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Update on the Presidential Search: Student Advisory Council

October 23, 2023

Dear Members of the Yale Community,

Since the last time I updated you about the presidential search, we have continued to meet with faculty, students, staff, and alumni to gather input personally. Of course, we also are receiving thoughtful comments from the online webforms for sharing ideas and recommending candidates. We remain grateful to you for ensuring our search process benefits from active community engagement.

As we mentioned in the beginning of October, we asked the Yale College Council (YCC), Graduate Student Assembly (GSA), and Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) to form a Student Advisory Council. Over the past two weeks, each student government organization conducted an open nomination process and voted to select twelve student representatives to join the Student Advisory Council. In addition, the leaders of YCC, GSA, and GPSS serve on the council as ex-officio members.

Members of the Student Advisory Council

GSAS student members of the advisory council

Benjamin Schafer, PhD Candidate in History (Humanities)

Jamil Rahman, PhD Candidate in Finance (Social Sciences)

Danielle Miyagishima, MD/PhD Candidate in Genetics (Biological Sciences)

Jim Zhou, Master’s Student in Computer Science (Physical Sciences & Engineering)

Professional student members of the advisory council

Tyler Harvey, MD/PhD Student in Public Health, School of Medicine

Kamali Clora, MPH Student, School of Public Health

Milton Gilder, MDiv Student, Divinity School

Nia Kamau, MPP Student, Jackson School of Global Affairs

Yale College members of advisory council
Sanya Abbasey ’25
Leo Greenberg ’26
Miranda Rublaitus ’25
Zahra Yarali ’24

Ex-officio members

Julian Suh-Toma ’25, President of YCC

Christopher Lindsay, Chair of GSA, PhD Candidate in Astronomy

Chrishan Fernando, President of GPSS, PhD Candidate in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry

Members of the Student Advisory Council will soon reach out to fellow students and begin to collect feedback through a combination of surveys and listening sessions.

We thank the student government organizations for their leadership and commitment to gathering input systematically and thoughtfully from students. We look forward to receiving their written reports and to learning from discussions they will hold with members of the Presidential Search Committee. The work of the Student Advisory Council and our direct engagements with faculty, students, staff, and alumni will continue to inform the search process. Until our next update, please keep sharing your thoughts with us through the webforms or by writing to  


Josh Bekenstein, ’80 BA
Senior Trustee
Chair, Presidential Search Committee