(NEW YORK, NY – May 5, 2022) The Mellon Foundation today announced the appointment of Sepi Sepasi as Chief Financial Officer, effective July 5, 2022. With a career strongly informed by a commitment to the centrality of higher education, Sepi brings depth of experience and strategic, enterprise-wide thinking to Mellon’s operations, priorities, and mission. She comes to the Mellon Foundation after serving as Vice Dean of Finance and Administration at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
“With her enduring commitment to the power of learning and her profoundly humanistic approach and attentiveness to the multivocal populations we fund, Sepi’s perspective, experience, and leadership are outstanding,” said Elizabeth Alexander, President of the Mellon Foundation. “Sepi’s view of the CFO role as one rooted in both stewardship and action makes her an exciting partner in our work across the Foundation, and she is ideally prepared to lead the finance function with the rigor and care that are Mellon’s hallmark. We are delighted to welcome Sepi to our community.”
“I am honored for the opportunity to join the leadership team at Mellon Foundation. As one of the world’s leading foundations, I am moved by its mission to build a more just future by empowering critical thinking and engagement of creative ideas.” said Sepi Sepasi, incoming Mellon Foundation Chief Financial Officer.
Sepi brings comprehensive experience, a passion for Mellon’s mission, and a human-centered touch to this critical leadership role at the Foundation. As the chief business officer at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health Sepi provided strategic leadership for the school’s business and finance functions supporting faculty, staff, and students, overseeing a team of 100 and modernizing internal processes and controls. She also led initiatives such as advancing the school’s vision to create a culture of equity and inclusion by broadening eligibility for financial aid.
Before her time at Columbia, Sepi served in two prominent roles at Rutgers University. As Interim Vice Chancellor for Finance and Human resources, she helped build the financial infrastructure to support and manage the flagship campus, including restructuring the distribution of state funds, and initiating a cross-campus communications effort on university finances to improve engagement with the campus community. Prior to this role, she served as the Associate Vice President for Strategic Financial Initiatives, where she co-facilitated the integration of health sciences and the university onto one financial platform.
Sepi spent 11 years at University of Chicago and Northwestern University. At the University of Chicago, Sepi served as the Executive Director and Chief of Staff for Finance and Administration, overseeing the university’s budget and directing 11 capital projects to on-time and on-budget completion, while at Northwestern, she led large, well-received enterprise-wide initiatives as Senior Director in the Office of Change Management, including the implementation of the University strategic plan. Earlier, she served eight years in management consulting and tax advisory services at Deloitte.
Sepi has her Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management, and Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Michigan State University. She was nominated and completed executive education programs at University Chicago Booth School of Business and Kellogg School of Management.
About The Mellon Foundation
The Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.