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Colby announced today that Deborah Shufrin has been named the College’s new chief investment officer. With responsibility for Colby’s $1-billion investment portfolio, she will oversee the College’s investment team and the strategic allocation of Colby’s investments, working closely with the College’s Board of Trustees Portfolio Investment Committee, Colby’s president, and its chief financial officer. Shufrin, who will assume the position on April 1, currently serves as deputy chief investment officer of Brandeis University.
“Deb impressed us all with the sharpness of her thinking and her agile mind,” said President David A. Greene. “She has a passion for investing and discovering inefficiencies in markets that can lead to greater returns. The breadth of her professional experiences makes her deeply knowledgeable about and ideally suited to oversee a diversified portfolio like Colby’s endowment.”
Shufrin joined Brandeis as director of investments in 2011. In her decade at the university, its endowment nearly doubled, from $620 million in 2010 to $1.1 billion in 2020, well above the national average increase.
“We are excited to welcome Deb to the Colby community and look forward to working with her to maximize the long-term value of the College’s endowment,” said Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer Doug Terp ’84. “At now more than $1 billion, the endowment is the College’s largest asset and provides critical annual funding for student financial aid, faculty compensation and research, the Museum of Art, and a range of other educational and cocurricular programs.”
In the decade ending in 2020, Colby’s endowment value grew from $502 million to more than $1 billion. The 10-year investment return of 8.8 percent was a full two percentage points over the 6.6-percent benchmark for the decade. The endowment value has continued to grow steadily even as the College has embarked on major capital projects both on campus and in downtown Waterville and launched new programs, including a $10-million multifaceted return-to-campus plan, providing students with an in-person learning experience during the global pandemic.
Shufrin said she is thrilled to be joining the Colby team at such an important time in the College’s history and to work with the trustees and administration to lead the endowment in a manner that supports the College’s ambitious goals. “What has impressed me most about Colby,” she said, “is its strong leadership and vision, commitment to innovation, and the clear alignment among the stakeholders.”
A summa cum laude graduate of Brandeis, Shufrin holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the university, she was a senior vice president at the economic development research organization Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. Earlier in her career, she was a director and mezzanine analyst for Hancock Capital Management in Boston, an analyst for MFS Investment Management and Morgan Stanley in New York, and a member of then-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s cabinet as director and chief of staff for the Department of Business and Technology.
Shufrin also has served on the boards of numerous nonprofits and quasi-public agencies. She currently serves on the board and co-chairs the investment committee of the International Institute of New England, a nonprofit organization that helps refugees and immigrants succeed through resettlement, education, career advancement, and pathways to citizenship.