LeBlanc appoints first staff members to president’s office

University President Thomas LeBlanc announced two top presidential appointments Tuesday.

Aristide Collins, who led LeBlanc’s presidential transition team, will serve as chief of staff and Betty Freyre, who worked with LeBlanc for nine years at the University of Miami, was named his director of administration, according to a University release. LeBlanc announced these appointments on his first day as University president.

Collins, who will also serve as vice president and secretary of the University, left his role as GW’s top fundraiser in January after two years on the job to serve as chair of the Presidential Transition Working Group. He left the office just months before the University’s largest fundraising campaign reached its $1 billion goal.

He has also managed the Office of the Board of Trustees and will continue to serve as the middleman between trustees and University leadership in his new role, as well as working with LeBlanc to execute University operations, the release said.

“I am delighted that he will continue to work directly with me as my chief of staff,” LeBlanc said. “His knowledge of the University and strong relationships, including with our Board of Trustees, will serve me and the entire University well in the coming years.”

Collins, who has been at the University since 2010, previously served as the vice president and secretary of the University.

“Continuing to work with the board and President LeBlanc in this broader capacity is a great opportunity,” Collins said.

LeBlanc, who served as the executive vice president and provost at the University of Miami, recruited Freyre from Miami to a new position in the Office of the President, where she will oversee daily operations.

“He is a great leader, and I know he will be a great president,” Freyre said. “The opportunity to join this prestigious university and live in Washington, D.C., was more than I expected at this point in my life, and I am very happy to be here.”

Freyre served as the senior manager of business operations in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost at the University of Miami, working with LeBlanc since 2008 and reporting to him directly since 2011, according to the release.

LeBlanc also appointed Chaka Butler to serve as director of the F Street House, Jessica Finger for assistant manager of the F Street House and Kitty Boney for the executive aide for the Office of the President. He is expected to finalize other staffing decisions during the fall semester, the release said.

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