Alums vie for position on board

The Association of Yale Alumni has selected Margaret Warner ’71 and William Wright II ’82 as the two candidates who will compete for a vacant seat on the Yale Corporation, the University’s highest decision-making body.

The new Yale Corporation Alumni Fellow will be announced in late May, following a vote by undergraduate, graduate and professional school alumni, who are eligible to vote on the nominees five years after their graduation, Yale Associate Secretary Patricia Zandy said. The new fellow will replace current alumni fellow Janet Yellen GRD ’71, whose term ends this June.

The new alumni fellow should demonstrate a strong commitment to Yale and a diverse background, Zandy said.

“You’re trying to bring to [the Corporation] an individual who can bring high levels of measured consideration and commitment to the University and who represents a broad spectrum of experiences and ideas,” Zandy said. “I think it’s incumbent on everyone that votes to look at those qualities.”

Alumni can vote online or with hard-copy ballots sent by mail. They will receive accompanying biographical descriptions of the two candidates for the six-year term. Although the use of the online option — currently in its third year — is increasing, Zandy said, the majority of the ballots continue to go out by mail.

Warner serves as one of four senior correspondents on the public television weeknight program, “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” where she has worked since 1993, and is a co-anchor of “America Abroad,” a radio program focusing on foreign affairs. Prior to joining “The NewsHour,” Warner worked at Newsweek for 10 years. Warner was a 2004 Poynter Fellow in Journalism at Yale and was appointed last year to the President’s Council on International Activities.

“I was surprised and tremendously honored to be asked,” Warner said. “My Yale experience really meant so much to me and my life and the way my life turned out that I thought it would be a huge thrill to then be able to contribute to the University and its future as a member of the Corporation.”

Wright, a former publisher for the News, is currently a managing director in investment banking at Morgan Stanley. In 1993, Wright was appointed to the Yale Alumni Fund Board and was elected to a two-year term as chair in 2004. Wright also serves on the University Council, to which he was appointed in 2001.

“I’m very honored to have been asked and to be involved in the process as a nominee,” Wright said. “While I’ve given a lot of service to the University, it came as a surprise.”

Acting director of the Association of Yale Alumni Carolyn Claflin said the nominating committee consists primarily of members of the AYA Board of Directors. One fellow of the Corporation appointed by its Trusteeship Committee also serves on the committee, according to the online “Miscellaneous Regulations of the Yale Corporation.”

The chair of the AYA Board of Governors, the University officer with responsibility for alumni affairs, the University officer with responsibility for development, and the president of the University Council serve as ex-officio members of the committee, while the executive director of the AYA acts as the committee’s nonvoting secretary.

The Corporation is composed of 10 successor trustees and six alumni fellows. A new alumni fellow is elected to the Corporation every year. Alumni usually choose from the slate provided by the alumni fellow nominating committee, and nominees do not run public campaigns.

Voting results will be announced at the alumni reunion weekend the week after commencement, Zandy said. Corporation bylaws do not require that a certain percentage of the alumni cast votes in the election, she said.

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