Ken Chenault ’73 and Karen Mills have been elected to become members of the Harvard Corporation, known formally as the President and Fellows of Harvard College — Harvard’s principal fiduciary governing board and the smaller of Harvard’s two boards, the other being the Board of Overseers.
“Ken Chenault is one of the nation’s most respected executives, someone who’s widely engaged in civic and nonprofit pursuits and who will bring remarkable leadership qualities and a global perspective to the Corporation’s work,” said Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust H’07 and Robert D. Reischauer, the Corporation’s outgoing senior fellow, in a joint announcement.
“Karen Mills has ably led a major federal agency through a time of challenge and change, and she has served Harvard and Radcliffe with distinction and devotion in a series of important governance roles. Harvard is again fortunate to be able to turn to two such accomplished and dedicated graduates to help guide the University’s affairs and help all of us envision and embrace the possibilities ahead.”
Chenault, a graduate of Harvard Law School, has served as chairman and CEO of American Express for more than 10 years.
“I’m honored to be returning to Harvard and joining the Corporation,” said Chenault. “The University has been an important part of my life for many years. The Harvard community represents a wide range of perspectives, beliefs, and fields of endeavor, while also remaining grounded in common core values. The faculty, students, and staff are dedicated to academic excellence and to making lasting contributions to the world in which we live. I am proud to be associated with them and look forward to working with President Faust and my colleagues in this new role.”
Chenault is a member of Harvard’s Committee on University Resources; he served on Bowdoin’s board of trustees from 1986 to 1993.
Karen Mills served served in President Obama’s Cabinet from April 2009 through August 2013 as the administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“Our Harvard community includes the most remarkable students, staff, and faculty, and together they have potential to contribute to and influence our world in so many meaningful ways. With that in mind, it is an honor to take on this important role,” Mills said. “I look forward to working with the entire leadership team and President Faust to help shape the future of this great University and its continued role as a driving force for critical thinking, innovation, and excellence.”
Mills, wife of President Barry Mills, now serves as a senior fellow at both the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, focusing her attention on U.S. competitiveness, entrepreneurship, and innovation. She was a resident fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics in fall 2013.
Mills graduated from Harvard College in 1975 and from Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar, in 1977.
Chenault and Mills begin their service as Fellows of Harvard College July 1, 2014.