Harvard University has named Indian American Ritu Kalra as the university’s vice president for finance and chief financial officer effective July 4. She currently serves as Harvard’s assistant vice president of finance and treasury and special projects adviser. In her new role, the “seasoned leader in financial management and investment banking will oversee all aspects of financial management, including long-range planning, annual budgeting, endowment fund spending policy, treasury, and financial accounting and reporting,” the university said in a June 6 statement additionally, her portfolio will also include “research administration, strategic procurement, capital planning, and risk management.”
In her treasury management role, Kalra “oversees and advises on the University’s capital structure, including the critical role of forecasting debt and liquidity needs, and managing cash operations and investments,” the university said. “As special projects adviser, she has spearheaded the University’s engagement on the I-90 multimodal project, including skillfully leading the partnership between the University, the city of Boston, and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.” She also serves on the Presidential Committee for Sustainability.
In a statement, Kalra lauded “Harvard’s ability to forge collaborations within and beyond the University, across a breathtaking breadth of disciplines, doesn’t happen by accident.
Before joining the University, she spent 18 years at Goldman Sachs, where she held several progressive roles culminating in managing director and serving as head of public sector and infrastructure finance for the western region, and as head of higher education finance nationally. In her infrastructure financing practice, she provided strategic advisory services to public and private sector entities throughout the U.S., including designing innovative financing strategies to manage climate-related risks. She advised the state of California in capitalizing a $21 billion fund to mitigate the impact of catastrophic wildfires, led a restructuring of the Long Island Power Authority to create financial capacity to harden the electrical grid following Hurricane Sandy, and created debt financing strategies that leveraged philanthropic capital for land and forest conservation across the country.
Kalra graduated from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor of science in economics, summa cum laude, and the New York University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences with a master’s degree in journalism, concentrating in business and economic reporting. She is a member of the board of the California College of the Arts and holds multiple certifications to teach yoga.