“… Once GSD, Always GSD!” – Riki Nishimura MAUD ’03 + Nina Chase MLA ’12, Alumni Council Co- Chairs (2023-24)

The 50-member strong GSD Alumni Council represents a multi-generational, diverse community of graduates, and models inclusion by addressing relevant design, environmental, and community issues for the betterment of the world. Through special programs, partnerships, and events, we work to engage and connect GSD alumni, current students, and the larger Harvard community.

Whether you are nominating a fellow GSD alum or yourself, please familiarize yourself with Council expectations.

Alumni Council Member Expectations

Members serve a three-year term; join at least one committee; serve as an ambassador of the GSD; and attend semi-annual Alumni Council meetings and monthly video teleconferences. Members may serve a second or occasionally a third term, depending on level of involvement and leadership. Please see the below committee and GSD ambassadorship descriptions that guide tasks, programs, initiatives, and events.

In addition, members are expected to financially support the GSD with an annual contribution of any amount. While there is no expectation of a specific giving level, as a volunteer leader, giving annually to the GSD is encouraged.

Members must adhere to the GSD & Alumni Council Community Values Statement.


  • Executive Committee – leads the Council with Committee Chairs.
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion – ensures that the Council represents basic values that demonstrate the highest standards with respect to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging.
  • Communications – engages, recognizes, and celebrates the alumni community, the work of the Council, and the initiatives of the Dean and School through posts and updates.
  • Governance – ensures the integrity of the Alumni Council’s long-term mission and goals by identifying new members, onboarding new members, and updating the Council bylaws as needed.
  • Ambassadorship – creates opportunities to strengthen, celebrate, and support connections between the GSD Alumni community, students, and faculty through engagement, communications, and events.
  • Student Alumni Exchange – identifies a path for student leaders to become alumni leaders, connects students on issues and concerns, and develops methods to enhance student-alumni connections.
  • Design Impact – provides a forum for the GSD alumni community to engage in critical global topics and support the University’s One Harvard initiative while encouraging cross-generational collaboration.

Time Commitment

Members are expected to travel to the GSD each year for at least one of two semi-annual, two-day-long Alumni Council meetings that take place in hybrid format. Additionally, members participate in monthly one-hour-long committee calls. Committee work takes place under the direction of Co-Chairs and varies per activity and from year-to-year.

Alumni Council Members as GSD Ambassadors

All members are encouraged to participate in activities that support the School and foster student-alumni connections. For example, members may be invited to attend student portfolio reviews, communicate with local alumni and recent graduates, offer summer internships, and facilitate connections between current and prospective students. As ambassadors, Alumni Council members also host events in their local area or region to help build the GSD community. Council members may provide greetings and updates at Harvard Clubs, the Harvard Alumni Association, or HAA SIG (Shared Interest Group) events, and plan programs that bring GSD and Harvard alumni together.

Contact the GSD Development and Alumni Relations team with questions at [email protected].