linkedin-headshot-2-e1497377131939Alyssa Herman ’92S joined Yeshiva University this summer as vice president for institutional advancement. An alumna and accomplished chief development officer, Herman brings more than 25 years of leadership experience to the position, including a successful track record in raising major gifts, and building and maintaining relationships with donors. As director of development for Doctors Without Borders, Herman presided over an increase in private revenue from $17 million to over $150 million. She then achieved similar success as chief development officer at Food Bank for New York City, the nation’s largest food bank. Most recently, Herman served as chief relationship officer for Autism Speaks, where she led the organization in implementing best practices, enacted a robust donor cultivation plan for major donors, and worked with science, public health and family service leadership and staff to create support for a new strategic plan.

A Stern College for Women graduate (magna cum laude), Herman speaks regularly at fundraising conferences, is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and has served as a board member of the Direct Marketing Fundraising Association.


1. What profession did you think you would hold when you were a YU undergrad?

Throughout college, I was interested in International Law or Not-For-Profit Law.  I was a born advocate and being a lawyer was a natural path for me. I was raised in a sophisticated issue oriented household, where we discussed foreign affairs and I wanted to see the world.  My Mom modeled meaningful philanthropy, guerilla marketing (for Amit), and the importance of social justice.  After college, I was the 3rd employee to join Doctors Without Borders, and I was quickly hooked.


2. What aspect of your job with YU do you most enjoy?

I love being part of the dynamism of the new Yeshiva University administration under President Berman.  We have an opportunity and obligation to strengthen the university so that we prepare our students for the future – so that they can succeed in the marketplace and use their personal talents and values to engage and improve our community and world.  My team is on the frontlines of building the relationships and resources to support President Berman’s vision, and I find that deeply motivating.  On a personal note, I am excited that my daughter will be a 4th generation student at Yeshiva University.


3. How has your past work experience prepared you for your current position?

Having launched my career at a start up, I have always been a builder. I have had the great fortune of working at best in class organizations with great missions, such as Doctors Without Borders and Autism Speaks.  I have deep experience in the art and science of fundraising, including major gifts, foundations & corporations, planned gifts, direct response marketing, and events.  I learned about fundraising ethics and transparency from my 16 years at Doctors Without Borders which is a model for both.  At the end of the day, fund development is about relationships, and I want us to dedicate ourselves to building great relationships with our students, alumni, supporters, and community.


4. What are your goals for the Office of Institutional Advancement?

  • Build excellent relationships and instill pride in our students, alumni and supporters
  • Raise funds for our annual needs and grow our base of support to realize our bold vision for the future
  • Transform our alumni office in to a professional networking powerhouse
  • Implement best in class strategies and operations
  • Nurture a sense of joy in giving back


5. What would your colleagues be surprised to learn about you?

My colleagues would be surprised to find out how I wound up on the back of a police motorcycle in rural Thailand, and that I am a serious foodie cooking my way through Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem.

On a more serious note, I still have the original newspaper clipping of a  NYT article that I read in the 8th grade when writing a paper on Holocaust rescuers:   GREAT ALTRUISTS: SCIENCE PONDERS SOUL OF GOODNESS  that still inspires me.   Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege to work with great and kind volunteers, philanthropists, and providers who use their treasure and talent to help others.




Comments are closed.