Executive Board

The HGC Executive Board consists of the following officers and associated roles:


  • Serve as primary liaison and advocate to the Offices of the Provost and President, administration, and faculty regarding graduate students’ concerns and activities; present semiannual reports to the Council of Deans of Students and/or Advisory Committee and work to increase recognition of HGC as a critical link between administration and students
  • Maintain a positive working relationship with all HGC Representatives and school presidents; work with graduate students across Harvard University to facilitate dialogue and action on graduate student concerns 
  • Oversee all HGC Executive Officers and fill posts through appointment if required
  • Preside over all meetings and special sessions of the HGC, ensuring that responsibilities laid out in the Constitution and Bylaws are followed and holding ultimate responsibility for management of resources
  • Address incoming students during school orientations and ensure HGC members attend student fairs at the beginning of the year to recruit new members
  • Write and maintain a Strategic Plan for the yearly operations of the HGC and regularly communicate a vision for the organization to all HGC members
  • Attend the annual summit of Ivy+ graduate and professional student government presidents and serve on the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) Board, at the invitation of HAA


Vice President

  • Oversee and work with each Executive Officer to develop a plan for the year, ensure adequate preparation and performance of duties throughout the year, give guidance and feedback, and provide resources to aid success
  • Work with the HGC President to create opportunities for student leaders to interact and exchange information
  • Create, format, and forward draft agenda to the HGC President for all meetings
  • Conduct meetings of the Council and the Executive Board
  • Serve as a joint resource for student organizations regarding administrative resources, advocacy, and dissemination of pertinent information to the Harvard student community
  • Act as a point of contact for graduate/professional school leadership, cross-school initiatives and programs, outside institutions/universities–Ivies, MIT, Tufts, etc.
  • Temporarily assume Presidency in the absence of the President


Chair of Operations

  • Oversee meeting logistics, including space reservation and the ordering of food
  • Plan any retreats and social outings specifically for HGC members
  • Record minutes of and attendance at all regular and special HGC-related meetings
  • Receive the approved agenda from the Vice President and assure distribution to HGC members, prior to and at HGC meetings
  • Maintain a current list of contact information for all HGC members, to include Representatives, Executive Officers, school presidents, event chairs and committee members, and general and administrative contacts for each school
  • Organize shared drives and maintain and preserve a historical archive
  • Temporarily assume Vice Presidency in the absence of the Vice President


Chair for Governance

  • Oversee changes to the Constitution and By-Laws and maintain official, current copies of the Constitution and By-Laws
  • Manage votes and elections, ensuring everyone is aware of and follows regulations and a proper record of vote counts is kept
  • Administer E-votes, at the direction of the President
  • Monitor the flow of Council meetings and suggest procedural changes in the interest of fairness and efficiency
  • Actively solicit input for improved Council operation
  • Act as an objective mediator to help resolve disputes
  • Report to and assume duties of the Chair of Internal Operations as required


Chair of Finance

  • Compile and submit the overall HGC projected annual budget and monitor spending to ensure that expenses do not exceed resources
  • Evaluate the tax responsibilities of the HGC in coordination with the Office of the Provost
  • Be responsible for developing outside financial partnerships and sponsorship for HGC initiatives, including drafting appropriate documents
  • Manage an appropriate system for expense approval and reimbursement, ensure members receive reimbursement for approved expenses, and maintain records of all financial documents
  • Manage recurring payments or contracts with vendors and verify that invoices are filled in a reasonable time frame
  • Purchase logistical and promotional items for HGC, including t-shirts and banners
  • Temporarily assume duties of the Vice Presidency in the absence of the Vice President and Chair of Internal Operations


Chair for Student Groups

  • Assist the Chair of Finance in managing HGC finances and serve as an approval authority for purchases, reimbursements, and other cash flows
  • Assist the Office of the Provost in administering funding to officially-recognized University-wide Student Groups
  • Sit on the selection committee with the deans of students to approve USG applications
  • Serve as a liaison between HGC and USGs, compiling a list of relevant USG initiatives and events and communicating highlights to the Council
  • Compile and maintain a list of non-USG student groups and clubs at Harvard University’s 12 graduate and professional schools
  • Ensure financial oversight and accountability of HGC-sponsored or co-sponsored events
  • Report to and assume duties of the Chair of Finance as required


Chair of Student Life

  • Oversee high-profile “signature events” of the Council oriented toward academics or leadership, typically involving presentations by faculty and/or outside speakers
  • Help to select chairpersons for each event and serve as institutional knowledge and support for event organizers, introducing chairpersons to the Council for approval
  • Personally chair or co-chair at least one HGC event (not required if already chaired an HGC event prior to assuming role of the Chair of Events)
  • Compile event proposals for budgetary approval by the Council and the Office of the Provost, work with the Chair of Finance to secure outside sponsorship
  • Provide regular planning and execution updates, and post-event summaries, on all events to the Council, and compile an after-action report with key references and lessons learned
  • Maintain records and templates for reference, including planning documents, venue information and speaker contacts, attendance records by school, and historical budgets
  • Oversee and hold ultimate responsibility for activities of the Chair for Social Engagement


Chair for Community Engagement

  • Oversee events concerning, but not limited to, social mixers, dances, arts, athletics, and family and spouses, usually less complex but more frequent than signature events
  • Be responsible for the organization of HGC-sponsored community service events and consider incorporating charitable donations into event plans
  • Coordinate joint events co-sponsored by other student groups or schools and provide a mechanism for schools to request that HGC sponsor or co-sponsor an event
  • Oversee the marketing of and recruitment for events, including both electronic and printed materials
  • Build and maintain a volunteer base for the organization and operation of events
  • Oversee ticketing procedures, including Eventbrite accounts
  • Report to and assume duties of the Chair of Events as required


Chair of Advocacy

  • Work with the HGC President, Executive Board, and Council members to set shared priorities and overall approach and philosophy for advocacy
  • Act as an advocate for student concerns that affect the Harvard graduate student community across multiple schools, help draft HGC resolutions or coordinated responses to current issues, and ensure that students with minority opinions also feel their voice is heard
  • Ensure that issues of student safety, including protection from sexual assault and sexual harassment, are prioritized by HGC, administration, and faculty
  • Coordinate a volunteer base for addressing issues pertaining to student advocacy and academic/professional development
  • Assist in constructing and coordinating dialogue and action on academic issues affecting the Harvard graduate student community and be the HGC contact for academic issues
  • Educate students in the Harvard community about issues of professional development
  • Oversee and hold ultimate responsibility for activities of the Chair for Diversity


Chair for Policy

  • Support HGC’s overall advocacy priorities, as determined by the Chair of Advocacy under advisement by other Executive Board and Council members
  • Promote dialogue, understanding, and reconciliation across traditional lines of division
  • Work to ensure that the group of students involved with HGC remains diverse, in terms of demographics, viewpoint, and school represented, and remind HGC members to value diversity when inviting event speakers
  • Reach out to minority clubs and student groups at the Harvard graduate and professional schools, occasionally visit their meetings, and connect them with each other and Harvard Alumni Association Special Interest Groups
  • Serve as a point of contact for diversity-focused administrators in the Office of the Provost and Office of the Assistant to the Present, such as the Vice Provost for International Affairs and the Chief Diversity Officer
  • Liaise with Harvard University Disability Services, monitor campus building accessibility, and advocate for people with disabilities
  • Report to and assume duties of the Chair of Advocacy as required


Chair of Information

  • Oversee design and maintenance of the HGC website, ensuring it is updated frequently
  • Regularly gather information on events or academic/research connections of interest at each school, and/or create an automated process to facilitate the sharing of opportunities across Harvard; accordingly, create and update a calendar of initiatives and events both internal and external to HGC
  • Manage email accounts and shared drives, ensuring that they are backed up and protected and access is appropriately limited
  • Serve as liaison for Harvard University IT
  • Investigate new technologies and methods of engagement
  • Work to ensure that HGC becomes a source of valuable information of interest to students across Harvard University, in support of the One Harvard concept
  • Oversee and hold ultimate responsibility for activities of the Chair for Communication


Chair for Communication

  • Work to increase the visibility of HGC across Harvard University through all available channels by communicating HGC’s purpose in an exciting and engaging manner
  • Manage the distribution list for HGC email blasts, collect inputs, and compile and send regular email newsletters to a wide population
  • Manage and actively engage with HGC social media accounts, to include Facebook
  • Oversee HGC public relations by serving as a liaison to the press, other student governments, and other organizations; submit press releases for major HGC events
  • Maintain internal or external graphic design capability in order to generate necessary materials on request
  • Keep in active contact with the communications officers on each school’s student government in order to utilize school channels and expand HGC’s reach
  • Report to and assume duties of the Chair of Information as required