George Zeno

George Zeno

Chief Philanthropy Officer, UC Berkeley

George Zeno serves as the chief philanthropy officer for university scholarships and student programs at Berkeley. He manages the Student Affairs Philanthropy office (a team of 8 professionals), the largest fundraising and external relations team in the country for student services and programs. Now in his 21st year of education philanthropy, George was most recently at the University of Washington in Seattle where he centrally managed the development teams of Student Life, Minority Affairs, Graduate School and Undergraduate Academic Affairs during his 11-year career. He arrived at UW in 2001, recruited to be the country’s first full time development officer focusing on post-affirmative action initiatives to counter the state’s Initiative 200, the nearly identical law to California’s Prop. 209. He was charged with raising $40M for high achieving underrepresented minorities, surpassing that goal to reach the $70M mark. George's units would go on to raise over $120M during this period including millions for LGBT initiatives, student veteran services, fraternity & sorority life, underrepresented minority priorities, public service programs, EOP, fellowships, and scholarships.

At Berkeley, George is currently working on scholarship priorities for middle class and undocumented students along with naming opportunities for student unions, public service center and endowing student leadership programs. In addition, he is working closely with Berkeley's administrators in formalizing curriculum connections to student engagement, undergraduate research, community service, and leadership development through philanthropy.

George is a frequent presenter to CASE district and national conferences around affinity and diversity fundraising. He's also been instrumental in the emerging field of advancement for student services as a member of NASPA's Student Affairs Fundraising & External Relations working group.

Originally from Louisiana, George primarily grew up in the Seattle area. George is an avid photographer and is currently working on an online photo narrative project called “My 18 year-old Self”, about looking back at ones 18 year-old self to give that person advice in hopes of inspiring young people to be more confident in themselves. He is a former rugby player, having played the game across the globe, and is also a former NCAA volleyball official.