Michael McNally, an accomplished executive fundraiser with a dedication to higher education and healthcare, will become the new Associate Vice President and Dean of Development for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Hopi Hoekstra, Edgerley Family Dean of the FAS, and Brian K. Lee, Vice President for University Alumni Affairs and Development, announced Monday.
McNally will lead the design and execution of the FAS’ fundraising goals to support a diverse set of academic priorities, beginning Oct. 23.
“Mike is a seasoned leader of fundraising teams with the kind of understanding of the Boston academic community that can only be gained through decades of deep engagement, and that’s a singular combination,” said Hoekstra. “Just as importantly, his wide-ranging intellectual curiosity — grounded in his humanities education and fundraising experience in science — makes him a perfect match for the FAS, a place defined by excellence across the broadest range of disciplines. I can’t imagine a more ideal partner in this critically important role.”
McNally comes to Harvard from Massachusetts General Hospital, where he is Vice President for Development. He previously held positions at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, notably as the Deputy Vice Dean for External Relations and later Vice Dean for External Relations. He also held development leadership positions at MIT.
“Mike is an inspiring and visionary leader with deep experience advancing fundraising programs for mission-driven organizations,” said Lee. “I am impressed by his belief in the promise of our priorities and initiatives and his sharp focus on the people at the heart of our mission. I truly look forward to partnering with Mike as he expands engagement, bolsters philanthropic innovation, and builds and deepens relationships with our alumni volunteers, FAS faculty and staff, and the incredible team within Alumni Affairs and Development.”
With nearly 30 years of experience in fundraising, McNally brings experience in large-scale revenue generation, campaign planning, talent management, maximization of donor and prospect constituencies, and facilitation of philanthropic relationships among institutional leaders.
At MGH, he helped oversee the planning and implementation of a $3 billion capital campaign that expanded the hospital’s fundraising base. At Harvard Chan, he helped to raise $932 million against a goal of $450 million in a campaign that transformed the School. Those funds supported science research, increased support for tenure ladder faculty, and supported the launch of degree programs.
“I’m thrilled to be coming back,” McNally said. “Returning to Harvard is timely and feels really good this time around, because it’s getting back to the heart of the issue: preparing undergraduate students and enabling graduate students to do more advanced work that will prepare them for an increasingly complex world.”
McNally said fundraising in higher education is a way to open doors for important learning and research that tackles global issues like climate change, sustainability, social change, artificial intelligence, and health care. Many of these complex, critical issues require experts trained in both arts and sciences, he noted.
“For me, higher education is about opportunity and impact,” McNally said. “It’s really [about] contributing to providing more on-ramps to outstanding students, securing resources for our most talented students, faculty, and staff. Financial resources can enable leaders — at all levels — to execute on ambitious plans.”
A Massachusetts native, McNally’s parents immigrated from Ireland, and he was the first in his family to attend college. He holds a B.A. in History from Boston College, and a M.A. in international relations from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. McNally lives in Arlington with his wife, Mary, and their dog, Blaze. They enjoy traveling, cooking, and spending time with family.
“When I think about what type of legacy I’d like to have, I want to help reinforce this message of the impact a high-quality institution of higher learning has on its immediate community and globally,” McNally said.