June 14, 2018

Abdulahad named Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Medical Center

Zeena M. Abdulahad, Vice President of Development at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, has been named Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s new Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer. Abdulahad will join VUMC Sept. 1.

In this role Abdulahad will report to Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer for VUMC, and Dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and will lead Vanderbilt University Medical Center Development. She will be responsible for creating a multi-year development plan that will help fund the Medical Center’s strategic priorities.

“We are at a pivotal time in the Medical Center’s history. The capacity for private philanthropic support to impact patient care, elevate our training programs and accelerate research that is advancing our understanding of a wide range of diseases has never been greater,” said Balser. “Zeena comes to VUMC with an outstanding record for spearheading sustained philanthropic growth at Memorial Sloan Kettering. I look forward to working closely with her as we advance the Medical Center’s missions.”

In collaboration with Balser, other members of the Medical Center’s leadership team and key members of the VUMC community, Abdulahad will be responsible for promoting a culture of philanthropy and conveying to different audiences the critical role private philanthropic support holds for the growth and sustainability of facilities and programs that comprise the Medical Center.

At Memorial Sloan Kettering, Abdulahad has been responsible for the organization’s annual giving program, including its major philanthropic initiative, Cycle for Survival, an indoor team cycling event that raises funds for rare cancer research. She joined Memorial Sloan Kettering in 2000 as director for Corporate and Foundation Relations and has since assumed increasingly broader responsibilities serving as director of Institutional Giving and senior director of Development before being promoted to vice president.

In her new role as VUMC’s development leader Abdulahad will supervise a staff of 60 and will be responsible for building a strategic advancement operation that will broaden outreach efforts to patients and the community, ensuring that donor support for the Medical Center and its programs is a fulfilling experience and demonstrates the impact donors’ contributions have on the Medical Center and those it serves.

As Abdulahad joins VUMC, Mary Beth Thompson, Senior Vice President for Development, will continue to provide important leadership for philanthropic efforts in VUMC.

“I want to express my sincere appreciation to Mary Beth for her many contributions to our success, including her leadership of our development program through the reorganization of VUMC, and the “Growing to New Heights” campaign supporting the Children’s Hospital expansion,” said Balser. “We are thrilled that she will remain at VUMC as a vital and important member of the development team, and will continue to provide tremendous support for so many of our donors.”

Prior to joining Memorial Sloan Kettering, Abdulahad worked at The Rockefeller University as manager in the Program Administration-Office of Sponsored Programs where she was responsible for all the University’s pre-award sponsored research activity.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Boston College and a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College-The City University of New York.

“I am honored and excited to be joining Dr. Balser and his leadership team at such an important time for Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and l very much look forward to working with Mary Beth and the development team,” said Abdulahad. “Together, we will build on the team’s success and maximize philanthropic support for VUMC’s strategic priorities.”