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This Filipina Was Just Elected to Sit on Harvard's Board of Overseers

Geraldine Acuña-Sunshine graduated cum laude from the prestigious Ivy League university.
IMAGE PUBLIC DOMAIN/ WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/ resolutionproject.org
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A Filipina Harvard alumnus, Geraldine Acuña-Sunshine, has been elected to Harvard University’s Board of Overseers. The Harvard alum will serve a six-year term, and will work with other members of the board to maintain the university’s standards as a place of learning.

Right after graduating cum laude from Harvard, Acuña-Sunshine took her master’s in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. She then earned a Juris Doctor degree, the highest law degree in the United States, from Columbia Law School. After finishing her studies, she worked as a corporate attorney for New York and Boston’s top law firms. She held a position as senior counsel in alternative investments for Bracebridge Capital in Boston for over 13 years. Currently, she is the president of the Sunshine Care Foundation for Neurological Care and Research—a non-profit organization that works to deliver free clinical and neurological care in rural parts of Asia.

In 2013, Acuña-Sunshine reconnected with Harvard after her 20th reunion.

“That is when I realized that I had become somewhat established in life—and that is when I started to think about all the good memories of college and focus more on what matters in life, like community. And Harvard was one of the best communities I have ever been a part of,” she says. She serves on the Board of the Harvard Alumni Association where she’s focused on providing financial aid. “I have mentored undergraduates and do interviews for the college. I have rediscovered old college friends and have made many new ones among alumni from various generations. Any kind of connection back to Harvard is life-enhancing,” she adds.

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Acuña-Sunshine is also a part of Harvard College Fund Executive Committee, Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Dean’s Council, and the Harvard Board of Governors Joint Committee on Alumni Affairs and Development. Outside of Harvard, she sits on the boards of the Columbia Law School Association and the Massachusetts General Hospital President’s Council. She has worked as a consultant for the Philippine Supreme Court, the Senate President’s Office, and the Department of Trade and Industry.

Earlier this week, a member of Harvard’s Board of Overseers resigned in protest over the university’s investments in fossil fuels. Kathryn A. Taylor, a co-founder and CEO of Beneficial State Bank posted a resignation letter on Medium directed to Harvard’s president Drew Faust, in-coming president Larry Bacow, Harvard Corporation Board Members, and the rest of the Board of Overseers.

Another Filipino fresh Harvard alumna, Clare Amador, made headlines when she was chosen to deliver a speech for her class at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government on Tuesday.

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Paolo Chua
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