For more than 35 years, Donna Vuchinich has dedicated herself to public university fundraising in the firm belief that higher education is uniquely situated to transform individual lives and provide invaluable benefits to the community and nation.
Vuchinich joined the UH Foundation in September 2002 as vice president for development and was appointed president & CEO in June 2004. She was at the helm when UHF reached the historic milestone of $1 billion raised in support of UH students and programs, and spearheaded the Centennial Campaign that raised $336 million for the University of Hawaiʻi.
In recognition of her leadership, and successful partnership with donors and the University, Donna has received prestigious awards including the 2017 CASE Commonfund Institutionally Related Foundation Award and the 2011 Outstanding Professional Fundraiser, National Philanthropy Day (NPD) Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Prior to joining the UH Foundation, Vuchinich served in administrative and leadership positions with Oregon State University from 1991-2002, and with the University of New Mexico and its Foundation from 1978-1990. Her early career involved positions in financial, healthcare, and computer services industries.
Vuchinich has been active in national and regional organizations including the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Association of Governing Boards (AGB), the National Committee on Planned Giving (NCPG) and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).
In 2012, she was selected to serve as a member of the CASE National Committee for Institutionally Related Foundations.
Rebecca Smith brings 30 years of university development experience. She joins the UH Foundation after serving as the Associate Dean for External Relations at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, Stanford University, California. Other career highlights include serving as the Co-Director of Major Gifts and Associate Director of Major Gifts at Stanford University where she contributed to the success of the university’s $1 billion Campaign for Undergraduate Education by managing two major gift volunteer committees and their work in Los Angeles and San Diego.
Before joining the Stanford team she was the Associate Director of Major Gifts, Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, Massachusetts. Before joining Harvard, she was the Associate Dean for Alumni Affairs and Development at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the largest of the four statutory schools in New York State’s land grant institution. Smith holds a bachelor's degree in English literature and a master's degree in theology at Boston University.
Tom Tseng holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in engineering from Cornell University. He has 27 years in higher education which includes six years in college admissions at Cornell University and 21 years in alumni affairs and development from his tenure at 4 universities. He has held leadership roles in highly successful university fundraising campaigns including the Stanford Challenge at Stanford University which raised $6.23 billion; the Chicago Initiatives which raised $2.3 billion for the University of Chicago; and as a member of the capital campaign staff at Harvard University and Cornell University.
Before joining the UH Foundation he was the Senior Director, International Division of Stanford’s Office of Development. Other career highlights include serving as Senior Director, Western and Asia-Pacific Regional Office, Alumni Relations and Development at the University of Chicago.
UH alumnus Paul Y. Kobayashi, Jr. joined the UH Foundation in November 2013 with extensive experience in corporate enterprise and higher education. Kobayashi served as the executive assistant to the vice president of budget and finance and chief financial officer for the University of Hawai‘i System. Before that he was the director – financial management and controller at the University of Hawai‘i. Coupled with this, Kobayashi brings years of experience from the private sector. He worked at Hawaiian Airlines for 15 years, serving in a variety of finance and accounting capacities including his last seven years as vice president and controller.
Janet Yoshida Bullard received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and also holds an MBA with an emphasis in marketing. She joined the UH Foundation in 2008 as the associate vice president of alumni relations at the UH Foundation and executive director of UHAA. Bullard came to the UH Foundation after more than 10 years at Hawaiian Airlines, most recently serving as senior director of marketing and promotions. In recognition of her expertise, she will be serving a three-year term on the CASE Commission on Communications and Marketing beginning July 2017 through June 2020.
David Lassner, PhD, was appointed University of Hawai‘i president effective July 1, 2014. Before that appointment, he served as interim president from Sept. 1, 2013.
He has worked at the university since 1977, and was most recently its vice president for information technology and chief information officer. Lassner is also a member of the university’s graduate faculty and has taught both online and in-person in computer science, communications, business and education. Learn more
As president, David Lassner works with the Board of Regents, campus chancellors and a wide range of internal and external constituencies to provide academic and administrative leadership for the state’s only public institution of higher education. Stay connected, visit the UH newsroom, see the President's photo gallery and more....