New Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Named

University of Miami official with more than 30 years of experience in the field will join GW in March.

December 01, 2017

Donna ArbideDonna Arbide, interim senior vice president for development and alumni relations at the University of Miami, has been named the George Washington University’s new vice president for development and alumni relations, the university announced Friday.

Ms. Arbide, who begins her role in March, brings more than 30 years of experience in the field.

“I have had the opportunity to work with Donna for many years. During my time at the University of Miami, I saw firsthand her strategic leadership and ability to enhance community among alumni and direct successful fundraising campaigns. She will be a tremendous asset to our university,” President Thomas LeBlanc said. “I also want to thank Interim Vice President Matt Manfra for his service, especially while I made my transition to GW. I am pleased that he will now be able to return to his former position as associate vice president for alumni relations.”

Ms. Arbide said she is thrilled to be joining GW at such an exciting time for the university. “I’ve had the privilege to work alongside President LeBlanc for many years and I’m looking forward to working with him and the university leadership to strengthen alumni and development initiatives,” she said. “I also can’t wait to connect with GW’s impressive global alumni network.”

During her 31-year tenure at the University of Miami, Ms. Arbide has overseen the university’s alumni relations, annual giving and parent programs, as well as fundraising at its various schools and colleges. She has helped greatly expand alumni and parent giving, led several award-winning programs to establish a national and international network of University of Miami alumni and parents, and she was the lead visionary and fundraiser for a new alumni center on the university’s Coral Gables campus. In her current role, she works closely with the university’s board of trustees and the academic deans to implement the university’s strategic plan and development efforts for its three campuses.

A national leader, Ms. Arbide has served as a board member for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. She also was chair of the Commission on Alumni Relations, helping to launch the international initiative creating standards of practice and alumni engagement metrics for the profession. She will chair the 2018 CASE Summit for Leaders in Advancement in New York.

Ms. Arbide has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a master’s degree from the University of Miami.

Since he arrived in August, Dr. LeBlanc has emphasized the importance of evaluating the efficacy of the university’s development efforts and enhancing its relationship with alumni. As part of that process, he has met with staff, alumni and members of GW’s Alumni Association and its board of directors, and has focused on finding a permanent leader for the Division of Development and Alumni Relations.