Campus & Community

‘Beppie’ Huidekoper to become VP at Brown

4 min read

Elizabeth “Beppie” Huidekoper, Harvard’s vice president for finance since 1996, has accepted the position of executive vice president for finance and administration at Brown University. She will begin her new duties at Brown on Oct. 15.

Elizabeth “Beppie” Huidekoper

“Brown University is a terrific institution with visionary leadership,” Huidekoper said. “I look forward to working with Ruth Simmons, with Brown’s talented faculty and extraordinary students, and with the Brown staff and alumni who are ready and willing to be supportive. The opportunity is truly a great one for me and I believe the only one that could have lured me away from Harvard. Deciding to leave Harvard is painful … leaving will be even more so. I have loved my 20 years at Harvard; I have loved the chance to work with so many special people; and I have been extraordinarily fortunate to have had the opportunities that Harvard has given me.”

Harvard University President Lawrence H. Summers said he and many others at Harvard will miss Huidekoper’s energy, collegiality, and commitment to the University. Summers praised Huidekoper’s two decades of service to Harvard and wished her well in her new role at Brown.

“Beppie has been one of Harvard’s most talented, versatile, and effective administrators for the past 20 years,” Summers said. “During this past year, she has taught me a great deal about how Harvard really works, and has done so with a sense of energy, commitment, and spirited good will that one can only admire. In areas ranging from budgets to sponsored research, from risk management to financial planning, she has played a vital role in enhancing Harvard’s financial health. More generally, she has served as a highly valued member of the central administration’s leadership team, and someone who has done much to nourish the connective tissue between Harvard’s diverse parts and to enable our collective pursuit of academic excellence. All of us who know Beppie, and have had the opportunity to work with her, will miss her greatly.”

As Harvard’s vice president for finance since May 1996, Huidekoper has overseen the financial operations of the University, which involve a staff of 320 and a budget of $30 million. During that time, she developed various financial strategies designed to help the president and provost achieve their strategic objectives and revised the University’s budget and planning processes. She also restructured the internal management of working capital, developed a University debt policy, and revised the University’s approach to and management of risk.

Huidekoper has been at Harvard since 1981. Before assuming her current position, she was director of the University’s Office of Budgets and Research Administration (1985-95), associate director in the Office of Budgets (1983-85), and senior financial analyst (1981-83). In 1994, she also served as acting vice president for finance. She led and managed the planning process that resulted in prioritized programs and capital projects and Harvard’s first University-wide fundraising campaign.

Before Harvard, Huidekoper was deputy director of the Council for Northeast Economic Action, a nonprofit organization involved in economic development and research projects in New England, and a project manager in the city of Boston’s Office of Management and Budgets. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and an M.B.A. from Boston University.

As Brown’s executive vice president for finance and administration, Huidekoper will have overall responsibility for Brown’s budget and financial planning, human resources, internal auditing, labor relations, police and security, risk management, facilities, investments, and all business operations.

“Elizabeth Huidekoper has impressive leadership experience in many important areas, from financial operations to research administration to systems and strategic planning,” said Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons. “I am delighted to welcome her to the senior administration and I look forward to her arrival in the fall.”

A search for a new Harvard vice president for finance is expected to begin soon. In the meantime, Summers said he welcomes advice about the nature of the role and encouraged members of the Harvard community to suggest appropriate candidates to fill the position.