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Alumnus, Executive Matt Branam Named Interim President of Rose-Hulman

June 11, 2009

Matt Branam, a seasoned executive with expertise in both the private and non-profit sectors, has been selected as interim president at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. 

Matt Branam

He will serve while a search is under way for a permanent successor to Gerald S. Jakubowski, who has resigned effective June 30.

Branam, who has been a vice president at UPS and chief operating officer at the American Red Cross, is a 1979 civil engineering graduate of Rose-Hulman. He lives in Great Falls, Va., where he is currently a business consultant. 

"Rose-Hulman is fortunate to have one of its own with the leadership, vision and experience to lead the college during this time of transition," said Bill Fenoglio, chairman of the Rose-Hulman Board of Trustees. "Matt's track record as an executive in other first-in-class organizations, private and non-profit, is a great fit with Rose-Hulman's reputation of providing the best in undergraduate engineering, science and mathematics education. We know the Rose-Hulman mission will continue to move forward under his leadership."

In addition to his executive experience, Branam brings strong interpersonal and communications skills to the job, noted William Schindel, board member and chair of the search committee. "Matt impressed the committee with his solid philosophy of leadership, experience with scientific research organizations, knowledge of fundraising and government relations, and strong appreciation for Rose-Hulman's academic core."

Branam served as chief operating officer of the American Red Cross under then-president Elizabeth Dole. During his tenure at the organization, Red Cross operating revenue grew by 38 percent to $2.5 billion annually. Branam's duties at the Red Cross included overseeing a network of 1,300 chapters, blood services regions, tissue services centers, major laboratory operations, field stations at U.S. military installations around the world, and the nation's most extensive disaster relief operation. He led a turnaround in the agency's fiscal position, led an organization-wide visioning process, and launched a brand image campaign and a strategic fundraising initiative.

Before becoming chief operating officer at the Red Cross, Branam was vice president for public affairs at UPS, where he began his career as a teenager.

"It is an honor to be returning home to my alma mater," Branam said, "and a privilege to be able to serve the faculty and college who have served me so well. Higher education faces many challenges in these tough economic times, but Rose-Hulman is strong and well positioned to meet them." He continued, "We have top faculty, students, and staff who continue to burnish the reputation of the college. I look forward to being part of the Rose-Hulman team and to building on Rose-Hulman's strong foundation."

The Board of Trustees selected Branam during a regular board meeting on May 29. "He was chosen from a pool of very strong candidates," Schindel said. "While several of our candidates could have led the college well during the interim period, the board found Matt to be the best fit at this time."

With the selection of Branam now finalized, another board committee will begin the process of finding a permanent president.