Alumni Elect McCarthy, Mitchell, and Veerasuntharam to Board of Trustees

Editorial StaffJune 25, 20246min
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By Sarah Parke

The votes for the 2024 alumni-elected trustee election are in, and the University will add three new members to its Board of Trustees as three current members complete their terms.

Joining Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees for a three-year term, effective July 1, are Livia Wong McCarthy ’81, Jayvan (“Jay”) Mitchell ’11, and Aaron Veerasuntharam ’14. Each year, Wesleyan alumni, including graduates from the senior class, elect three of their peers to serve on the Board.

McCarthy, Mitchell, and Veerasuntharam will join a 36-member board that is responsible for ensuring the University fulfills its mission, sustains its values, and appropriately balances its obligations to current and future generations. Wesleyan is unique among its peer institutions in that one-quarter of the board is elected by the alumni body.

McCarthy, director of Alumni Council Operations, Alumni Engagement at Princeton University, majored in government at Wesleyan. Reflecting on her Wesleyan experience, she shared that she was taught how to solve problems creatively and think interdisciplinary. “I learned even more from engaging in respectful dialogue with peers inside and outside of the classroom. I am grateful that Wesleyan provided me with all the tools and skills I needed to forge a meaningful career path and become a good, caring global citizen.”

At Princeton, McCarthy has built what many consider to be one of the strongest alumni communities globally. She also oversees the board of the Alumni Association, working with an 80-member leadership team. “I believe effective trustees are open-minded and have the ability to consider all evidence and arrive at the best decision for the University as a whole,” she said. “As higher education is at a critical juncture, I am eager to use my work experience to effect strategic change and to help Wesleyan’s Board unlock the passion of the alumni community. Together, we can strengthen bridges with students and better connect to one another and to the institution.”

Born and raised in Jamaica, Mitchell had never lived off-island before attending Wesleyan. He recalls how the University “provided me with a welcoming and comfortable home and community.” He also credits his Wesleyan coursework in the College of Social Studies for laying a solid foundation for law school and his professional career.

After Wesleyan, Mitchell was a management consultant at Deloitte Consulting before earning his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. Mitchell is now a senior attorney at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, in Washington, D.C., where he focuses on counseling clients on all aspects of cybersecurity and privacy. He is recognized by the International Association of Privacy Professionals as a Fellow of Information Privacy and was named to the National Black Lawyers Association’s Top 40 Under 40 2020 list.

Mitchell is also passionate about community service and giving back. He provides pro bono legal services and is the founder and chair of The Mitchell Education Foundation, a nonprofit that provides scholarships to Jamaican high school students from low-income households.

“It is truly an honor and a privilege to give back to Wesleyan by serving on the Board of Trustees. I hope to help continue the things that make Wesleyan unique and special, including maintaining a diverse and inclusive campus where students from different walks of life and who span the ideological spectrum can thrive academically and socially.”

The Wesleyan community supported Veerasuntharam, a first-generation college student, during every step of his journey. That experience, he said, opened his eyes to opportunities — even after he graduated. “From moving to New York and living with Wes alumni to deciding to pursue an MBA, the alumni of color community played a crucial role in my career trajectory,” he said.

Veerasuntharam was a College of Letters major at Wesleyan before earning his MBA from the Berkeley-Haas School of Business. In his role as manager in the Chief Sustainability Office at Cisco, Veerasuntharam works closely with the finance and governance teams.

Over the past decade, Veerasuntharam has taken on several volunteer alumni leadership positions to serve Wesleyan students. He is particularly committed to advocating for underrepresented student groups and leads career development workshops for first-generation and low-income students in collaboration with the Gordon Career Center and the Resource Center. Veerasuntharam also serves as co-chair of the Asian Pacific American Alumni Council (APAAC). He received a Wesleyan University Service Award (WUSA) at the 2024 Reunion + Commencement Weekend in recognition for his years as a class agent.

“I have an interest in helping all students succeed, whatever that means to them. My goal is to ensure that all students, especially underrepresented students, maximize their Wesleyan experience,” he said.