Updated: July 12, 2022 at 3:10 p.m.
Interim University President Mark Wrighton announced a series of administrative hires Friday, splitting the position of CFO and executive vice president – previously held by Mark Diaz – between two newly appointed officials.
Bruno Fernandes, GW’s treasurer and vice president of finance, will add CFO to his job description, and University of Vermont General Counsel Sharon Reich Paulsen will serve as executive vice president and chief administration officer – a new position that will “oversee the leadership of administrative functions,” according to a release. Wrighton appointed interim vice president for human resource management and development and chief people officer Sabrina Minor to a permanent role and Ellen Moran as the permanent vice president of communications and marketing, which she also managed at the University of Pittsburgh.
“We are fortunate to benefit from a strong leadership team and the many staff who support our community and the university’s teaching and research,” Wrighton said in the release. “I look forward to the contributions our current and new leaders will bring to campus. This is another important step forward in our ability to achieve the university’s aspirations as we embark on our third century.”
The appointments fill a line of positions that have remained in limbo during the past several months, left empty by recent and upcoming departures like Chief People Officer Dana Bradley last fall, Diaz last week and Jared Abramson, the vice president of financial planning and operations, this August.
The vice president of communications and marketing became mired in controversy after former University President Thomas LeBlanc tapped Heather Swain for the role in 2020 despite her involvement in the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case at Michigan State University. Swain withdrew her acceptance of the job days later, and interim vice presidents have since gone on to fill the position – most recently Stacey DiLorenzo, who previously worked as the executive dean of external relations for the Milken Institute School of Public Health.
Wrighton’s newly created administrative position – the CAO, which he formed after consulting faculty, administrators and trustees – will have oversight across financial operations, human resources and safety and facilities, the release states. Paulsen, who join GW in August, will also manage GW Information Technology with Provost Chris Bracey and help create “financial plans and budgets” for the University in collaboration with the provost and CFO, according to the release.
“I look forward to working collaboratively with President Wrighton, Provost Bracey, faculty, staff and University leadership to help ensure that the University can broaden even further its global impact and reputation as it embarks on its third century of educating tomorrow’s leaders and engaging in research, scholarship and service that betters our world,” Paulsen said in the release.
Fernandes, who has worked at GW for more than a year, will lead GW’s financial operations carrying experience as D.C.’s former treasurer and deputy chief financial officer. Fernandes spearheaded negotiations with Metro officials last year to secure the U-Pass program for the University.
He started in his expanded role as GW’s CFO earlier this month, according to the release.
“I am pleased to serve in this leadership role and grateful to continue working with the many team members who manage the University’s financial resources and help us support GW’s mission and community,” he said.
Moran previously served as the White House communications director under the Obama administration and will start her new job at GW in August.
“GW’s more than 200 years of teaching, research and service – and the impact its students, faculty, staff and alumni have locally, nationally and globally – make joining this community an exciting opportunity,” Moran said in the release. “I look forward to working with the creative and dedicated teams in communications and marketing, and to partnering with stakeholders across the university to share and amplify GW’s many important contributions to the world.”
The release states Minor, who started earlier this month, will now oversee the performance management of Human Resource Management and Development, employee relations, staffing and service. Wrighton said Minor has been a voice for faculty and staff to GW’s leadership team since she joined GW in 2013.
“Our people are core to everything we do at GW,” Minor said. “I am delighted to continue to lead the HRMD teams to attract new employees, retain current employees and bring together faculty and staff to fulfill our mission and goals.”
This post was updated to correct the following:
Due to an editing mistake, a previous version of this story incorrectly spelled Stacey DiLorenzo’s name. It is now spelled correctly. We regret this error.