminal defense and corporate practice. According to his law-firm biography, he has successfully represented clients including Citigroup in high-stakes commercial cases, U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli (campaign-finance defense), investment banker Frank Quattrone, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, chief of staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney (perjury charges), and former New York governors Eliot Spitzer, J.D. '84, and David Paterson, among others. His corporate clients in class-action lawsuits have included Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Mitsubishi Corporation, Carnival Corporation, and Philip Morris Corporation.

He has served as a director of CIT Corporation and national treasurer for Senator Bill Bradley’s 2000 presidential campaign, and is now co-chairman emeritus of the board of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He previously served, pro bono, as New Jersey co-chair of the United Negro College Fund and general counsel to the New Jersey Democratic Party.

Wells graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1972; he subsequently served as a trustee. Following his Harvard degrees, he clerked for Judge John Gibbons of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and then practiced at a New Jersey firm for more than 20 years before joining Paul, Weiss; there, he has co-chaired the litigation department for 12 years. He has taught in the law school’s trial advocacy workshop.

In the University announcement, Wells said:

Education opens minds and expands opportunities, and nothing matters more to me. I greatly look forward to serving a university that has helped shape my own outlook and aspirations, and to supporting the work of people across Harvard whose ideas and efforts do so much to better the world.

Senior Fellow and President Perspective

Introducing the new Corporation Fellows to the Harvard community, Reischauer and Faust said in the announcement:

We are very pleased to welcome these two distinguished alumni to the Corporation, both of whom will expand our capacity and contribute important and distinctive perspectives to our work. Jessica Mathews is a widely admired figure in the international-affairs domain, with a career that has combined excellence in nonprofit leadership with experience in government, policy, science, environmental affairs, and journalism. Ted Wells is an extraordinarily accomplished lawyer renowned for his wise counsel, his powers of analysis and persuasion, and his devotion to education and the public interest. Harvard will be fortunate to have the benefit of their service.

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