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Johns Hopkins Administrator Kofi Ofori Named Harvard FAS Chief Financial Officer

Kofi N. Ofori will serve as Chief Financial Officer of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Kofi N. Ofori will serve as Chief Financial Officer of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. By Courtesy of the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
By Tilly R. Robinson and Neil H. Shah, Crimson Staff Writers

Kofi N. Ofori will serve as Chief Financial Officer of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, FAS Dean for Administration and Finance Scott Jordan announced Thursday. Ofori currently directs the financial planning for Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.

The position, formerly called “Associate Dean for Finance,” has been vacant since October 2023. At the time, former Associate Dean for Finance Jay Herlihy — who held the role since September 2012 — left the FAS to become Chief Financial Officer of the Groton School.

Ofori will begin at Harvard on June 17.

Ofori’s appointment comes as interim Harvard President Alan M. Garber ’76 has privately told donors the University was experiencing a fundraising shortfall. Since Oct. 7, prominent donors — including Kenneth C. Griffin ’89, a major FAS backer — have paused support over Harvard’s response to the Israel-Hamas war and antisemitism on campus.

As the University experiences a donor crunch, top administrators in the FAS — including FAS Dean Hopi E. Hoekstra, Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana, and Dean of Undergraduate Education Amanda Claybaugh — have embarked on trips to meet alumni and strengthen their relationships with the school.

So far, Hoekstra has traveled to New York and California to meet with alumni, and she will soon travel to Hong Kong.

More than $20 billion of Harvard’s endowment supports the FAS — by far the largest allocation to any of Harvard’s schools. The FAS finished fiscal year 2023 with a $62 million budget surplus and total revenues of $1.6 billion.

In addition to planning around donor upheaval, Ofori will also be expected to help fundraise and plan for the FAS’ incoming capital projects.

Two days ago, Harvard Library Vice President Martha J. Whitehead informed faculty members of the results of a feasibility study regarding renovations to all four Harvard Yard libraries. At the same time, Harvard College — a subdivision of the FAS — is in the midst of its House Renewal project, with renovations for the majority of the 12 Houses still remaining.

As CFO, Ofori will lead the FAS’ Office of Finance, which manages FAS budgets, monitors usage of endowment funds, and interprets the terms that govern gift and endowment funds.

That last task may prove especially important as the FAS tries to work around restrictions imposed by donors or federal funders that affect a substantial proportion of its funds. At the end of the 2023 fiscal year, the FAS had $768 million in restricted reserves but only $205 million in unrestricted funds.

During a November faculty meeting presentation, Jordan — the FAS administration and finance dean — said these restrictions posed a significant constraint for the FAS.

“We are rich, but we simultaneously don’t feel it,” Jordan said.

Jordan told faculty that the Office of Finance was devising strategies to “free up” restricted funds — an effort that will likely continue under Ofori’s leadership.

Ofori joins Harvard after more than a decade of working in higher education financial planning. Before Johns Hopkins, he served in positions at The Pennsylvania State University, New York University, and Arizona State University.

“Kofi brings to our leadership team a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success in finance and administration within higher education,” Jordan wrote in the announcement.

—Staff writer Tilly R. Robinson can be reached at Follow her on X @tillyrobin.

—Staff writer Neil H. Shah can be reached at Follow him on X @neilhshah15.

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FASFundraisingUniversity FinancesUniversityRakesh KhuranaAlan GarberHopi Hoekstra