Carlson Zink named new leader of UND Alumni Association and Foundation
A 25-year employee of the UND Alumni Association and Foundation will take over as the organization's Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer. DeAnna Carlson Zink will take charge following the retirement of current EVP/CEO Tim O'Keefe in March.
"It is my pleasure to be selected as the new Executive Vice President and CEO of the UND Alumni Association and Foundation," Carlson Zink said. "I believe the organization and UND Foundation and our 115,000 alumni are the margin of difference for this great University."
Carlson Zink has been the Chief Development Officer and Associate Vice President of the UND AA&F since 2005. She has held a number of other positions during a 25-year career with the nonprofit organization. In her current leadership position, she directs all aspects of fundraising, and has played a major role in the success of the soon-to-be-completed North Dakota Spirit | The Campaign for UND. The campaign passed its $300 million goal early this year, and now stands at $315 million.
"We are pleased to have a valued alum with whom we've worked for many years to lead the UND Alumni Association and Foundation," said UND President Robert O. Kelley. "DeAnna will provide a leadership style with which we are very familiar and in which we have tremendous confidence. We look forward to working with DeAnna as we continue to create an Exceptional UND."
"DeAnna has been a key leader in the success of the North Dakota Spirit Campaign," O'Keefe said. "I have so much confidence in her ability to lead this organization because I've have experienced her passion and drive every day of the eleven years we have worked together."
After O'Keefe's retirement announcement earlier this year, a committee was formed to ensure a smooth transition. The chair of the transition committee, Kris Compton, said Carlson Zink is the only person they considered for the job, but they still did a thorough job of vetting her application. "We interviewed dozens of people; university partners, alumni, co-workers and references, and they all had nothing but praise for DeAnna's leadership skills, her passion for UND and her fundraising expertise. It became a slam-dunk."
"Tim has not only raised the bar for our organization, but for philanthropy in our state and within higher education," Carlson Zink said. "I am excited to build on this strong foundation and to continue to elevate our organization to a position of sustainable excellence for the benefit of the University of North Dakota."
-- Milo Smith, director of publications and media relations, Alumni Association and Foundation