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A message from President Napolitano regarding UCOP leadership transitions

The following message was emailed to all UCOP staff on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017:

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing about upcoming transitions in the leadership at UCOP.

After four years of remarkable service, Seth Grossman will be departing UC next month to relocate with his family to the East Coast. He has accepted a new position in Washington, DC.  Since 2013, Seth has served as my Chief of Staff, working closely with me on the wide range of management, administration, academic, legal, and policy issues we handle at UC. From serving as my Deputy General Counsel and Counselor at the Department of Homeland Security, where he helped to lead the development of the original Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, to his current role, Seth has been a trusted partner to me on a wide range of issues and efforts for more than seven years.

During his time at UC, Seth has made many important contributions, including helping to lead negotiations and implementation of the budget framework with the Governor, developing UC’s Public Service Law Fellowship Program, chairing UC’s Global Food Initiative, advancing UC’s efforts to support and protect undocumented members of the UC community, assisting in overseeing OP management and operations initiatives, and spearheading efforts to increase collaboration on major projects across divisions of OP and different parts of the UC system. Seth has been a valued collaborator to me and many of you during very active years at UC. We will miss Seth’s impeccable judgment, impressive leadership, extraordinary work ethic, and unwavering commitment to furthering UC’s teaching, research, and service missions.

We are fortunate that Rachael Nava has agreed to serve as my new Chief of Staff, in addition to continuing her responsibilities as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.  Rachael joined UCOP in 2015 and quickly established herself as a critical member of UC’s leadership team.  Rachael has taken on some of the most challenging issues facing UC, including chairing the retirement options task force and co-leading the UCPath project. She also oversees one of the University’s top priorities, our efforts to achieve carbon neutrality systemwide; plays a critical role in the overhaul of UC’s approach to cybersecurity; leads our audit implementation efforts; and successfully stood up the OP Operations department. Rachael is known for being highly collaborative, very accessible, and creative in her approach to solving problems, all strengths that will serve her well as Chief of Staff. I’m excited she is taking on this expanded role.

I am also pleased that as part of our new leadership structure, Zoanne Nelson will take on increased responsibilities for the management of UCOP and the COO division as Associate Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. Zoanne has been with UC for over 15 years, working for 10 years at UCSF before coming to UCOP in 2012.  Zoanne currently serves as the Associate Vice President for the Strategy and Program Management Office. In this role, she has led the strategic planning processes for several divisions at OP, facilitated organizational restructuring at OP, including the restructuring of the COO and CFO divisions, and significantly enhanced OP’s management and implementation of several important projects. This wide range of experiences makes Zoanne well situated to work with me, Rachael, and all of you to advance UC’s priorities over the coming years.

Please join me in wishing Seth the best in his new role ahead and welcoming Rachael and Zoanne to their expanded positions at UC.

Yours very truly,

Janet Napolitano



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