Skip to main content

President's Message | Reports & Announcements


May 28, 2015

 TO: AU Community
 FROM: Neil Kerwin, President
 SUBJECT: Development and Alumni Relations Transition


The search for our next vice president for development and alumni relations is well underway, led by Mary Kennard, vice president and general counsel, and guided by the search committee with the full support of our executive search firm, Witt/Kieffer. A robust pool of potential candidates is taking shape and members of the division and university leadership will be advised appropriately in due course of opportunities to meet finalists. The search committee seeks to bring the search to a successful close this summer.

With Vice President Thomas Minar completing his tenure on June 5, and a new appointee likely to arrive in the fall, I have asked Raina Lenney, assistant vice president for alumni relations to serve as interim vice president. Raina is respected and well qualified to lead the division and will help maintain our momentum from a very strong year in philanthropy and engagement, as we prepare for the arrival of Tom’s successor.

Raina joined American University in October 2009. As assistant vice president of alumni relations, she is responsible for advancing the mission of the university through programs, benefits, and services designed to engage AU’s alumni constituency. Raina oversees all aspects of the alumni relations and annual giving programs, including the AU Alumni Association board; domestic, local, and international programs; affinity outreach; school based outreach; student and young alumni programs, and phone, mail and e-solicitation outreach. During her tenure at AU, alumni engagement has more than doubled. Annual giving has benefitted from her team’s innovative approach, with new programs like AU’s first day of giving, the Founder’s Relay, which set a record for new donors in a single day.

Prior to joining the staff of American University, Raina served as senior director for alumni relations at The George Washington University. Raina joined GW’s staff in 2002 in the Annual Fund and later spent several years working in development communications before transitioning into alumni relations. A respected leader in the advancement profession actively involved in CASE and the Association of Private College and University Alumni Directors (PCUAD), Raina will provide steady leadership during this transition.

I know the community will give Raina and the entire division of Development and Alumni Relations our full support during this transition.

Strategic Plan

AU's strategic plan, Leadership for a Changing World, outlines goals and objectives for the next decade at American University. Visit for more information. ( login required for some documents)

Read the Strategic Plan

view objectives, years 7 & 8

Building a Better AU

Visit the Building AU website to read about facilities projects that support AU’s academic aspirations and enhance campus ambiance. You can also learn more about AU's Campus Plan.

Building AU

watch video