FAS Names New Development Head Mid-Campaign

UPDATED: August 11, 2014, at 4:20 p.m.

Vice President of Advancement for the University of Alberta O’Neil A.S. Outar will take over as the new senior associate dean and director of development for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, a shift in leadership that comes nearly a year after the FAS launched its campaign for the Arts and Sciences.

Outar, who will officially assume his dual positions on Sept. 8, will manage and advise FAS fundraising efforts, working to meet and exceed the division’s $2.5 billion capital campaign, according to a press release last Friday. That figure represents a plurality of The Harvard Campaign’s University-wide $6.5 billion goal, the highest ever set by an institution of higher education.

“Initially, as with any new position, my priority will be to learn as much as I can,” Outar wrote in an email. “I'll listen a lot and ask a ton of questions.”

He added that he hopes to “continue [the] momentum” already generated by the FAS campaign.


Outar will replace Paul T. Keenan ’85, who has served in the role since 2008, when the University’s Development Office underwent several major changes, adding new roles and bulking up its fundraising arm.

FAS spokesperson Colin Manning wrote in an email that, on June 30, Keenan relocated to Honolulu, Hawaii, where Keenan’s partner is CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. There he will be working in his own firm, Keenan Associates, which consults with universities and non-profit organizations. Keenan will still maintain a consulting relationship with Harvard, Manning said.

According to the press release, Outar will report directly to FAS Dean Michael D. Smith and Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development Tamara E. Rogers ’74, under whom he will join the Alumni Affairs and Development senior team.

“His deep experience and strong skills will be invaluable,” Rogers said in the press release.

Dean Smith, for his part, said he is not worried  that the shift in leadership will threaten the campaign's momentum.

“O'Neil is ready and eager to join us and build on the incredible momentum we've built in the campaign's first year," Smith said in a statement.

Previously, Outar served as the University of Alberta’s first-ever Vice President of Management, raising half a billion dollars during his four-year tenure at the school. Prior to working at the University of Alberta, Outar served as MIT’s senior director of global initiatives and senior director of institutional initiatives.

“O'Neil is a consummate professional, a high energy, strategic, thoughtful and brilliant leader,” Colm Renehan, who served as associate vice president on Outar’s team at the University of Alberta, wrote in an email. “He is a great catch for a world leading university and we will miss him dearly.”

—Staff writer Meg P. Bernhard can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @Meg_Bernhard.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: August 11, 2014

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated O'Neil Outar's title at the University of Alberta. In fact, Outar is Vice President of Advancement.


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