Paul Choi ’86, JD ’89, a longtime Harvard alumni expertise leader and a lawyer with on governance, has been elected president of Harvard University’s Board of Overseers for the 2022–23 academic year. Leslie Tolbert ’73, Ph.D. ’78, a neuroscientist and former senior vice president for research at the University of Arizona, will serve as vice chair of the board’s executive committee. Both elected as Overseers in 2017, Choi and Tolbert will serve in the board’s top leadership roles for the final year of their six-year terms.
“Paul Choi and Leslie Tolbert have both served Harvard with uncommon devotion and distinction, especially during their past five years as Overseers,” said President Larry Bacow. “Paul has deep experience with the governance of complex organizations, including Harvard, and a long record of leadership in alumni affairs. Leslie is a widely admired scientist, educator, and academic leader who has in recent years played a particularly valuable role in our visiting committee process. I look forward to working even more closely with them next year, as the Overseers continue to help guide the University through times of challenge and change.”
Choi and Tolbert succeed Helena Buonanno Foulkes ’86, MBA ’92, a past executive in the consumer health care and retail sectors who are currently running for the governor of Rhode Island, and P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale ’74, a developmental psychologist and vice provost for academics at Northwestern University.
Paul Choi is a partner at the international law firm Sidley Austin LLP, where he is a member of his firm’s executive committee and global co-head of its mergers and acquisitions practice. He has a long record of advising clients on a broad range of governance matters. His professional honors include longstanding recognition in the Chambers publication “The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business,” and he was recently recognized as “lawyer of the year” for his work in corporate governance law in Chicago in the 2021 edition of “The Best Lawyers in America.”
As a member of Harvard’s Board of Overseers, Choi chairs the board’s institutional policy committee and the board’s working group on elections. He also serves on the Overseers’ executive committee and its subcommittee on governance, the governing boards’ joint committee on alumni affairs and development, and the standing committee on social sciences, of which he is the former vice chair. He also is serving or has served on the visiting committees for Harvard College, the Economics Department, Harvard Law School, and the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.
“It’s a tremendous honor and privilege to be elected as president of the Board of Overseers and to have the opportunity to serve the University and my fellow board members in this new role,” said Choi. “I look forward to working with President Larry Bacow, the Harvard leadership, and my Overseer colleagues in advancing the academic mission of our extraordinary institution and navigating the many challenges and opportunities which lie ahead.” Choi added that he’s “grateful to have Leslie Tolbert, a distinguished scientist and wonderful colleague, as a partner in leading the board.”