Elizabeth Mora, a senior member of the University’s financial administration since 1997, today (April 15) announced her intention to step down as vice president for finance and chief financial officer.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working at Harvard,” said Mora. “The finance organization has made tremendous strides and many contributions over my years here. I am very proud of the work we’ve done. I will miss all of my colleagues and will count my years at Harvard as a very important part of my career.”
“For more than a decade, Beth Mora has served Harvard with a constant concern for the University’s financial well-being and with a deep commitment to rigor and high standards in our financial practices,” said President Drew Faust. “In her series of roles over the years, her energy and intelligence have strengthened our efforts in compliance and cost analysis, in sponsored research, and in a wider range of financial activities, and we owe her our thanks for all she has done to advance the sound workings of Harvard’s internal economy.”
In recent years, Mora has played a key leadership role in such activities as the University’s intensified focus on risk management, the greater integration of capital and operating budgets, the evolution of financial modeling for Allston planning, the negotiation of reimbursement rates for sponsored research, the redesign of Harvard’s financial report, and the search for a new head of Harvard Management Company.
“Beth has worked with both diligence and skill to enhance our financial management capacity and to ensure that we meet high standards of accountability in our business practices,” said James F. Rothenberg, treasurer of the University. “She has helped to build and lead a strong team of professionals within our financial administration, whose talent and dedication serve Harvard in essential ways. I join Beth’s many colleagues in expressing gratitude for her important contributions to Harvard and wishing her well in all that lies ahead.”
Mora began her Harvard career in 1997 as director of cost analysis and compliance. In 2000, she became director of the Office for Sponsored Programs, then was named associate vice president for sponsored programs in 2004. In that role, she was the member of the central administration principally responsible for matters relating to the hundreds of millions of dollars in research support that Harvard attracts each year from government, foundations, and industry.
As vice president for finance and chief financial officer since 2006, Mora has overseen an array of functions including budgets and financial planning, risk management and audit services, management of the University’s debt portfolio and central bank, administration of sponsored research programs, the business requirements and functions of new enterprise-wide financial systems, and a variety of financial control and reporting functions ranging from accounting to tax matters to purchasing, billing, student loans, and payroll processing. She has also served ex officio as a member of the board of Harvard Management Company, and has been the senior sponsor of the financial administration’s Diversity Council.
Before coming to Harvard, Mora worked for nearly 10 years in public accounting at Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) as a manager in the firm’s national regulatory consulting practice. Her areas of expertise included federal regulatory research matters, such as indirect cost rate development and negotiation, OMB Circular A-133 audits, and pre- and post-award grant and contract administration.
A certified public accountant, Mora holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. from the Simmons Graduate School of Management.
Mora indicated that she plans to remain in her position through mid-May to enable a smooth transition and to see through the completion of University-wide budgets for the 2008-09 fiscal year.
Faust said that Dan Shore, the University’s director of budgets and financial planning, has agreed to serve as acting chief financial officer upon Mora’s departure, while a search proceeds.