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Afsahi Named New FAS Chief Development Officer

Armin Afsahi was named the chief development officer of FAS Tuesday.
Armin Afsahi was named the chief development officer of FAS Tuesday. By Courtesy of Brian von Schulz/Harvard Gazette
By Amanda Y. Su, Crimson Staff Writer

Armin Afsahi will serve as new associate vice president and dean of development for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the University announced in a press release Tuesday.

In his new role, Afsahi will lead efforts to outline and execute a fundraising plan for FAS.

Afsahi called his appointment a “career-defining moment” for him in a press release and said he is “excited” to work at the University.

“I consider it an honor and privilege to support the research and scholarship, and the teaching and learning that enables the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to have such an impact on Harvard and in the world, fostering progress and leading change,” Afsahi said.

Afsahi has previously served as the vice chancellor for advancement at the University of Denver — a parallel role to the one he will assume at Harvard. He has also held senior roles in this field at Georgetown University and the University of California, San Diego.

Over the course of his career, Afsahi has overseen several capital campaigns, according to the press release. At the University of Denver, Afashi substantially increased giving each year under his tenure — which began in 2015 – and launched the school’s first $1 billion capital campaign. He also led $2 billion campaigns at UC San Diego and Georgetown.

Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay said in a press release that she is “eager” to work with Afashi when he begins his role on August 1.

“From my first encounters with Armin, I was impressed by his belief in the power of discovery and innovation to effect positive change, his desire to work closely with faculty to advance an institution, and his ability to inspire and be inspired by an intellectual community,” Gay said.

Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development Brian K. Lee said in a press release Afsahi is “ideally suited” for his new job at Harvard.

“I look forward to working with him as he develops strong relationships with Harvard’s dedicated alumni volunteers, deepening and expanding that engagement through his own creative vision,” Lee said.

Afsahi’s appointment comes a year after Harvard’s record-breaking $9.6 billion capital campaign, which ended in June 2018. The campaign, which was launched in 2013, surpassed its original goal by more than $3 billion.

In that campaign, FAS — which houses the College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences — raised $3.2 billion of the total sum, far surpassing its own $2.5 billion goal.

—Amanda Y. Su can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @amandaysu.

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