Two new leaders join the UH foundation

After a highly competitive national search, the University of Hawai‘i Foundation is very pleased to announce that Rebecca Tseng Smith and Tom Smith Tseng will be joining the UH Foundation executive team Dec. 10.0

“Rebecca and Tom bring great depth of experience working with donors, academic leaders and volunteers after serving in development, external relations, and alumni relations leadership roles during four successful billion dollar fundraising campaigns at some of the best universities in the country,” said University of Hawai‘i President David Lassner.

Rebecca Smith will join the team as the Vice President for Development and Campaign Co-Director focusing on the health sciences colleges and programs, and the 7 University of Hawai‘i System Community Colleges. Smith brings 30 years of university development experience. She is currently the Associate Dean for External Relations at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, Stanford University, California, a position she will be leaving when she joins the UH Foundation. Here she sets the vision, strategy and facilitates the execution of all aspects of external relations for the school. She also plays a leadership role in developing and executing fundraising strategy and working with major supporters of the university.

Other career highlights include serving as the Co-Director of Major Gifts and Associate Director of Major Gifts at Stanford University where she contributed to the success of the university’s $1 billion Campaign for Undergraduate Education by managing two major gift volunteer committees and their work in Los Angeles and San Diego. Before joining the Stanford team she was the Associate Director of Major Gifts, Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, Massachusetts. Before joining Harvard, she was the Associate Dean for Alumni Affairs and Development at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the largest of the four statutory schools in New York State’s land grant institution. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a master’s degree in theology at Boston University.

Tom Tseng will serve as Vice President for Development and Campaign Co-Director, supporting UH Mānoa, and regional and international programs. He is a graduate of McKinley High School and holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in engineering from Cornell University.
Tseng has 27 years in higher education which includes six years in college admissions at Cornell University and 21 years in alumni affairs and development from his tenure at 4 universities. He has held leadership roles in highly successful university fundraising campaigns including the Stanford Challenge at Stanford University which raised $6.23 billion; the Chicago Initiatives which raised $2.3 billion for the University of Chicago; and as a member of the capital campaign staff at Harvard University and Cornell University.

He is currently the Senior Director, International Division of Stanford’s Office of Development, a position he will be leaving when he joins the UH Foundation. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, with extensive alumni and development experience in Asia, Tseng is responsible for planning, implementing, and coordinating all of Stanford University’s fundraising activities outside of the United States.

Other career highlights include serving as Senior Director, Western and Asia-Pacific Regional Office, Alumni Relations and Development at the University of Chicago where he re-established a full-service regional alumni relations and development office.

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