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Yale Alumni Association Names Alison Cole Executive Director

Alison Cole
The YAA partnered with Lindauer to find a leader who would build on Yale’s extensive alumni programs while amplifying the energy, enthusiasm, and expertise of a global network of over 180,000 alumni.

On May 15, 2024, Alison Cole ascended to the role of Executive Director of the Yale Alumni Association, which represents and serves more than 180,000 alumni worldwide from all Yale schools.

Previously, Cole served as the Senior Associate Dean for External Affairs and Special Projects in Yale College. She succeeds Weili Cheng, who retired this year after leading the YAA since 2016.

Cole majored in political science at Yale and was the captain and an All-American player for the women’s lacrosse team. She was a member of Ezra Stiles College.

“With deep connections to the alumni community and extensive experience at Yale in successively senior positions, Alison is the ideal leader to succeed Weili Cheng,” said Yale President Peter Salovey. “She brings innovative ideas for further enhancing alumni engagement globally. I am grateful to the search advisory committee for doing an excellent job of considering broad alumni input and identifying exceptional candidates. I look forward to seeing all the ways Alison will continue to advance the YAA’s aspirations to foster a lifelong Yale experience for alumni in every part of the world.”

The YAA, which was founded in 1972, aims to enhance and renew the Yale experience for all alumni throughout their lives by stimulating ideas, affiliations, and friendships, and facilitating professional fulfillment and acts of service.

“I am honored to be joining the YAA team as Executive Director,” said Cole. “The opportunity to partner with the incredible staff, board members, campus community, and volunteers to further enhance how alumni can engage with Yale is a privilege. My four years as an undergraduate were life-changing, and my time as an employee has only deepened my love for Yale. Thank you to the search committee, Joan O’Neill, and President Salovey for the chance to serve my alma mater in this important role.” 

Read the full announcement on the Yale website.

Alison Cole was appointed in April 2024. The search was led by Lindauer Senior Advisor Jill Lasman and Senior Consultant Raegan Harvey.

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