As The University of Texas System's vice chancellor for external relations, Dr. Randa Safady leads the offices of development and gift planning services, public affairs, community and business relations, and the Center for Enhancing Philanthropy. She coordinates the System's relationships and communications with the news media, philanthropists, businesses and community leaders, and serves as the System's chief development officer. She works directly with all 15 UT institutions, providing strategic fundraising and administrative leadership to their respective offices of development. In 2008, she established the UT System's Center for Enhancing Philanthropy to work with university professionals and volunteers by offering the tools and knowledge needed to succeed in fundraising, advancement and communications. In recent years, the UT System has reached new levels of fundraising excellence, ranking among the most successful in the nation.
Dr. Safady was appointed in 2003 by then Chancellor Mark G. Yudof. During her tenure she has led a number of important initiatives that have advanced the resources and reputation of the UT System. She is often invited to speak at conferences around the country as an expert in the advancement field.
In 2006-07, she led the creation of the innovative PBS series State of Tomorrow™ which won five Lone Star EMMY® awards, among other recognitions.
Previously, Dr. Safady held development positions with increasing responsibilities at UT Austin, culminating in the position of associate vice president for resource development and her involvement in UT Austin's successful "We're Texas" capital campaign (1996-2003) that realized more than $1 billion dollars for the university. Prior to her service at UT Austin, she held several positions at St. Edward's University from 1982 to 1996, including that of director of corporate, foundation and governmental relations.
She earned master's and bachelor's degrees from Southwest Texas State University, now Texas State University, and a doctoral degree in higher education administration from The University of Texas at Austin.