Introducing Pomona’s New Vice President, COO and Treasurer

Robert Goldberg, chief operating officer of Barnard College and a former senior budget official for the U.S. State Department, will become vice president, chief operating officer (COO) and treasurer of Pomona College effective Jan. 1.

“He will bring to Pomona vast experience, a strong sense of mission and a true commitment to people,” says Pomona College President G. Gabrielle Starr. “I am looking forward to working with Rob as the College moves ahead in completing our strategic plan and creating a community in which everyone can flourish.”

Goldberg arrived at Barnard in 2014, after a 25-year career in the federal government, as a way to contribute in a new field of service. He quickly made his mark by effectively managing a $220 million budget, leading a staff of more than 500 in areas ranging from finance to dining to human resources and information technology (IT) and working in a thoughtful and open manner with faculty, staff and students.

He oversaw the design and construction of the Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning, Barnard's award-winning $150 million library and academic building, which opened on time and on budget last year. And just this past year he led a process to acquire a new residence hall to expand the inventory of Barnard’s student housing in New York City. He worked side-by-side with faculty committees on budgets and resources, partnering with the provost to support academic endeavors. In 2017, Barnard turned to Goldberg to serve as its interim president, a role in which he guided the College during a period of transition and oversaw the creation of Barnard’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion.

In his time as Barnard’s COO, he has worked with students to help reduce out-of-pocket expenses for low-income and first-generation students. He also increased the transparency of the College's budgeting process through regular briefings and discussions with the faculty Budget and Planning Committee, faculty meetings and student government.

“It’s important to note that with the majority of our staff members working in this division, the vice president, COO and treasurer role is a particularly important one at Pomona,” adds Starr. “Rob has a strong track record: At Barnard, he created a year-long professional development training program for new managers, and worked with staff to create the Barnard Staff Advisory Council.”

Before Barnard, during his federal government service, Goldberg was responsible for the formulation, management and implementation of a more than $32 billion foreign assistance budget, and he received the Department of State’s Distinguished Honor Award in 2013.

Earlier, working for the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), he was the senior career executive responsible for management of the U.S. government’s $52 billion international affairs budget, leading OMB’s work in crafting the president’s annual budget requests as well as legislative proposals for international affairs programs.

“Rob deeply understands the human needs and possibilities behind budget numbers and financial choices,” says President Starr. While at Pomona, Goldberg plans to continue his role on the board of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), a non-profit organization working to address global health challenges such as HIV and tuberculosis. He chairs IAVI’s audit and finance committee.

He earned both his B.A. and M.A. in international affairs from The George Washington University. His longtime interest in global affairs is particularly fitting for Pomona, a place that constantly reaches across disciplines and also has plans for replacing the aging Oldenborg Center for Modern Languages, the College’s international hub.

“In his public service path to Pomona, Goldberg will be carrying on the legacy of Karen Sisson ’79, our vice president and treasurer for the past 11 years, to whom I am truly grateful for her steady leadership and tireless work for the College,” says Starr. Before coming to Pomona, Sisson helped guide LAX through the aftermath of 9/11, served as a deputy mayor of Los Angeles and then as its first woman city administrative officer. Karen announced her departure earlier this year, with plans to pursue new opportunities in higher education and non-profit management.