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Chief Administration Office

Supporting External Relations

Chief Administration Office

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The External Relations Chief Administration Office coordinates and manages Human Resources, Talent Acquisition, Learning and Training activities, Finance, Facilities, and Operational IT for the External Relations organization.

We advise the VP and the VP’s direct reports on operational and financial impacts and feasibility of initiatives, as well as strategic planning. The CAO team are tasked with looking broadly across all our units to find synergies, streamline, and eliminate redundancies, and to align the administrative functions under the CAO management. We strive to be excellent business partners and trusted advisors to the organizations we support and to support the mission and values of Stanford University.

Shared Services Model of Operations
The Chief Administration Office is the consolidation of shared business operations that support External Relations and Stanford Alumni Association departments. Our goal in creating a shared services delivery model for important administrative functions is to allow each business unit to focus on their core activities, which includes outreach to donors, alumni, and the community. This model enables cost-efficient administrative and support resources to be leveraged across our entire organization, resulting in consistent customer-service levels and business practices.  We believe it increases the value we are able to provide our clients.

Please view the Corral intranet website for External Relations employees internal information.

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Led by Daphna Davidson, Associate Vice President, the finance team serves as stewards of our External Relations resources. Partnering closely with managers and their staff, the team helps ensure we use our funds responsibly and that our departments have the resources they need to be effective. The finance team also helps our departments adhere to University and External Relations policies and guidelines by providing support and oversight for the many staff who process financial transactions.

Our aim is to build a solid financial foundation on which External Relations staff can pursue excellence while maintaining a high degree of cost efficiency with respect to the University’s limited unrestricted resources. Buttressed by continual process improvement, we approach our work with deep commitment and great enthusiasm.

In addition to budget management, the finance team supports gift reporting, campaign tracking, data analysis, and gift and related reporting for the Development Committee of the Board of Trustees. We have oversight of most of the University’s gift-matching programs. And we provide billet tracking and position-management oversight for our colleagues in Human Resources.

Each member of the finance team is an expert in operational budget management and gift analysis. The team is equally proficient in CARD, PostGrads, and Oracle-based tools such as Business Intelligence (BI). 


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Human Resources

The External Relations Human Resource team is responsible for providing strategic HR guidance and consulting for staff, management, and leadership in our organization.  In addition, our HR team partners with University Human Resources and other units across the campus to share ideas and practices, streamline processes and collaborate on initiatives.  The Human Resources and Talent Acquisition Team supports our staff during their careers at Stanford, through the various aspects of staff engagement.  This begins with recruiting and onboarding and continues with coaching, and professional and career development. Our HR team supports the organization by working with unit managers as business partners in the areas of talent management, workforce planning, performance management, organizational design, employee engagement, change management, and administering our compensation, rewards and recognition program.  Human Resources guiding principles include high integrity, championing diversity in all forms, customer focus, competence, promoting open honest communication, supporting a respectful workplace, and a culture of lifelong learning and continuous improvement.  Our organization promotes and supports our outstanding staff who thrive in a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace.

External Relations HR Support

Grow and Perform at Stanford Resources

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Organizational Learning & Performance

Organizational Learning & Performance aims to continually enhance the knowledge, skills, and competencies for the External Relations staff, as well as associated faculty members and volunteers. The department provides innovative and practical performance support through learning experiences, coaching, team development, and consulting resources.

Led by Director Nirit Hazan, Learning and Performance provides training for operational business courses and supports the IDEAL OOD and DEI work in External Relations and in partnership with University HR. L&P partners closely with the business to develop and deliver programs including Gift Acceptance, Campaign Knowledge programs, and Operational Onboarding for the Development Office and other units.  In partnership with our Human Resources, 5 Dynamics, Navigating Change, and Grow and Perform at Stanford training are examples of enrichment programs provided by OL&P.

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Business Technology Services

Business Technology Services (BTS) enables External Relations and Stanford Alumni Association staff to deepen constituent engagement by providing strategic technology leadership, solution delivery, and ongoing technical support.  We work in partnership with University IT to implement the ADAPT Program (Alumni and Development Applications Platform Transition), a multi-year initiative to replace the legacy advancement system that will help us to better serve, steward, and digitally engage the University's alumni, donors, and other constituents.  Once the ADAPT system is fully functional BTS will continue to provide ongoing support, maintenance, and enhancements to this critical enterprise system.

Operational IT Support is provided by the Business Technology Services Team, led by CIO Kathy Pappas-Kassaras.  and  for Service and support:


Facilities and Services 

The Alumni Center Facilities and Services team provides operational and facilities support to SAA & External Relations. Matt Williams, Director of Facilities for SAA and External Relations and team manage everything from signage to furnishings, emergency preparedness, space renovations, security and access as well as the fleet of carts and vehicles on the main and the Redwood City campus locations.  The team is now also managing the On-Site Roles Management system and they provide mail and guests services support at the Alumni Center. If you need assistance in any of these areas they can be reached via ServiceNow.

The team also manages the event space at the Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center. See the center’s events page for any questions or to reserve space.

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The Chief Administration Office is part of the Office of External Relations.