This July, two new trustees will join the University’s highest governing body.
In a Monday afternoon press release, University President Peter Salovey announced the appointments of Peter Dervan GRD ’72 and William Kennard LAW ’81 as new successor trustees to the Yale Corporation. The Yale Corporation voted to appoint Dervan, a chemistry professor at the California Institute of Technology, and Kennard, former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, during its February meeting.
The Yale Corporation has 19 total members. Ten successor trustees name their own successors for up to two six-year terms, while six alumni fellows are elected by Yale alumni for staggered six-year terms. Dervan and Kennard will succeed Byron Auguste ’89, deputy director of the National Economic Council, and Indra Nooyi SOM ’80, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of PepsiCo.
“[Dervan] brings great wisdom, especially about the University’s scientific mission,” Salovey said, adding that Dervan currently serves as an alumni fellow of the Yale Corporation. “I’ve only gotten to know [Kennard] in the last number of months as he became someone that the University was focusing on becoming a successor trustee. I’m really impressed by his deep insights about the future of higher education, about the role of Yale and the creation of public servants.”
Salovey added that he is delighted to work with Dervan and Kennard, both of whom he said bring helpful perspectives to the Corporation. Fourteen Corporation members contacted could not be reached for comment Monday evening.
Dervan is well-known for his work on the development of small organic molecules that recognize and bind to DNA. In 2006, he was awarded the country’s highest scientific honor, the National Medal of Science, for his “fundamental research contributions at the interface of organic chemistry and biology, and for his influence in education and industrial innovation.”
Kennard served as the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union from 2009 to 2013. Previously, he was the managing director of the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, and was chairman of the Federal Communications Commision. Kennard is currently a senior advisor to Grain Management, LLC, a private equity firm focused on investments in the media and communications sectors.
Neither Kennard nor Dervan could be reached for comment Monday evening.
Current successor trustee Douglas Warner III ’68, who is a former chairman of the board of J.P. Morgan, said Kennard is extremely well-qualified to join the Corporation. He said he has also worked closely with Dervan over the past six years on a committee for the Yale School of Medicine, for which Dervan is the chairman.
“The leadership that he provides there and the background that he brings to bear at a time of enormous change and challenge in healthcare is invaluable,” Warner said. “Having him continue for another six years is just very welcome news indeed.”
Secretary and Vice President for Student Life Kimberly Goff-Crews LAW ’86 said it is exciting to have Dervan continue to serve on the Corporation and have Kennard join the body. As an alumni fellow, Dervan currently meets with student leaders each year as one of the Corporation’s liaisons to the student body, Goff-Crews said. She added that Kennard also has a clear passion for making a difference that will serve the Corporation well.
Warner said the two departing trustees — Nooyi and Auguste — have proven to be bright and talented members of the Corporation.
“Indra and I have worked together in number of different capacities,” he said. “I hate to see her go. She is one of the most talented people I have ever worked with.”
Salovey is a member of the Corporation, and the Governor of Connecticut and Lieutenant Governor hold ex officio status.