Meet our leadership team

Our senior leaders in Alumni Affairs and Development work to advance all areas of Cornell and engage alumni, parents, and friends. Please contact us if you have questions about our division or to find out how you can engage with Cornell.

Fred Van Sickle

  • Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development

    With three decades of experience in fundraising and alumni relations, Fred is the university's chief fundraiser, overseeing a team of some 360 members responsible for building alumni engagement worldwide and securing private support from individuals and institutions for the Ithaca and Cornell Tech campuses.

    Before joining Cornell in January of 2016, Fred Van Sickle served for two years as chief development officer at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, New Jersey, where he led the completion of a $212 million campaign. Prior to his work at IAS, Van Sickle served Columbia University for 12 years, occupying three leadership roles, including executive vice president for University Development and Alumni Relations. He oversaw outreach to Columbia’s alumni worldwide and played a pivotal role in planning, executing, and completing Columbia $6.1 billion campaign. He has also served as associate vice president for development and assistant dean for development for the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan, vice president for alumni and development and secretary of the College at Lake Forest College (his undergraduate alma mater), and director of Principal Gifts at Princeton University.

Ben Renberg

  • Senior Associate Vice President

    Before joining Cornell's AAD team in 2016, Ben was associate vice president for development at Rice University and previously was assistant dean of external relations for the university’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business. He was a partner with Dini Partners, a consulting firm specializing in nonprofits and also served as associate vice president for university development at Baylor University and director of development at Baylor College of Medicine. Ben holds bachelor’s and MBA degrees from Baylor University.


Tracy Cary

  • Associate Vice President for Operations

    Tracy joined AAD in 2016 after serving as director of finance and budget in Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, where she held senior roles since 2006. Prior to joining Cornell, Tracy worked in the Philadelphia area as a controller in private industry; a manager at a consulting firm specializing in SEC reporting; and as an auditor for Arthur Andersen. She is a certified public accountant and holds a degree in accounting from Penn State University.


Kristen Ford

  • Associate Vice President for Colleges and Units

    Kristen was named associate vice president in 2016, a role that follows eleven years in AAD, where she has also served as the assistant vice president for University Corporate and Foundation Relations, director of new business development and senior campaign officer for special initiatives. With thirty years of experience in higher education, Kristen has also held leadership positions at Ithaca College and earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island.


Andrew Gossen

  • Executive Director, Digital

    Andrew joined Cornell in 2010 from Princeton, where he spent eight years in alumni affairs in a number of diverse roles. His main focus is using digital technologies, including social media, to build audiences and mobilize them on behalf of Cornell. Andrew holds a bachelor's degree from Princeton and a doctorate in social anthropology from Harvard University.


Jeff McCarthy

  • Associate Vice President for Principal Gifts

    Jeff joined Alumni Affairs and Development at Cornell University in 1990, after having worked for ten years at Waldenbooks in marketing and management. His career in development began in the Cornell Fund, and he has also served as director of Leadership Gifts and director of College/Unit and Project Development. He became director of Principal Gifts in 1998 and associate vice president for Principal Gifts in 2012. Jeff focuses on advancing university priorities through gifts of $10 million and higher.


Shalini Mimani

  • Shalini Mimani

    Associate Vice President, Cornell Tech and Northeast Corridor

    Shalini joined Cornell in 2018. She oversees alumni affairs and development for Cornell Tech and the Northeast Corridor. Prior to Cornell, Shalini worked for Columbia University where she was a member of the team that established the international fundraising program. She also spearheaded fundraising for the School of International and Public Affairs and major priorities within the Arts and Sciences. As a principal gifts officer at Columbia, she helped drive the university’s $5 billion campaign. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University.


Marybeth Tarzian

  • Marybeth Tarzian, Associate Vice President for Colleges and Units

    Associate Vice President for Colleges and Units

    Marybeth joined central AAD in 2017 after serving 12 years as assistant dean for alumni affairs and development for Cornell’s College of Human Ecology (CHE). She led the college’s comprehensive campaign, exceeding its goal by raising $95 million and more than doubling its annual funds. Previously she worked for the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Ithaca College, and Philadelphia University. Marybeth earned her bachelor’s degree from Alfred University and her master’s degree from Ithaca College.

Michelle Vaeth '98

  • Michelle Vaeth '98, associate vice president for alumni affairs

    Associate Vice President for Alumni Affairs

    In June 2018, Michelle returned to her alma mater with a deep background in global marketing and communications, having spent 18 years in progressively responsible roles at Proctor & Gamble. Her final assignment there was leading the brand communications, public relations, and crisis/issues management team for P&G's $5 billion health care division. She has actively leveraged her professional strategic planning and implementation skills in multiple volunteer roles, serving as president of the Cornell Club of Southwestern Ohio and a member of the Dyson Advisory Council. Michelle holds a bachelor of science degree from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.


David Whitmore '96

  • associate vice president for Major Gifts

    Associate Vice President for Major Gifts

    David K. Whitmore ’96 was named associate vice president for Major Gifts in 2017. Previously he served the division for ten years in roles that included associate director, director, and associate dean of alumni affairs and development in the College of Arts & Sciences, where he earned his bachelor’s degree. A second-generation Cornellian, he began his career as a staff member in Student and Academic Services and has served on the Common Council of the City of Ithaca. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.


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Division of Alumni Affairs and Development 130 E. Seneca Street, Suite 400 Ithaca, NY 14850