Kimberly E. Ritrievi


Dean Bruce Donoff was looking for new Dean's Advisory Board members in 2001. He wanted someone with experience running a business, and it would be great if she were a woman because at the time there were very few women board members. Dr. Ed Seldin, an HSDM faculty member and friend of mine from MIT, immediately thought of me. When Ed called to say Bruce would like to meet me the next time he was in New York, I agreed but was certain the Dean would come to his senses about having a board member who did not know the difference between a molar and a bicuspid.

Dean Donoff did visit me at my Goldman Sachs office in New York Plaza.  We had a great introductory meeting. Coincidentally, Goldman Sachs was encouraging its managing directors to join a non-profit board.  It was the right time for me to make a commitment even though I could not see putting anything else on my plate. I was running the U.S. Investment Research Department during very difficult times following the tech bubble. But spending a few days a year in Boston and having time to see Ed and his wife, Lisa Witham, brought what at first seemed like a rather impetuous idea to a wonderful conclusion.

I have served on the board for more than 15 years, including 5 years as chair and now vice chair and enjoyed all the opportunities and challenges the Dean has given us. The Research and Education Building had not even started when I joined the board! I have had the pleasure of meeting a wide range of leaders in the dental industry who are fellow board members and see many more women join the board. Our board members are major supporters of the Annual Fund. We have hosted a number of Leadership Forums where new ideas are discussed by attendees from business, healthcare, academia, and government—all involved in the dental arena. Two years ago, the board expanded its activities by introducing the Harvard School of Dental Medicine Initiative Integrating Oral Health and Medicine.  This new group of HSDM supporters, with a shared vision to transform dentistry, has been especially engaged in the School’s mission.

During the School's sesquicentennial year I am involved as a member of the 150th Anniversary Committee. I am looking forward to all of the activities in 2017, especially the Gala and Educational Summit in early May.