Cal Alumni Association Executive Director Jefferson Coombs to leave

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The Cal Alumni Association is now on the hunt for its next executive director after its leader announced his departure Aug. 5.

Jefferson Coombs, a UC Berkeley alumnus who has served as the executive director for the past four years, said in an email that his departure rests on his recent decision to return to the private sector to pursue a leadership opportunity in the marketing industry — the field in which he spent most of his professional career prior to his current role.

The Cal Alumni Association provides UC Berkeley graduates with connections to other campus alumni. The association hosts global events in the hopes of connecting alumni and current students, and also represents nearly 500,000 graduates living in the United States and abroad.

Coombs’ announcement on the CAA website Aug. 5 said he is “particularly proud” of the association’s expansion of programs such as the Berkeley Network, which provides professional networking opportunities geared toward young campus alumni, during his tenure.

“The folks who really make CAA work are the dedicated and tireless association staff,” Coombs said in the announcement. “I am exceedingly grateful to each of our 65 full-time employees. Without them, none of this would be possible.”

According to Coombs, an executive search for his successor is now underway. The CAA board has appointed an Executive Director Search Committee, led by CAA President Jason Morimoto, who will work with a search firm to find a replacement for the position.

Furthermore, Coombs will be working with the board to support the search process and “to ensure a smooth leadership transition for the association.” The next executive director will, according to Coombs, most likely be chosen by this fall and will be able to start by the beginning of the spring semester.

Coombs’ last day will be Sept. 30. According to Coombs, the CAA will bring on an interim executive director until the board determines his successor.

Contact Jessie Qian at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @jessieq96.