UA Foundation Names Dr. Tod A. Burnett as President
The University of Alaska Foundation Board of Directors has named Dr. Tod A. Burnett as president of the University of Alaska Foundation and chief development officer of the University of Alaska. Dr. Burnett, was previously the executive vice chancellor for advancement at Brandman University, Irvine, CA, has extensive experience in higher education philanthropy and non-profit leadership. Dr. Burnett succeeds Susan Foley who retired in August and will begin his presidency on November 8, 2020.
“Tod’s substantial higher education experience will be critical for the Foundation's success as we navigate our way through these fiscal times,” said Cynthia Cartledge, chair of the UA Foundation board. “We look forward to Tod’s leadership of our foundation and to the many philanthropic successes he will achieve in Alaska.”
In addition to his advancement position at Brandman, Dr. Burnett served as the university’s interim dean for the School of Education and as adjunct faculty.
Prior to his time at Brandman, Dr. Burnett served for nearly 10 years as president of Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA where he led the community college’s efforts in building a highly successful foundation and enhancing workforce development and student success. Dr. Burnett also was previously vice chancellor of the California Community Colleges, and served in the Office of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, as the director of state and local government relations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. and as a commissioner on the Los Angeles Board of Public Works.
Dr. Burnett has extensive private business experience, has served on a number of public and private boards and commissions and has been recognized by more than 75 public officials and organizations for his contributions to community and social causes.
Dr. Burnett earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from University of California, Riverside, a master’s degree in management/finance from University of Southern California and a doctorate in education and psychology from Pepperdine University.
“I have dedicated my life to higher education and serving the public, and I am thrilled to join the UA Foundation team in supporting the philanthropic efforts of Alaska’s three prestigious universities,” said Dr. Burnett. “Alaska is one of our nation’s gems, and I look forward to working with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community throughout the state in furthering UA’s vital mission.”
UA Interim President Pat Pitney said, “I look forward to working with Tod to showcase the high quality university programs throughout the UA system including how those programs change lives, support businesses, and how they are fundamental to the economy and to Alaska's future.”
Since Foley’s retirement in August 2020, the Foundation has been led by Acting President Megan Riebe. “We sincerely appreciate Megan's leadership over the last several months as acting president,” Cartledge said, “and are grateful for the excellent staff and leadership we have at the Foundation.”
Established in 1974, the University of Alaska Foundation is a private nonprofit corporation and operates as a public Foundation to solicit, manage and invest donations for the exclusive benefit of the University of Alaska. The university’s Board of Regents recognized the University of Alaska Foundation as the entity to manage gifts made to support all campuses of the University of Alaska system. The Foundation is separate and distinct from the University of Alaska and is governed by a 22-member Board of Directors.