Mark Dollhopf ’77, who has spent his career advising nonprofit organizations, was named the new executive director of the Association of Yale Alumni Monday.
Dollhopf currently serves as president of Janus Development, a firm that counsels nonprofits in a variety of areas. In 1997, he established the Yale Alumni Chorus, which has included more than 1,000 alumni in its concerts — which include four international tours. Dollhopf will replace former AYA Executive Director Jeffrey Brenzel ’75, who was named dean of undergraduate admissions last September.
Yale President Richard Levin said Dollhopf’s experience in organization and innovative thinking will prove helpful in his new role.
“Mark Dollhopf has shown great initiative in his work organizing the Yale Alumni Chorus,” Levin said. “I believe that he has a very creative approach to alumni affairs, and will be very supportive of grassroots efforts of alumni to develop new organizations and new connections at the University.”
Yale Secretary Linda Lorimer, who served on the eight-person search committee that selected Dollhopf, said Dollhopf’s background in nonprofit work makes him an ideal choice. Years before he founded Janus, Dollhopf worked in Yale’s Development Office.
“He has devoted his career to advancing nonprofit organizations, starting right here at Yale,” said Lorimer, whose office oversees the AYA. “He has been a leader in strategic planning for nonprofits of all kinds.”
Dollhopf did not apply for the position, but was sought out by the search committee, Lorimer said.
Carolyn Claflin, who has served as the AYA’s interim executive director since last September, said Dollhopf’s efforts in developing the Yale Alumni Chorus demonstrate his strong leadership skills.
“He is an excellent choice,” Claflin said. “He has demonstrated tremendous energy in forming the chorus. It’s a wonderful example of a group which comes together not because of geography, but because of a shared interest.”
E. Scott Calvert ’66, chair of the Alumni Chorus’ membership committee, said Dollhopf’s ability to attract alumni to their alma mater has been exceptional. While the founders only expected about 100 alumni to join the Chorus on its first tour in 1997, more than 250 alumni turned out, Calvert said.
“He has immensely capable skills,” he said. “He’s an exceptional director. Not only did he start the Chorus, he made it go forward. He has brought back a lot of alumni.”
Lorimer said Dollhopf also serves as an exemplar of alumni outreach.
“He is truly a pied piper of engaging alumni in ways that are truly beneficial to the University,” she said.
Dollhopf’s firm, Janus Development, which he founded in 1993, works with nonprofits in strategic planning, leadership and board development. His clients have included Junior Achievement of Central Florida, the Archdiocese of Chicago and Community of Services of Connecticut.
After graduating in Ezra Stiles College, Dollhopf worked briefly in the Development Office before co-founding Anderson, Cole & Dollhopf, a firm that counseled educational institutions and was acquired by Telecom USA in 1989.
During his undergraduate years, Dollhopf was a member of the Spizzwinks, Whiffenpoofs and the Glee Club. For the past 20 years, he has conducted the Yale Glee Club of New Haven.
Judith Becker Bryant ’77, the secretary for her class, said she thinks Dollhopf — whom she knew from their days in Ezra Stiles — is a good choice to head the alumni group.
“He has a longstanding commitment to Yale,” she said. “He brings a fresh perspective to all those involved.”
In 2004, Dollhopf was awarded the Yale Medal, the highest medal given by the AYA for individual service at Yale.
Dollhopf will assume his new duties and position on July 17.