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News & Events for the Smith College Community
News of Note November 20, 2019

David DeSwert Appointed Vice President

David DeSwert

Smith College President Kathleen McCartney today announced the appointment of David C. DeSwert as the college’s vice president for finance and administration.

His appointment is effective immediately.

A longtime member of the Smith staff, DeSwert has served as interim vice president for finance and administration since July 1, 2019.

In announcing the appointment, McCartney praised DeSwert’s talent and experience at all levels, noting especially his leadership around the college’s financial sustainability plan, his work with the Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility, and his clear vision for managing the complex Neilson Library redesign.

“One of the things I admire most about David is that he puts mission first,” McCartney said. “When he approaches resource allocation, he reaches out to the community to get consensus on our top priorities. I respect this enormously.

“In addition, he has done incredible work on financial sustainability, which has kept Smith strong and vibrant as an institution,” she added. “Finally, he is a great collaborator, who values transparency. I look forward to working with him in the years ahead as a trusted partner.”

In his new role as vice president, DeSwert will oversee a portfolio that includes the college’s administrative, business and finance operations; facilities, space planning, construction and capital projects; human resources; dining and catering services; campus police; executive education programs; and environmental sustainability.

“With its healthy financial position, important mission and dynamic leadership team, Smith is poised to excel in a challenging higher education environment,” DeSwert said. “I feel that I have been preparing for this position for a number of years, and I’m excited to be working with President McCartney and her cabinet, the board of trustees, and partners across campus to help guide Smith to an ever more successful future.”

A member of the college’s finance and administration office since 2007, DeSwert came to Smith as the college’s budget director, and over the years assumed roles of increasing responsibility. During the national financial crisis of 2008, he was a key financial planning adviser to the college’s senior leadership and trustees, eventually joining the president’s cabinet. Over the past several years, as an associate vice president, he has played an important role in developing the college’s financial sustainability plan, engaging key stakeholders and campus partners in a consensus-driven process that has created a vision for the future and developed tools for achieving and monitoring success.

DeSwert succeeds Mike Howard, who left Smith in July 2019 to become executive vice president at Tufts University.