President Richard C. Levin confirmed the election of Catharine B. Hill ’85 Ph.D. as an alumni fellow and announced the appointment of Joshua Bekenstein ’80 B.A. as a new successor trustee to the Yale Corporation. Their terms begin July 1.
Hill will succeed Mimi Gardner Gates ’81 Ph.D., director emerita of the Seattle Asian Art Museum, who was elected to Yale's governing board in 2007. Bekenstein will succeed trustee Edward P. Bass ’67 (’68 B.S.), CEO of Fine Line, Inc., who will retire from the Corporation on June 30.
Catharine B. Hill
Catharine (“Cappy”) Hill is president of Vassar College and a noted economist, whose research on the affordability of and access to higher education has been influential in expanding opportunities for students from all socio-economic backgrounds to attend college. Her scholarly work also focuses on economic development and reform in Africa.
“Cappy Hill has an outstanding record as a liberal arts president, and is deeply committed to accessibility and affordability in higher education. She will be a valued contributor to the work of the Corporation,” said Levin.
After graduating summa cum laude from Williams College, Hill earned B.A. and M.A. degrees at Brasenose College, University of Oxford, with first-class honors in politics, philosophy, and economics. She completed her Ph.D. in economics at Yale in 1985. At the start of her career she worked for the World Bank and the Fiscal Analysis Division of the U.S. Congressional Budget Office.
Prior to her Vassar presidency, Hill served for seven years as provost of Williams College, where she had chief academic and financial officer responsibilities. She originally joined the economics faculty at Williams in 1985. Hill and her family lived from 1994 to 1997 in the Republic of Zambia, where she was the fiscal/trade adviser and then head of the Harvard Institute for International Development’s Project on Macroeconomic Reform, working in the Ministry of Finance and with the Bank of Zambia. She draws from her experiences in Africa in her writings, including two books she co-edited: “Promoting and Sustaining Economic Reform in Zambia” (2004) and the widely reviewed “Public Expenditure in Africa” (1996).
Under Hill’s leadership, Vassar reinstated need-blind admissions and replaced loans with grants in financial aid for low-income families. Vassar also admitted 11 veterans to the Class of 2017 through a joint initiative with the Posse Foundation. Other initiatives include greater community outreach, and the development of tools and resources for institutional research and long-term planning. Hill also teaches an advanced-level seminar at Vassar on the economics of higher education.
Hill is a trustee of Ithaka Harbors, Inc., a non-profit corporation and parent company of digital library website JSTOR, and in 2011 joined the board of trustees of Yale-NUS College, Singapore’s first liberal arts college. She previously served on the board of the College Board and the NCAA Division III Presidents Council.
Joshua Bekenstein is a managing director of Bain Capital and has many years of experience both as a senior executive of a large investment firm and as a director of companies in various business sectors.
Levin stated, “Josh Bekenstein has a long and distinguished record of voluntary service to Yale. He is a passionate advocate for the best values at the University.”
Bekenstein graduated from Yale in 1980 and earned his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1984. He helped found Bain Capital in 1984, which has grown from inception to a private alternative asset management firm with over 900 employees in 10 offices in seven countries around the world. Prior to joining Bain Capital, Bekenstein spent several years doing strategic consulting at Bain & Company.
Bekenstein has focused on consumer and retail companies at Bain Capital, and he currently serves on the boards of Bright Horizons Family Solutions, BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products), Dollarama, Gymboree Corporation, and Michaels Stores.
At Yale, he is a member of the Yale Investment Committee and the School of Management Board of Advisers. He has served as an at-large member of the University Council, the co-chair of the Yale Tomorrow Campaign, and a member of the Yale Development Council.
Philanthropically, Bekenstein chairs the board of The Dana Farber Cancer Institute and of the board of directors of New Profit Inc., a Boston-based venture philanthropy fund. He is a national board member of City Year, an organization whose primary focus is fighting the national dropout crisis and developing young leaders of the next generation through citizen service, civic leadership, and social entrepreneurship.
President-elect Peter Salovey added, “I am looking forward to working closely with Josh and Cappy. Both are wise and thoughtful leaders with a deep love for this University. I am thrilled that they will join the Yale Corporation just as I begin my presidency.”
The Yale Corporation
The Yale Corporation is the governing board and policymaking body for Yale University. Its 19 members include the president of the University; 10 successor trustees, who elect their own successors for up to two six-year terms; six alumni fellows, who are elected by the alumni for staggered six-year terms; and the governor and lieutenant governor of the State of Connecticut, who are ex officio members.
The current roster of Corporation members includes the CEO of Mercy Corps, one of the five largest humanitarian organizations; the Chancellor of the University of Texas System; the President of the Alfred P. Sloane Foundation; a leading scientist; the former director of the Seattle Art Museum; business leaders; journalists; and other NGO leaders. Brief biographical sketches of the other members of the Corporation are available online: http://yale.edu/about/corporation.html