Tamara Elliott Rogers, former director of major gifts in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and associate director of University Development, and currently associate dean for advancement and planning at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, will become Harvard University’s next vice president for alumni affairs and development, President Drew Faust announced today (Sept. 7). Rogers will assume her new role on Oct. 1.
Rogers’ career spans more than three decades at Harvard. She came to Radcliffe as an undergraduate in 1970, served on the admissions staff for Harvard-Radcliffe undergraduates for over a decade following her graduation, and since 1990 has worked in an array of leadership roles within University development.
“I am very pleased that Tamara Rogers has agreed to assume this new leadership role at such an important moment for Harvard,” said Faust. “Tamara is a Harvard veteran in the best sense of the term. She cares passionately about the University and has deep and broad connections with our alumni. She is a strategic thinker and a highly creative fundraiser who played an important role in Harvard’s last capital campaign. Tamara embraces the new and constantly evolving activities of the University, while taking care to honor our best traditions and commitment to the highest quality in all that we do.
“In her role as associate dean at Radcliffe, Tamara not only achieved outstanding results in fundraising,” Faust continued, “but she managed with great effectiveness the complete restructuring of the offices of development, communications, and alumnae services. She also served as a key member of my leadership team, helping to define the scope of the new institute and build support for its mission among Radcliffe alumnae and new supporters.”
Rogers’ appointment follows a national search led by Faust with the assistance of an advisory committee, which included David Ellwood, dean of the Kennedy School of Government; Jay Light, dean of the Harvard Business School; Kathleen McCartney, dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education; Paul Finnegan, former president of the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA); and other senior administrators from within the University. The group met throughout the search process, soliciting input from a variety of constituencies and interviewing internal and external candidates.
“I am deeply honored by the confidence President Faust and the search committee have placed in me,” said Rogers. “I have had the privilege of working with Drew for the past seven years, and I am enormously excited about what she brings to the leadership of the University. It has also been deeply rewarding to work closely with many of Harvard’s extraordinarily energetic and generous alumni and friends, and it is with great pleasure that I will continue to do so.
“Harvard has huge ambitions — to keep its doors open to students from a wide range of backgrounds; to provide them, once here, with an educational experience commensurate with their talents; to attract and support the most outstanding scholars and teachers in every field; and to bring the best thinking and research to bear on problems both fundamental and pressing in the larger world,” Rogers added. “I treasure my wonderful experience at the Radcliffe Institute, and I look forward to returning to the University Development Office [UDO] and working with a truly outstanding team of colleagues across Harvard in our shared commitment to the University’s mission.”
Rogers graduated from Radcliffe in 1974. From 1976 to 1990, she worked in Harvard admissions, developing a particular expertise in international students and schools, before eventually moving to development. Rogers joined FAS in 1990 as a major gifts officer, staffing the FAS planning committee on international issues. She was instrumental in creating the first Financial Aid Council, an advisory group of alumni responsible for financial aid fundraising during Harvard’s $2.6 billion capital campaign in the 1990s. As part of that campaign, she became, in 1994, director of major gifts, responsible for a team of fundraisers on the East and West coasts and for the supervision of five major gifts committees nationwide.
“I was very pleased to be involved in the search for this crucial position,” said Light. “Tamara Rogers will be an inspiring leader of University development, and with the excellent management team currently in place I expect that our fundraising results will be outstanding.”
“I have personally experienced Tamara’s energy and effectiveness as a fundraiser,” said Finnegan. “She brings a deep commitment to the institution, a network of relationships formed over many years, and an openness to new ideas that will serve the University very well as we move into the next campaign.”
After a brief period in executive search at the firm of Heidrick and Struggles from 1996 to 1998, Rogers returned to Harvard in 1998 as associate director of University Development and director of University Capital Projects. In that role, Rogers served as a member of the senior management team of UDO with responsibility for interfaculty initiatives, corporate and foundation relations, international development, and staffing the provost on development-related matters.
“I enjoyed meeting Tamara Rogers as part of the search,” said McCartney. “I was very impressed with her ideas and her dedication to the mission of Harvard in its full dimensions. Her collaborative approach and experience with fundraising across faculties will be enormously helpful as we seek increasingly to function as ‘one university.’”
“Tamara Rogers is terrific,” said Ellwood. “Her intelligence and leadership combined with her infectious enthusiasm for the vital mission of the University will serve all of us here at Harvard and the larger community very well indeed. Tamara has a demonstrated ability to bridge old boundaries and the energy essential for developing and supporting bold and innovative initiatives University-wide. It will be a great pleasure to work with her and the strong team at UDO.”
Rogers serves on the American Selection Committee of the United World Colleges, a global group of international secondary schools. She has also held a variety of volunteer positions for Phillips Academy, Andover, where she was president of the Abbot Academy Association, the Phillips Academy (Andover) Alumni Council, and an ex officio trustee of the academy. Rogers has also served as a volunteer on HAA committees and on Harvard-Radcliffe reunion committees.
Rogers is married to Anthony Rogers. They have three grown children and live in Cambridge.