Skip to main content

Introducing the Chief of Staff and Secretary of the College

September 18, 2018

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

I am delighted to share the news that Ed Rowe will be returning to the Swarthmore community as the College’s first Chief of Staff and Secretary of the College, effective September 24.

In this role, Ed will help ensure that the needs of our diverse community are met in a strategic, coordinated, and timely manner. He will play a critical role in implementing and communicating major initiatives, provide high-level support to the Board of Managers and the Board Chair, and coordinate the planning of Commencement. Ed will also support the College’s active partnerships with local, state, national, and global communities and will represent my office when I am not able to attend meetings or events.

Ed brings to the job a keen understanding of the complexities of operating an institution of higher education, as well as a deep appreciation for Swarthmore’s commitment to academics, access and inclusion, and education for the common good.

For the past four years, Ed has served as director for projects and planning in the Office of the Chancellor at the University of Denver, where he coordinated a collaborative, university-wide strategic planning effort that engaged 4,000 members of the university community. He worked directly with faculty members, students, and administrators to track and communicate progress toward that plan, as well as other institutional priorities.

Prior to Denver, Ed worked at Swarthmore from 2010-2014, first at what is now the Campus & Community Store and then in the President’s Office. In the latter position, he worked closely with President’s Staff on a range of issues, managed executive-level searches, and supported Board leadership in a number of projects and initiatives. Those who worked with him recall his ability to listen deeply and communicate with honesty and empathy. Ed graduated with a B.A. in English from Penn State University and earned an M.S. in management from the University of Denver.

While the title of chief of staff and secretary of the College is new, the position is not. My office has been without an executive support position for the past year. This summer, I had the opportunity to rethink the structure of my office to meet the College’s needs and separated the secretary role from the role of vice president for communications.

I want to thank the faculty members, as well as the members of President’s Staff and others, who met last month with the finalists for this position. Their feedback was immensely valuable to me in making my decision.

Please join me in welcoming Ed back to Swarthmore.

Valerie Smith