After a national search, The University of New Mexico has announced the hiring of Dana Allen as vice president of Alumni Relations and executive director of the Alumni Association.

Most recently, Allen held the titles of assistant vice president for Alumni Relations and executive director of the Alumni Association at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. She was one of three finalists identified by the UNM search committee, which was facilitated by a national search firm, Greenwood/Asher & Associates.

Amy Wohlert, search committee chair, said Allen possesses the experience and background needed to fill this vital position, in the wake of the upcoming retirement of Dr. Karen Abraham after 30 years of service. UNM President Robert Frank agrees.

“It’s important for us to keep up momentum at this point, and Dana has an impressive record of professional achievement in similar circumstances,” he said. “I think she will to do a great job enhancing the impact of UNM’s Alumni Association and connecting our students and the campus with alumni everywhere. It’s great to welcome a new Lobo to the pack.”

In her 17-year career in alumni relations, Allen has spanned a variety of institutions and made significant impacts on the programs at each. She expressed excitement to be joining UNM and to building upon the strong foundation created by Abraham and the Alumni Association.

“The University's dedication to its current and future alumni is very apparent. I look forward to working with the almost 200,000 people worldwide who are proud Lobos and to enhancing their connection to UNM and to each other,” she said. “I want to thank the search committee and Dr. Frank for their vote of confidence in me and look forward to getting to know the Albuquerque community."

Allen is an alumna of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., where she earned a degree in Speech Communications with a concentration in Conflict Resolution. While at JMU, she was heavily involved in the co-ed service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, which she credits with helping set her on the path to her career. After graduation, she served as the volunteer coordinator for the American Red Cross chapter in Staunton, Va. before being appointed as the director of Volunteers for the Alumnae Association at Mary Baldwin College in 1998. While there, she was named outstanding Student Organization Advisor.

In 2001, she began working at the Penn State Alumni Association in State College, Pa., first as a regional director within the Volunteer Services Unit, and later as the associate director. In 2007, she was appointed to the dual positions at Old Dominion University, leading its 130,000 alumni members. During her career, Allen also has been an active participant with the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) at the District Level. Her areas of focus included board development and metrics/assessment in alumni relations.

The search committee that reviewed the candidates for the position included representatives from all aspects of the campus community, including alumni, faculty, staff, UNM Foundation members and students.

“We were excited to hear about her past successes in engaging students with alumni, so that we could better understand what they do and why it’s important for all of us,” said Jenna Hagengruber, president of Associated Students of UNM (ASUNM). “We look forward to working with her to enhance that important transition from student to alum to ensure they’ll be forever Lobos.”

Allen will begin her duties at UNM on Feb. 1, 2016.