Ann Root Keith Named Chief Advancement Officer

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The 22-year Dartmouth employee has served as interim CAO since September.

Ann Root Keith
Chief Advancement Officer Ann Root Keith says she has “the joy of friendships with hundreds of alumni.” (Photo by Mark Campbell Productions)

Ann Root Keith has been named Dartmouth’s chief advancement officer. Keith, who joined Dartmouth Advancement in 2002 and served as its chief operating officer since 2010, has acted in the role on an interim basis since September. 

“Ann Root Keith has a deep and broad understanding of every aspect of what it takes to sustain the relationships that advance Dartmouth’s highest priorities,” says President Sian Leah Beilock. “As important as her experience, Ann brings a profound empathy and emotional intelligence to the work of helping the greater Dartmouth community connect with the human impact behind our strategic mission. I am grateful for her continued leadership as she takes on this new role.” 

The chief advancement officer is a new position, created last summer when President Beilock elevated central Advancement’s previous leader, Bob Lasher ’88, as senior vice president for university advancement. 

“The Dartmouth Advancement team is one of the most dedicated, impassioned, and mission-driven organizations I know—which is a testament to the strength and vibrancy of the Dartmouth community writ large and the clarity of our institutional vision,” Keith says. “I am so honored to have this opportunity to lead a division that makes such a huge difference in every aspect of Dartmouth.” 

The role of CAO builds on the successful trajectory of the Call to Lead campaign, which wrapped up in 2023 with more than $3.8 billion in gifts—including an unprecedented $500 million for scholarships—and the participation of 60% of undergraduate alumni. This remarkable achievement was led by Lasher, with Keith serving as COO.

As CAO, Keith will lead a staff of more than 200 people—including Alumni Relations, Development, and Advancement Administration—to engage alumni, parents, and friends in the Dartmouth community and make the case for how volunteer service and philanthropy contribute to research, teaching, and the institution’s impact on students and the world. 

“After 22 years, I have the joy of friendships with hundreds of alumni and the honor of having been adopted by the Class of 2005,” Keith says. “I find meaning in all of these relationships and value the wisdom and passion that so many graduates from throughout the decades share with their alma mater.”

A member of Beilock’s senior leadership team, the CAO works closely with the president, senior vice president, and advancement leaders in the graduate and professional schools to support Dartmouth’s central institutional priorities and functions.

These priorities include the agenda Beilock laid out in her Inaugural address, which include fostering mental health and well-being, dialogue across difference, lifelong Dartmouth connections, meaningful action to address climate change, and investment in breakthrough innovation and impact.

Before being named chief operating officer, Keith served Dartmouth in a number of leadership roles, including director of leadership giving in the lead up to the $1.3 billion Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience, as associate vice president for individual giving, and as associate vice president of development administration. From 2012 to 2013, she served as interim senior vice president for advancement.

Keith began her career in fundraising as an annual giving officer at Mount Holyoke College, where she completed her undergraduate degree in mathematics and statistics. She spent two years in development at Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., before returning to Mount Holyoke as a major gifts officer. 

In 2000, she earned her MBA from Harvard, where she received a Horace W. Goldsmith Fellowship for leadership and commitment to the not-for-profit sector. She spent two years as a private wealth management associate at Goldman Sachs before joining Dartmouth’s leadership giving team. 

Keith and her husband, Rusty, live on the Connecticut River in Orford, N.H., and enjoy a blended family with three daughters and five grandchildren.

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