Five new members elected to University of Chicago Board of Trustees

The 121st annual meeting of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees took place on campus on May 30-31. Members of the board received updates from President Robert J. Zimmer, vice presidents, deans and student liaisons about strategic initiatives to enhance the eminence and impact of the University.

Also at this meeting, Board of Trustees Chairman Andrew Alper began his second term as chairman, and Trustees elected five new members to the board.

The five new Trustees are David BrooksNew York Times op-ed columnist; Brady W. Dougan, CEO of Credit Suisse Group; John Edwardson, chairman of CDW Corporation; Alvaro Saieh, president of CorpGroup Holding; and Liz Thompson, non-profit organizer and noted philanthropist.

Alper, AB’80, MBA’81, who has served as a Trustee since 1999, was first elected chairman in June 2009, and was re-elected at the board’s March retreat. 


During his first term as chair, Alper helped guide the board through careful deliberations about the financial crisis, providing board leadership that was essential in enabling the University to make progress on a broad range of strategic initiatives.

“The board, and particularly Andy Alper as chair, has provided critical leadership and support to allow the University of Chicago to achieve its ambitions,” said Zimmer. “I’m grateful to Andy for his continued leadership and his deep commitment to the success of the University. And we will benefit significantly from the knowledge and experience of our new board members, whose contributions will be informed by their outstanding accomplishments in their respective fields.”

Along with other business at the May meeting, the Trustees honored Harvey Plotnick, who is retiring from the board after 19 years of service. 

More on the Board of Trustees' new members:


David Brooks, AB’83

David Brooks has been an op-ed columnist for The New York Times since September 2003. A frequent commentator in the national media, Brooks spent nine years at The Wall Street Journal and has been a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Atlantic Monthly and a senior editor at The Weekly Standard. Brooks earned his bachelor’s degree from UChicago and has taught as a visiting professor of public policy at Duke University’s Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy. In January he agreed to serve on the board of the University’s new Institute of Politics.


Brady W. Dougan, AB’81, MBA’82

Brady W. Dougan is the chief executive officer of Credit Suisse Group AG, a position he has held since 2007. He joined Credit Suisse First Boston in 1990, and since then has held a number of key positions with Credit Suisse. After graduating with his bachelor’s and MBA degrees from UChicago, Dougan began his career at Bankers Trust in 1982, working in the firm’s New York, London and Tokyo offices.


John Edwardson, MBA’72

John Edwardson is chairman of the board of directors of CDW Corporation. Edwardson earned his MBA from UChicago and began his career in commercial banking at First National Bank in St. Paul, Minn. He has since held senior level positions in the energy, security, communications and airline industries. Edwardson serves as the chairman of the Advisory Council of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business among his other corporate and non-profit board service. 


Alvaro Saieh, AM’76, PhD’80

Businessman and economist Alvaro Saieh is president of the Chile-based company CorpGroup Holding. Early in his career, he held various public sector positions, including advisor to the Ministry of Housing and Public Works and head of research for the Chilean Central Bank. Saieh has played a leading role in the Chilean economy, with interests ranging from the insurance, real estate and communications sectors to the retail and banking industries. Among Saieh’s philanthropic interests, he and his family founded CorpArtes, which promotes a wide range of artistic ventures in Chile. Saieh earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from UChicago.


Liz Thompson

Following Liz Thompson’s ten-year career with Ameritech Corporation, she began her formal role working with non-profit organizations in 1993 as executive director of City Year Chicago, a national service organization that was the template for the AmeriCorps Program. Active in a number of Chicago-area non-profit organizations, Thompson currently serves on the boards of directors for the University of Chicago Charter School and the Ronald McDonald House Charities. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and serves as a member of the Purdue University Diversity Steering Committee and as co-chair of Purdue University’s Minority Engineering Program Advisory Panel.