CUNY Approves Appointments to Fill Two High-level Positions

By Niko Balkaran

James Gallo and Wendy Hensel. Photo Credit:

The CUNY Board of Trustees approved the appointments of Wendy Hensel and James Gallo. Hensel will serve as the executive vice chancellor and university provost starting June 1. Gallo will take the role of vice chancellor for university advancement effective on April 1.

“I am proud to welcome Wendy Hensel and James Gallo to CUNY, and pleased to be able to leverage their vast experience to better our University,” said CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodríguez in the announcement. “In the months and years to come, Wendy and James are going to play key roles in our efforts to propel CUNY to new heights.”

Hensel will oversee several initiatives at CUNY, including reimagining Black, Race and Ethnic Studies and its faculty and student affairs, such as promoting student mental health and wellness. Her professional academic career began at Georgia State University as an instructor. Over a decade later, Hensel became the university provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

“It is both exciting and humbling to join the nation’s leading urban public university, with its incredible trajectory of achievement and impact,” said Hensel. “I look forward to working across the campuses with faculty, staff, students and supporters to advance CUNY’s mission and strategic priorities for the benefit of all in this great city and state.” 

Hensel, a Harvard Law School cum laude graduate, spent years advocating for disabled people and diversity. Hensel created a Racial Equality taskforce that helped GSU win Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from Insight into Diversity for the first time. Her work on disability law has been featured in publications such as The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Education Law.

Gallo’s responsibilities will include helping schools budget and meeting their fundraising goals. Previously, Gallo worked in various fundraising roles at UCLA, Cornell, the University of Chicago and Dartmouth College. In his time as the lead development officer for UCLA, Gallo helped the professional schools raise over $1 billion.  

“I’m honored to join one of the nation’s great engines for social and economic mobility,” said Gallo. “I look forward to partnering with Chancellor Matos Rodríguez, the CUNY community and their invaluable volunteers, raising critical philanthropic resources ensuring that CUNY continues to be a beacon for all New Yorkers.”

The Dartmouth graduate’s appointment comes at a time when CUNY has been expanding its fundraising efforts. 

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