Aristide J. Collins

Vice President, Chief of Staff to the President, and Secretary of the University

The George Washington University

Aristide J. Collins, Jr. takes a vision and makes it reality through rigorous evaluation and analysis, developing the right strategy for effective implementation. With nearly three decades of leadership across a variety of universities within the United States, his experience includes understanding governance and operations, and the balance between fiduciary accountability and management.

He is currently Vice President, Chief of Staff to the President, and Secretary of the University at the George Washington University (GW), where he has served since 2010. As Chief of Staff to the President, he facilitates and manages the implementation of presidential and university-wide initiatives to advance organizational priorities. These include strategic planning, executive search and transition, government and community engagement and relations, crisis communication strategy, executive leadership development, and organizational assessment and evaluation. As Corporate Secretary, he has broad and far-reaching responsibility for board operations and organizational governance for both the University and for the Medical Faculty Associates, Incorporated, a $450M 501 (c)(3) corporation of which George Washington University is the sole corporate member.

From 2014 to 2017, he served as Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, providing strategic oversight and leadership of the University’s $1 billion “Making History” campaign, which exceeded its fundraising goal one year ahead of schedule. Under his leadership, the University recorded the largest fundraising year in its history at $267 million.

His professional background includes administrative experience as university vice president with responsibility for institutional advancement, communications, and government and alumni relations at Clark Atlanta University; Pacific Oaks College and Children’s School in Pasadena, California; California State University, Long Beach and early in his career as Director of Development for University Projects at the George Washington University.

Respected as a sound voice in finding strategic solutions to often competing interests, establishing partnerships and creating and nurturing relationships, he is also a champion for the next generation of thought leaders. As such, he speaks and coaches regularly on philanthropy, leadership, and governance for a variety of organizations, including the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities (AGB), and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). He is a member of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and the National Association of Corporate Directors.

Collins holds a doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University, a master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University, Long Beach, and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a certificate in Educational Management from California State University, Hayward (now East Bay).