Irene O’Brien Appointed Vice Chancellor for Development at Rutgers University, Newark

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(Newark, NJ)–Dr. Steven J. Diner, chancellor of Rutgers University in Newark, and the Rutgers University Foundation have announced the appointment of Irene M. O’Brien of Montclair, NJ, as vice chancellor for development, effective April 6. In that capacity, she will serve as the chief development officer for Rutgers University, Newark and will coordinate the fundraising work of the development officers of Rutgers’ seven colleges and professional schools in Newark. 

“The appointment of Irene O’Brien as vice chancellor for development will greatly enhance our efforts to move our campus forward through financial support from donors and the community,” said Diner.  “In these challenging financial times, it is more crucial than ever for the campus to effectively raise funds to supplement state aid and tuition.”

He noted that O’Brien is a Rutgers alumna who had previously worked in several capacities on campus, stating, “Irene O’Brien brings to Rutgers both development experience and invaluable first-hand knowledge of the our academic mission and that mission’s value to the people of the state.”

 O’Brien earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Rutgers University in Newark: a bachelor of arts in 1991, and a master’s in public administration in 2005.  She began her career at Rutgers University, Newark in 1999 in the Office of Communications as communications/publications coordinator.  She served as director of development for the School of Criminal Justice from 2002-2005, and then as director of development for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences-Newark. During that time she completed a two-year fellowship with Leadership Newark, where she studied public policy issues impacting New Jersey’s urban communities, and also served on Leadership Newark’s Board of Trustees.

 In 2007 O’Brien became director of development for Fordham University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in Manhattan, advancing to senior director of its school and colleges campaign in 2008.  In those positions, she was responsible for raising major gifts, developing fundraising goals for several of the university’s colleges and schools, and identifying prospective donors and working with them.


Rutgers University, Newark, is one of three campuses of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The campus is home to the Newark College of Arts and Sciences, University College, the Graduate School-Newark, Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick, the School of Law-Newark, the College of Nursing, the School of Criminal Justice, the School of Public Affairs and Administration, and extensive research and outreach centers. More than 11,000 students are currently enrolled in a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered at the 37- acre downtown Newark campus. Additional information is available at

Media Contact: Helen Paxton