Robert Goldberg has been named Swarthmore College's next vice president for finance and administration and will join the community on July 1.
Goldberg, who will also serve as the College’s treasurer, brings to Swarthmore deep and varied professional experience, including in several leadership positions within higher education. He currently serves as vice president, chief operating officer, and treasurer at Pomona College. In that capacity, he manages an extensive portfolio of work that aligns closely with the responsibilities of the role at Swarthmore. Goldberg oversees Pomona’s $190 million annual budget and its $3 billion endowment, and works closely with faculty, senior staff members, and board leadership to ensure the ongoing financial support of the college’s mission.
He is also responsible for more than 300 staff members in areas that include human resources, capital planning, risk management, real estate, and events management, as well as campus services such as dining operations, grounds, housekeeping, and facilities. Goldberg is currently overseeing the construction of a new athletics and recreation center, as well as the design of a new global education center. He was instrumental in leading Pomona’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, including by helping to establish remote work policies, testing protocols, and vaccine mandates for students, faculty, and staff members.
Prior to his time at Pomona, Goldberg served as the chief operating officer at Barnard College. In that capacity, he managed Barnard’s annual budget and oversaw nearly 500 staff members in areas charged with the day-to-day operations of the college. Goldberg worked closely with faculty committees and the provost to increase support for academic initiatives, and he supervised the construction of a 132,000-square-foot, $150 million teaching and learning center in the heart of campus that houses the college’s library.
He was also an academic advisor to first- and second-year students interested in public policy. In 2017, Goldberg was asked to serve as interim president of the college, and he successfully led the institution through a transition to a new president. During that time, he established Barnard’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion.
Goldberg, who graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in international affairs and cum laude with a master’s in international relations from George Washington University, also spent nearly 25 years in government service. He was a director in the Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources at the Department of State, where he developed and managed a $32 billion foreign assistance budget and recruited and managed a staff of more than 130. Before that, he was the U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s deputy associate director for international affairs, where he was responsible for the management of the federal government’s $52 billion international affairs budget.
"I’ve had the good fortune of spending time with Rob during this process, and those interactions, combined with his extensive experience and the high regard in which he is held by his current and past colleagues, leave me confident that Rob is a mission-driven, thoughtful, and caring individual who will no doubt be a wonderful addition to our community," says President Valerie Smith.
Goldberg, a native New Yorker, and his wife, Ellen, who is originally from Philadelphia, are excited to return to the area; the move also brings them closer to their son, Ben, who lives in Washington, D.C.