Yale appoints two successor trustees

President Peter Salovey has announced the appointments of Peter B. Dervan ’72 Ph.D. and William E. Kennard ’81 J.D. as new successor trustees to the Yale Corporation. 

Their terms begin July 1. Dervan, who has served as alumni fellow since 2008, will succeed Byron G. Auguste ’89 B.A., deputy director of the National Economic Council. Kennard ’81 J.D. will succeed trustee Indra K. Nooyi ’80 M.P.P.M., chair of the board and CEO of PepsiCo.

“I am extremely grateful to Peter and Bill for their willingness to serve as successor trustees,” said Salovey. “We will continue to benefit from Peter’s wisdom and are eagerly looking forward to drawing upon Bill’s experience and talents in service to Yale.”

Peter B. Dervan

Dervan is the Bren Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology. In addition to his term as alumni fellow of the Yale Corporation, he has served as an at-large member of the University Council.

He is a renowned organic chemist and for 30 years has been a leading scientist studying DNA — especially the principles governing the recognition of DNA and the role small molecules might play in the regulation of gene expression important in human diseases. 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.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree from Boston College in 1967, Dervan completed his Ph.D. degree at Yale in 1972. He spent a year at Stanford University as a postdoctoral fellow, and then began his association with Caltech as an assistant professor in 1973. Dervan served as chair of Caltech’s division of chemistry and chemical engineering from 1994 to 1999. 

Dervan is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Robert A. Welch Foundation. At Yale he has been honored with the Kirkwood Medal and the Wilbur Cross Medal, and he has received numerous prizes and awards for his research.

William E. Kennard

 Kennard is a senior adviser to Grain Management, LLC , focusing on investment opportunities in the telecommunications sector. Prior to joining Grain Management, Kennard was U.S. ambassador to the European Union. Appointed in November 2009, he promoted transatlantic trade and investment and worked to eliminate regulatory barriers to commerce.

Before his appointment as ambassador, Kennard was managing director of The Carlyle Group, a global private equity firm. He joined The Carlyle Group in 2001, where he specialized in investments in the telecommunications and media sectors.

Prior to that, Kennard served as chair of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 1997 to 2001. During his tenure, he shaped policies that created an explosion of new wireless phones, brought the Internet to a majority of American households, and incentivized billions of dollars of investment in new broadband technologies. He implemented new policies to bridge the digital divide in the United States and around the world.

Kennard served as the FCC’s general counsel from 1993 until 1997. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford in 1978, he enrolled at Yale Law School and received his degree in 1981. He joined the law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson, and Hand (now DLA Piper), where he was a partner and member of the board of directors. His awards include honorary degrees from Howard University, Gallaudet University, and Long Island University, and awards from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the Easter Seals Foundation, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Kennard currently serves on the boards of directors of MetLife and Duke Energy. He previously served on the boards of directors of The New York Times Company, Sprint Nextel Corporation, Handspring, Inc., and eAccess Ltd., as well as on the boards of several companies owned by The Carlyle Group. He also served on several non-profit boards, including the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, One Economy Corporation, Common Sense Media, Year-Up Inc., Gallaudet University, and Media Access Project.

The Yale Corporation

The Yale Corporation is the governing board and policy-making body for Yale University. The 19 members are 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; and the president of the Alfred P. Sloane Foundation, as well as a leading scientist, 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