Institutional News

Claudia E. Keenan Named Senior Vice President for Advancement and Communications

Bennington College has announced that Claudia E. Keenan has been appointed Senior Vice President for Advancement and Communications. She joined the College on May 24.

“Claudia is a transformational and inspirational leader who brings a wealth of experience and a passion for our mission,” said President Laura Walker. “She has a proven track record in fundraising and in marketing and communications, and joins us as we embark on a strategic planning effort, a comprehensive multi-year fundraising program, and the development of a new brand strategy and communications plan. Her breadth and depth of advancement, donor engagement, and marketing and communications work will be a tremendous asset to Bennington.” 

Most recently, Keenan served as Senior Vice President, Institutional Advancement & Executive Director for Mercy Health Foundation, where she oversaw all areas of advancement and worked closely with the Board to grow philanthropic contributions for the hospital system. Under her leadership, she and her team successfully grew Mercy’s major giving program, and Mercy Health Foundation experienced a 75% growth in new donor partnerships. Keenan also worked as Deputy Director & Executive Director for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts where she led marketing, communications and development efforts. Additionally, Keenan has served as the Vice President, External Relations for Eastern Virginia Medical School and as the Director of Planning and Marketing at the New York City Opera. 

Reflecting on her new role, Keenan said, “It is an honor and a privilege to be joining Bennington College at this particularly auspicious time. The staff and faculty’s passion and commitment to the students and to the College is palpable. I am looking forward to building upon the rich legacy, as well as working together to create the next dynamic chapter for the College.”   

Keenan holds a BA in Communications & Economics, Randolph-Macon Woman's College; she spent her junior year abroad at the London School of Economics & University of London. She was named a Forty under Forty Top Executive by Crain's New York, as well as one of the Top Women in Business and one of the most influential Up and Coming Most Powerful People by Inside Business. She served on numerous boards throughout her career including the Atlantic Theatre Company, the Norfolk Forum, Norfolk Now, Elizabeth River Project, and Downtown Norfolk Council.