By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
(Reuters) - Harvard University has hired a senior executive at its investment management arm to review how environmental, social and corporate governance aspects affect the holdings in its $30 billion endowment, the school said on Tuesday.
Jameela Pedicini comes to Harvard Management Co from the California Public Employees Retirement System, or Calpers, where she was investment officer for global governance.
Harvard, which has in the past faced pressure from students and alumni over its investments, has been looking to fill this new position for several months.
The Ivy League school's endowment makes it the richest in the country and its investment decisions have long been followed closely as it manages the bulk of its assets internally but also relies on prominent hedge fund managers to manage a sizable chunk.
In 2005, Harvard yielded to heavy pressure and announced plans to sell stock in PetroChina, whose parent company was closely linked with the government of Sudan which has been accused of human rights violations.
"As long-term investors, we are acutely focused on factors that may impact the long-term sustainability of Harvard's endowment portfolio," Jane Mendillo, the investment arm's chief executive officer, said in the statement.
(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)