Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Lauren K. Taaffe is currently Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Olin College of Engineering. In this role she serves as a senior advisor to President Richard K. Miller, providing leadership and support for a variety of projects related to advancing the College’s mission and aspirations. She also works closely with members of the President’s Cabinet and others to advance strategic priorities and presidential initiatives.
Joining Olin in 2010, she served as Associate Vice President for Development, Family and Alumni Relations until mid-2016. Within the Office of Development, Family and Alumni Relations she was responsible for the general operations of the College’s program to engage alumni, parents, interested individuals, private foundations, and corporations in the College’s mission and for building a culture of philanthropy. Previously, she served as Director of Development at the University of Illinois. She also served as a major gifts officer at the University of Minnesota, where she helped to complete a campaign to build a state-of-the-art studio art facility, develop the University’s West Bank Arts Quarter, launch a university-wide campaign for the Minnesota Marching Band, and increase support for students and faculty.
Dr. Taaffe also served as Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations at the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) and as the Director of Foundation, Corporate and Government Relations and Development Operations at St. Catherine University. At St. Thomas, she built relationships with corporations and foundations in support of a successful comprehensive campaign and the construction of a new science and engineering building. At St. Catherine, she increased corporate and foundation support, strengthened government relations activities, and led efforts to enhance major gifts, prospect research, gift processing, and donor stewardship practices. She began her career in higher education as a faculty member, teaching at both the University of Chicago and SUNY at Stony Brook. She earned the M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University and the A.B. degree from Barnard College, Columbia University.