J. Weili Cheng ’77 has been appointed executive director of the Association of Yale Alumni, the University announced May 1.

The appointment, effective July 18, concludes a nearly year-long search to fill the position after Mark Dollhopf ’77 announced his resignation last April. Cheng was selected by a search committee composed of seven alumni and Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development Joan O’Neill.

Cheng has experience working in both the private and public sectors. Most recently, she was senior vice president and deputy general counsel at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. Prior to that, she worked as an attorney at the United States Department of Justice and a private attorney, then as vice president and assistant general counsel for Marriott International, Inc.

Cheng has been actively involved with the AYA throughout her career, serving on the organization’s board of governors from 1986 to 1996 and as chair from 1992 to 1994. She was also chair of the class of 1977 class council, president of the Yale Club of Washington, D.C., and, since 1994, has been on the board of directors of Yale Alumni Publications, Inc, which publishes Yale Alumni Magazine.

The executive director of the AYA is the highest officer in the Association’s administrative structure and works with the AYA board of governors, AYA staff and University leadership to set programming for the organization, among other duties.