New York: Ritu Kalra, an Indian-American investment banking and financial management expert, has been named Harvard University’s vice president for finance and chief financial officer.
Kalra currently serves as Harvard’s assistant vice president of finance and treasury and special projects adviser.
In her new role beginning in July, she will oversee all aspects of financial management, including long-range planning, annual budgeting, endowment fund spending policy, treasury, and financial accounting and reporting.
Overall, she will lead multiple financial departments with a full-time workforce of more than 200 people, a University statement released on Tuesday said.
“Harvard’s ability to forge collaborations within and beyond the University, across a breathtaking breadth of disciplines, doesn’t happen by accident. It requires a rare and sustained marriage of strategic leadership and executional excellence,” Kalra said.
In her treasury management role, Kalra oversees and advises on the University’s capital structure, including the critical role of forecasting debt and liquidity needs, and managing cash operations and investments.
“Since joining Harvard in 2020, she has provided exceptional leadership and been a trusted adviser on an array of financial matters and University priorities,” Executive Vice President Meredith Weenick said.
“Her Harvard experience, coupled with her track record as an innovator in private sector banking and finance, positions her well as a leader who will continue to build on what has been strong stewardship of the University’s finances in recent years.”
Before joining the University, Kalra spent 18 years at Goldman Sachs, where she held several progressive roles culminating in managing director and served as head of public sector and infrastructure finance for the western region, and as head of higher education finance nationally.
In her infrastructure financing practice, she provided strategic advisory services to public and private sector entities throughout the US, including designing innovative financing strategies to manage climate-related risks, according to the University statement.
She also advised the state of California in capitalising a $21 billion fund to mitigate the impact of catastrophic wildfires, led a restructuring of the Long Island Power Authority to create financial capacity to harden the electrical grid following Hurricane Sandy, and created debt financing strategies that leveraged philanthropic capital for land and forest conservation across the country.
Kalra graduated from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s of science in economics, summa cum laude, and the New York University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences with a master’s degree in journalism, concentrating in business and economic reporting.