Adrienne Harrell to serve as executive director for the UC Santa Cruz Foundation

Adrienne Harrell

Adrienne Harrell has accepted an offer to serve as the executive director for the UC Santa Cruz Foundation. She will also hold the title of senior diversity officer for the Division of University Relations.

In this re-envisioned role, Harrell will lead the administrative and operational structure of the UC Santa Cruz Foundation and its Board of Trustees and advance divisional diversity, equity, and inclusion aspirations both in its work environment and its engagement with stakeholders.

“Adrienne’s breadth and depth of experiences in DEI, fundraising, volunteer engagement, and learning and development make her uniquely qualified for this critical position,” said Vice Chancellor for University Relations Mark Delos Reyes Davis, who also serves as the foundation’s president. “The integration of these responsibilities will fundamentally transform how we do our work.”

The foundation works in close partnership with Chancellor Cynthia Larive and other university leaders to steward and advance private philanthropic support for the campus mission while fostering greater understanding throughout the broader community and state of UCSC's activities and impact. It provides stewardship for the $156 million endowment, a collection of philanthropic funds created to support the university’s mission. The foundation’s endowment, coupled with the campus’s endowment held with the UC Regents, makes up the total endowment support received from philanthropy to support the long-term advancement of the UC Santa Cruz campus.

Over the past twenty-five years, Harrell has served in a variety of roles at UCSC, including most recently assistant dean in the Humanities Division and director of Undergraduate Student Affairs in Baskin School of Engineering for 10 years and MESA Schools Program director. Before serving as the deputy director of the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning, she spent three years in University Relations as director and assistant director of Development for Student Affairs and the Natural Sciences Division respectively.

During her tenure managing Learning and Talent Development in Staff Human Resources, Harrell rebuilt and revitalized campus-wide learning and professional development programs for the campus. She led the effort to expand talent development and succession planning capacity as a trained facilitator, collaborating with University Relations in the pilot program for the campus.

A donor, volunteer, and mentor for UCSC, Harrell has developed lasting relationships and deep knowledge of the campus. She will begin her work on September 26.