Three New Duke University Trustees Announced

Ann Pelham, Neil Kondamuri and Shannon O'Connor joined the board on July 1.

Three new members joined the Duke University Board of Trustees on July 1, the school announced Tuesday.

Serving a six-year term will be Ann Pelham, a 1974 Duke graduate who for many years was publisher of Legal Times and who also served as president of the Duke Alumni Association.

Serving as young trustees on the board will be recent Duke graduate Neil Kondamuri and graduate and professional student Shannon O’Connor.

Pelham worked as a reporter and editor for more than 20 years before shifting to the business side for another 15 years. From 1998-2008, she was the publisher of Legal Times, a Washington, D.C.-based newspaper focused on law and lobbying.

She was also president of the Duke Alumni Association from 2008 to 2010 and, in that capacity, served on the Board of Trustees from 2007 to 2011. She was a member of the alumni board from 2004 to 2011.

Pelham's other roles at Duke have included serving on the editorial advisory board for Duke Magazine, the university’s alumni magazine; as vice president of the local Duke organization in Washington, D.C.; as a co-chair of her 35th and 40th reunions; and as a member of the Leadership Gifts Committee for Duke Forward, the university’s current fund-raising campaign.

She is also a former chair of the Duke Student Publishing Co., which publishes the independent student newspaper, The Chronicle, where as a student Pelham got her start in journalism as the paper's editor.

Since 1972, three of the 37 voting members of the board have been designated as young trustees. Two are selected by undergraduates; one is selected by graduate and professional students.

Selected by his fellow undergraduates as a young trustee, Kondamuri will serve one year as a non-voting member and two years as a voting member.

Kondamuri, who graduated in 2014 with a public policy major and economics minor, was Duke Student Government's first vice president for social culture. He also is a member of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity and sits on The Chronicle's editorial board. He has taken part in the pre-orientation program Project Build and DukeEngage in India.

Kondamuri has said that financial aid issues will be among his priorities.

Selected by the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) as a young trustee, O’Connor will serve one year on the Duke board as a non-voting member and one year as a voting member.

O’Connor is a fifth-year Ph.D./M.D. candidate in biomedical engineering. She has served as the concertmaster and board member of the Duke Medicine Orchestra for the past four years, in addition to chairing the meetings of GPSC for the past two years as their vice president. She said she hopes to form a partnership between the Board of Trustees and GPSC to help foster more connections between the two.

She said in a Chronicle article that she also wants to integrate graduate and professional interests into university standing committees.

The Board of Trustees is the governing body of the university, responsible for the school's educational mission and fiscal policies.